Making your home more eco-friendly can help you and yours live healthier lives. It just makes sense for all the occupants. It really is the smart thing to do.
Starting with the insulation pays dividends for years to come and help cut down on energy costs in winter and in the summer too. Typical return on investment is around two years to five years, so be generous on the insulation.
For loft insulation, modern building regulations state that new builds have 270MM of insulation installed as standard. Prior standards recommended up to 50MM, so that’s almost 5 times as much to lay in the loft.
Cavity wall insulation has a few options to choose from, so make sure you choose an eco-friendly source like wood fiber, thermal fleece, sheep’s wool, cellulose, or hemp.
Windows with a View and Solar Options
Windows not only help with ventilation, they let in natural light into rooms. They are also an important potential for making the home eco-friendly through two options.
The first is to reduce heat loss through the use of double or triple glazing rather than single paned windows. Triple Glazing is 40% more efficient than Double Glazing and helps reduce condensation experienced within homes.
For those who want to be at the forefront of urban micro-generation solutions for electricity, solar windows are becoming increasing popular. We expect to see more innovations and choices are becoming available to suit your situation. Currently these range from being completely opaque to 50% transparent and come in a wide variety of color choices.
Green Thumbs Can Make a Difference
Solar windows may be a good choice for the greenhouse too. Rather than selling on the electricity, consider storing the energy it produces to be used to heat it when needed. Another option is to use all the energy it produces to reduce your grid supplies and helping reduce your carbon footprint.
If you are not already growing your own vegetables, perhaps set aside part of the garden to make a start. With or without an actual garden, anyone can bring plants into their home which helps to clean the air too.
Choose to Clean Green
Making a conscious decision to choose the greenest cleaning products available is another area where everyone can make a huge impact to the environment. There are many products which use chemicals which are harmful to all occupants, and cause environmental problems as they, along with the money you spent on them go down the drain.
Rather than spend all your time checking labels, simply rely upon the basic cleaning products, white vinegar, baking soda, olive oil and your favorite fresh clean smelling essential oil. If not sure what products are safe, you can always stick with a cleaning company that uses organic cleaning methods.
Although dealing with a thorough clean any time of year can seem daunting, it is worth developing the habit to keep the dust down as it can exacerbate allergies and dust mites are a common cause of asthma in children.
Lights Make All the Difference
Most people have heard of energy saving bulbs but have yet to switch over their whole home. There are two main options to choose from: CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and LEDs (light emitting diodes). CFLs were deliberately engineered to replace incandescent bulbs, and typically save 2/3rds the energy cost of ordinary incandescent bulbs. The light they emit is usually harsher than LED lights, however, LED bulbs use much less energy.
LED lit holiday decorations at this time of years save money too. Over the last few years, many seem to have taken the initiative on saving energy to put up more displays. Some are even using discreet solar panels to power their displays which smart people are turning towards to pay dividends throughout the year.
Others are using LED and even Solar power LED lights for all their outdoor lighting needs. Typical uses are lights at the curbside, lights at the door, and lights to brighten the garden path. Many options are now reasonably priced and draw upon their own very small, efficient solar collection cells, so all that is needed is to place them and simply enjoy using them, just remember to keep the solar cell clean.
A Final Word About the Rubbish
Although many people now recycle what they can, some say we are doing it all wrong. Recycling is a process which turns waste into a reusable material or product. Going forward, embrace upcycle which will turn your rubbish into products which are of a higher quality. There is no need to send items to a recycling center either. You may be even be able to earn through creating unusual, one of a kind products which will help offset your outlays.
Make a container in 2020 with common household items which can be used over and over again. Glass jars, container or cans can be used as organizers and more. Many glass food containers are perfect for food preservation, so find a local cooking group and donate to them directly so they can make the most of them.
Plastic Containers of all types can be put to many uses, but perhaps the best thing to do is stop buying things which come in plastic or single use paper. Online and Local craft groups may be able to inspire you to think of ways of using your plastic waste into useful items like food bins, self-watering seed pots.
Many take out containers are dishwasher safe, so keep them handy for reuse throughout the year. In some places, shops will even measure out and cost food which you can put into your own cleaned containers.
This is just a start to your adventure in upcycling. Everything you bring into your home is a candidate for upcycling, even if your best option is to donate it to a local charity shop or homeless shelter.