How to Embrace a Sustainable Lifestyle as a Homeowner
According to research, an individual homeowner in the UK has a yearly carbon footprint of five tons. This steep number is the result of constructing houses with non-sustainable materials and high energy consumption throughout the year. Making the switch to an eco-friendly home will help reduce your carbon footprint, lower energy consumption, and spend less on energy bills. You can also use tips such as using energy from renewable resources to make your business greener as well.
Home Features to Look For
Here are three green features your new home must have:
Eco-Friendly Construction Materials
When visiting houses, inquire about the materials used during construction. Traditional materials such as steel and concrete are the main culprits behind homeowners having a large carbon footprint. In comparison, sustainable materials such as reclaimed wood, cork, recycled steel, and straw bales, have a significantly lower carbon footprint while providing the same longevity as traditional materials.
The ideal option would be to have a home with xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is a gardening method that involves plants requiring minimum watering to survive. While Cacti might be the first species that comes to mind, they aren’t the only ones who require minimum water and maintenance. Depending on your location, having local plants in your garden will significantly reduce the need for watering and fertilizers, as these plants are accustomed to the climate. Additionally, having a sprinkler system will lead to greater control over your water usage.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Buying a home with energy-efficient appliances can prove to be cheaper than buying them post-move. Here’s a list of appliances to look for with a high energy rating:
- Washing Machine
- HVAC system
Additionally, having a home with low-flow toilets, faucets and showerheads is a boon as these use significantly less water than conventional bathroom fittings. Another way to save money is by reducing your energy consumption by using natural lighting. Not only will you save money, you’ll also have lower stress levels and feel healthier, too.
Green Additions to Make
After finding the best eco-friendly property, here are a few additional steps you can take to further reduce your carbon footprint:
- Install a Smart Meter: Even with energy-efficient appliances, it’s easy to go overboard with your usage. With a smart meter, you can set timers during which electrical systems such as your HVAC and boilers are active. For instance, you can set them to be inactive while you’re at work and start once you are back indoors.
- Buy Recycled Furniture: When you buy recycled furniture you contribute towards a circular economy which reduces the use of new raw materials and generation of waste. Furniture made from recycled materials will be as stylish and durable as brand new items.
- Purchase Sustainable Art: When it comes to beautifying your home, buy decorations made from a combination of recycled and sustainable materials. Whether it be paintings, wall hangings, sculptures, and more, by purchasing sustainable art you help reduce waste, avoid the use of toxic materials, and support artists working towards making a positive change in the environment.
- Start Composting: Instead of letting your waste be dumped into a landfill hundreds of kilometers away, buy a composting bin to store your daily kitchen scraps. Over time your waste will transform into compost which can be used in your garden as the perfect alternative to synthetic fertilizers.
- Use Eco-Friendly Towels: Use reusable Nimbus Multi-Surface Towels to remove dirt and grime from any surfaces at home or on the go.
- Invest in Energy Efficient Lighting: As reported by gov, light emitting diode (LED) lights, when used in the home, save an average of $225 per year on electricity bills. If you’re looking to install new lighting in your home, choose LED fixtures.
In addition to helping homeowners reduce their carbon footprint, these green additions can also lead to an increase in property value. But, to validate this increase in price homeowners should safely store receipts of all purchases and installation services. Additionally, before and after pictures will serve as conclusive proof to convince appraisers that your property deserves a higher validation.
By purchasing an eco-friendly home you will be doing your part towards reducing carbon emissions and contributing to a greener future.