7 Steps To Make Your House Eco-Friendly On A Budget
In today’s modern society, we all know the importance of protecting the environment and the impact pollution (noise, air, light) has on our lives. However, many of us feel that we do not have the time nor the budget to make changes towards environmental sustainability. This is why Vivo Property Buyers has outlined 7 Steps to Make Your House Eco-Friendly On A Budget, exploring how making simple changes to your daily routines can make a big impact on your local environment. But firstly:
Why make your home eco-friendly?
Nowadays, the issues of eco-friendliness and sustainability are at the forefront of modern architecture and house construction, but the houses of yesteryear were not created with the environment so much in mind. Thus, most of us will not live in an environmentally sustainable house, nor will we want to sell the home we love just to move into one. It is much easier then to make some small changes to help reduce the energy consumption of your property. Additionally, having a home that is run in an eco-friendly manner can benefit your health and your wealth! Here are the main factors why you should switch to sustainability:
Save Money: simply put, the less energy your house consumes, the less you have to pay in utilities bills! Being mindful of energy wastage can really save you money.
Health Benefits: you spend a lot of time in your house, so you want to make sure that your home environment is good for your health. Whether it is optimising the use of natural lighting or using chemical-free materials, having an eco-friendly home can benefit your physical health as well as mental wellbeing. This detail is especially pertinent if you are raising a small family or caring for an elderly relative.
Property Value: lastly, with the house construction trend turning ‘green’, ensuring that your property is keeping up with the environmental standards will help raise its overall value if you ever decide to sell. What’s more, having a property full of energy-inefficient appliances may deter a potential home buyer from furthering their interest in putting an offer in.
Step One: Track your energy usage
Before you start making any changes to your property, we recommend investing in an energy calculator or monitoring system for all your appliances. Some monitors are available for free, so check with your energy providers for more details. If not, they are generally inexpensive but can allow you to start making a huge saving on monthly bills. Overall, by tracking how much energy you use, you can work out the ‘wasted’ energy you consume after implementing any sustainability changes. Understanding how much energy you (mis)use can be a real eye opener!
Step Two: Heating & Insulation
One of the biggest areas to focus on when making your house more environmentally friendly regards heating your home. Each year, households use a lot of energy on appliances that help maintain a comfortable temperature; this is especially true if you live in an older property that is poor at retaining heat. While most people know the negative health effects of living in a cold house, it is worth noting the detrimental health effects of living in an environmentally unfriendly home. The heavy use of toxin producing materials from paint to plastics can cause respiratory issues and encourage mildew to form, while allergies caused by dust irritation are also worsened by poorly performing appliances. erefore, to combat the cold we recommend first ensuring your property is properly insulated, reducing the need to heat your home to as greater extent. One such way is to insulate your loft space with environmentally friendly materials such as wood fibre or sheep’s wool, meanwhile, cavity wall insulation is another sustainable way for your home to retain heat efficiently.
If your resources are a bit tighter, you can always use thick curtains and draft excluders to help reduce heat-loss on cold winter days.
Step 3: Use Nature
Another fantastic way to make your home eco-friendly is maximise the use of natural resources rely than rely on appliances! Not only is this an environmentally friendly way to live, but it is also sustainable. First off, make the most of natural sunlight coming into your property. It can help reduce energy consumption from electronic lighting plus natural sunlight can help heat your home too! Furthermore, the health benefits from using natural daylight, such as vitamin D exposure, is far greater than artificial light and can also improve your mood and immune system. We also recommend the use of air purifying house plants such as chrysanthemums, dracaenas and particularly spider plantsround your home to improve indoor air quality. These attractive plants help cleanse the air from toxins emitted by nasty paints and inefficient appliances. They are inexpensive, resilient, and require little maintenance.
Step Four: Go Outside!
While plants may help improve your indoor air quality, there are plenty of ways you can make your house more eco-friendly by utilising your outdoor space. A quick way is to opt for a classic compost heap. Recycling old items from used coffee grounds to banana skins is a fantastic way to repurpose your waste into nutritious fertiliser for your garden and will help reduce the pressure on the nation’s over-growing landfills. It is easy to maintain and only requires a small amount of watering.
Step 5: Check your water consumption
A great way to maintain the moisture in yourompost heap would be to use recycled rainwater via a water drum. As a nation, we are probably unaware of how much water we use (or waste) daily, so simply collecting rainwater and using it for gardening purposes is a quick, easy and environmentally sustainable way to conserve the amount of water each household consumes every year.
Moving back indoors, there are further ways you can reduce water consumption. For example, showers are more sustainable than taking a bath; they tend to use a quarter less water and you can also instil water efficient shower heads with sufficient power. Over the course of a year the savings you make in water can really make a difference. Secondly, one of the biggest household wastes of water and electricity concerns kettles. Far too often we fill the kettle up to exceed the amount we need it for. This means we are constantly consuming excessive energy by boiling too much water. Investing in an energy efficient kettle will help you cut down the amount of electricity used to boil water – some designs can even act as a thermal, keeping the water boiling hot for hours.
Step 6: Cut out wasteful electricity
One of the biggest ways we overconsume energy is through the misuse of electricity. A quick and simple way to reduce this is to ensure that lights are switched off when not in use. The same applies for all other electrical devices, from microwaves to televisions. As well as using artificial lighting only when really required, another simple adjustment you can make is to switch from traditional lightbulbs to more energy-efficient ones, such as the light emitting diode (LED) designs. They use far less energy than conventional lightbulbs and are more durable, meaning that you do not need to replace them as often.
Step 7: Track your changes
Once you have implemented all or some of these changes, it is time to begin measuring how much you have reduced your carbon footprint. One way is to simply chart your energy use via an energy monitoring system. However, if you want to go one step further, why not change all your utility billing settings to e-billings. Not only will you save paper, you can really start to see the financial savings from your sustainability efforts right before your eyes!