If you are determined to lead by example and teach the generations to come to look after their environment, you might want to embark on a project to make your household more eco efficient and greener. Little changes can make a huge difference, and you'll not only feel like you're doing something to reduce your carbon footprint, but also benefit from lower energy bills as well. Here's how to start:
Recycling is so easy - yet it does involve some knowledge about which waste goes in each recycling bin or box. Your local government will usually provide information about this on their website or even on their provided bins or trash cans themselves. Taking care of your food waste can seem a bit trickier, however, as not all councils provide services for this. The good news is that's composting is easy to do at home if you have a garden of some sort. Simply dig a 30 centimeter hole in your garden and fill with your fruit and veggie scraps (no meat, bread or weeds) and fill over with soil to let nature do her thing. Plus there are some compact and universal compost bins that take biodegradable food waste liners, so you don’t have to keep the food in the normal waste bin and put up with the smell in your home.
"Action is the antidote to despair."
- Joan Baez
If you would like to reduce your long term carbon footprint and household waste, upcycling quality used furniture rather than buying low quality new items that will only last a few years is a fun and creative way to decorate. And as you wander down the DIY path to upcycling you may also like to make environmentally-conscious decisions about the management of waste and only use green and environmentally friendly paint and varnish whenever possible. Jump on Pinterest to check out all the items you can upcycle that you may not have ever considered to work with your design aesthetic and space - the possibilities are endless!
"You have to hold yourself accountable for your actions, and that's how we're going to protect the Earth."
- Julia Butterfly Hill
Use Natural Light
Another way to reduce your home’s energy consumption and save money, is to open up every room to receive as much natural light as possible. From roof installed windows and skylights to glass blocks and walls, there are several great ways to let more natural light in. With more sunlight, you'll not be tempted to turn on the light every time you enter a room and you'll create an overall more uplifting, healthier feel to your home.
One of the best ways of saving on heating and air conditioning is getting an efficient heat pump. If you live in a moderate climate area, you can reduce your home’s environmental impact by replacing your fossil fuel operated HVAC system with a heat pump. There are some systems that allow you to combine renewable and geothermal energy, as well as other sources of heat when needed and are well worth the initial costs in installing and upgrading.
Adding a solar panel on your roof is becoming cheaper every year. There are also several DIY kits available with detailed instructions. Alternatively, you can get a home wind turbine to generate the electricity your home needs. Before investing in one, check if you need a special permit, and whether or not the turbine will impact the wildlife (especially birds) in the area.
If your lifetime goal is to live a cleaner and greener life and save money, these small home improvement projects could hold the start of a happy solution for you. Check your options and building regulations before you start any of the installations, and calculate your savings and carbon footprint reduction to keep yourself motivated while working on any of the renovation projects.
And as always, if we all do a our little bit, a lot can be achieved,
so share this with anyone curious about going greener this year.