There’s no denying that topics like carbon emissions, global warming, and sustainability are discussed daily. World leaders continue to debate the best ways of lowering carbon emissions, and while it’s easy to assume they have all the answers, the truth is individuals have the power to effect change.
Sure, one person alone cannot help improve the environment or how we think about things like how we travel or our usage of plastic products.
But, many people taking action collectively will positively impact the environment and the world around us for future generations.
You’re likely reading this article right now because you feel the need to lead a more sustainable life, and one way you can achieve that goal is by making some positive changes at home.
However, you’re unsure what you can do to create the biggest impact – both on you and the world around you.
Fortunately, there are many ways to make your home and lifestyle more sustainable. Take a look at the following examples for some inspiration:
Have Solar Panels Installed On The Roof
One of the best ways you can improve your home’s sustainability is by having a roof replacement company repair or replace your home’s roof. How will that make your home more sustainable, you might ask yourself?
The answer is simple: it will help to keep your house warmer during the winter months and reduce your need to rely so much on a heating system.
The more you use a conventional heating system in your home, the higher your utility bills will cost and the greater the impact is on the environment and less sustainable.
Renew Your Roof Insulation
Having a new roof installed or an existing one repaired is one way to stop the heat in your home from escaping into the atmosphere during the winter months. However, there are other things you can do to guarantee such a positive outcome.
For example, you could have the roofing insulation renewed in your roof – or fitted if you have none. Roofing insulation helps stop heat from escaping from your roof, meaning your house is warmer for longer during the year’s colder months.
Have Sun Tunnels Installed From Your Roof
It’s no secret that one of the reasons your electricity bills are so high is using lights across your home when it gets dark. That’s because you’re likely to use lighting on dark, overcast days and nights.
What if there was a way of flooding rooms in your home with natural light during the day? Thankfully, it’s an idea that anyone can achieve in their home if they have sun tunnels installed on their roofs.
In case you didn’t know, a sun tunnel is a special pipe that enables light from the sky to enter your home in specific rooms. It’s brilliant for lighting up any room, and you can keep a room dark by closing the sun tunnel from inside your home.
Upgrade Your Windows And Doors
If you believe your home has windows and doors that don’t do much to keep warm air indoors during the winter or prevent it from entering your home during the summer months, now is the time to look at upgrading them to energy-efficient replacements.
Air that can easily pass through broken or worn windows and doors will mean higher than reasonable heating or air conditioning costs, not to mention the increased carbon footprint accompanying this problem.
Install A Renewable Energy Heating System
How do you heat your home during the colder months of the year? If you’ve got an old furnace system, you probably won’t realize that it’s both inefficient and expensive to operate.
When you upgrade your home heating system, consider opting for a sustainable alternative to conventional options. For example, you could have a ground or air source heat pump installed to take care of your home’s heating needs.
It’s worth investigating the latest options for renewable energy heating systems as new innovations enter the market all the time.
Paint Your Home’s Exterior Walls
If it’s possible to do so, you should spend some time painting the exterior of your house. You might not know it, but the color you paint your home’s outside walls will impact the indoor temperatures.
Homeowners living in hot climates would benefit from painting their exterior walls white, as it helps to reflect the heat from the sun away from the house.
Conversely, those living in mostly cold climates may wish to paint dark colors on their exterior walls to help attract the heat to their abodes.
Fit LED Lighting
Even though you might install some sun tunnels on your roof, there will still be occasions where you need to turn on the lights inside your home, such as during the hours of darkness or to illuminate dimly-lit rooms that seldom get much exposure from the sun.
You don’t want to simply use candles in your rooms for illumination, so what you can do instead is upgrade all your lighting, where possible, to LED technology.
Grow Plenty Of Fruit And Vegetables
Do you have a large garden that is mostly unused? If so, why not take advantage of such an expanse of empty land by using it to grow plenty of fruit and vegetables?
Growing many of the things you eat at home is easy, offering plenty of benefits. For example, you can guarantee that you’ve grown organic fruit and vegetables free of pesticides and other chemicals.
Moreover, you may have a surplus of fruit and vegetables that you could give your neighbors to help them lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
Consider Adopting A Mainly Plant-Based Diet
One highly debatable topic relates to consuming animal products like beef and poultry. Whatever your viewpoint, the truth is that livestock significantly contributes to the nation’s carbon emissions.
The perfect solution is to become a vegetarian or vegan, of course, but simply cutting down on your meat consumption will ensure you contribute positively to reducing your carbon emissions.
Consider buying locally-produced meat and poultry to lower your carbon emissions even more.
Install A Rainwater Harvesting System
You’re likely living in an area where it rains sometimes. Whether you like rainfall or not, the truth is you can use rain to your advantage by harvesting it for use at your home.
A rainwater harvesting system is a simple low-fi solution that collects water from your roof’s guttering and stores it in a big container called a rainwater tank.
You can use that water for lawn sprinkler systems, pressure washers, and refilling bird baths; the list of examples is limitless!
Use Graywater For Your Toilets
Whenever you flush your toilet, the water used from the cistern will likely come from your main water pipes.
Each time you flush your toilet, it will cost you money and increase your carbon footprint due to the energy required to pump pressurized water towards your home.
One small change you can make that will have a big impact is to harvest greywater for your toilets. Graywater is essentially water from sinks, showers, and bathtubs, and you can use it instead of fresh piped water each time you need to flush your toilets.
Buy Meal Ingredients In Bulk
If you’re the type who always buys meal ingredients daily, now’s the time to reconsider your approach by purchasing all ingredients in bulk.
Doing so offers many benefits, such as ensuring you never run out of key ingredients for your meals, which means you use less energy going to grocery stores, resulting in a lower carbon footprint.
Purchase Local Produce
Whether you’re a meat eater or are on a plant-based diet, it makes sense to buy locally-produced items. One of the downsides to society’s dependence on convenience is how all kinds of foods travel thousands of miles to reach your dinner plates.
Stick with locally-sourced produce to significantly diminish your carbon footprint and make your lifestyle more sustainable.
Reuse Instead Of Replacing Items
Last but not least, another not-so-secret fact about today’s modern world is how many people simply replace damaged or unused items instead of fixing or repurposing them.
While it’s true that planned obsolescence plays a part in the demise of products like white goods, it’s also true that most items can get repaired and continue providing a useful service to householders.
Also, repairing or repurposing items instead of replacing them ensures those items don’t end up in landfill sites and potentially pollute the ground.
The above list is undoubtedly an extensive selection of things you can do to start improving your green credentials at home, but it’s by no means a complete and definitive list.
Following some of the tips and tricks above will make significant inroads into improving your home’s sustainability and also help you lead a more sustainable lifestyle at home.
Featured Photo by vu anh on Unsplash