1 Having a sustainable home not only benefits the planet and helps for a better future; it can also be more economical and will give a better environment to our home.
Some changes that you can make in your home to make it more sustainable can be easy, fast and cheap; others can take more time and may require a higher investment but, in the long run, they will always be advantageous.
Generating waste and garbage, in addition to creating an ecological problem, represents more family spending, as it implies greater replacement of what we use. The basic principle of reduce; reuse and recycle must always be in the mind to create a sustainable home.
Basic rules for a sustainable home
With a few elementary rules you can start taking the first steps to make your home sustainable.
Do not buy things you do not need
Plan your purchases and avoid consuming things you do not need, especially away from plastic containers.
Many times, almost without realizing it, we buy things that are not really necessary. They can be food, utensils or ornaments, which are forgotten and end up in the trash. Buy what you really know you are going to use in the short term. You will avoid accumulating objects, generating garbage and you will make better use of your money.
Store leftovers of food in glass containers
Glass containers last longer than plastic ones, which wear out and stain faster and easier, and then cannot be recycled. Keeping things in aluminum foil or plastic bags also generates more waste. Plastic containers can be used for non-food products, and will last longer.
Buy bulk products for your sustainable home
Instead of buying the products that you use the most in small containers, buy them larger to avoid the use of many small containers. If left over, you can store it in glass containers in the cupboard or refrigerator.
Use cloth bags in the market
Take your own cloth bag when you go shopping, so you decrease the use of plastic bags or paper that end up filling garbage dumps, or even worse in the fields and waters.
The US Department of the Environment estimates that one trillion plastic bags are used per year in the world. This is equivalent to 100 million barrels of oil. 80% of these bags end up in landfills and 20% (200 billion) go to the oceans, rivers and forests.
Buy local production
For both agricultural and packaged products, local production is more convenient for the environment. The transportation of imported products or from other regions is a great source of contamination. In addition, the purchase of local products also stimulates the local economy.
If you have space, you can even create your own garden with some basic crops or you can plant some small spice plants that you use more frequently, such as parsley, basil or cilantro.
Buy organic products
The organic products are cultivated in a more conscious and friendly way with the environment, without pesticides or chemical fertilizers that contaminate.
Sustainable home: dispose of trash consciously
Always think about recycling. Separate garbage by categories and discard it in specific containers. Look for the local recycling guides and follow the instructions.
Make sure there are no lights left in rooms where there is no one or when there is enough natural lighting. Do not leave electronic devices on when you are not using them.
Do not leave the phone chargers plugged in , the transformers of the chargers continue to waste electricity even if they do not have the phone connected, and can even be dangerous, since they can overheat.
There are other adjustments you can make to have a sustainable home, which may require more planning, but once you make them, they will make a big difference.
Replace the appliances
Energy saving light bulbs allow energy savings to the planet and your electricity bill.
The vast majority of new appliances are manufactured with materials that consume less energy, which is why they are more environmentally friendly.
Although they require a higher initial investment, they also represent a saving in electricity expenditure. You can start with something simpler, like replacing traditional bulbs with LED and CFL bulbs, which last longer and consume less energy.
According to the Department of Energy of the United States, CFL bulbs save 25% of energy and last 3 times longer than incandescent bulbs, while LED lights save 80% of energy and last 25 times longer . The cost of electricity in the electricity bill of a normal household is 5%.
Install electricity regulators
In electrical appliances that are difficult to turn off, such as air conditioners or water heaters, you can install power regulators that turn them off and on automatically at certain times . Thus, you can turn off the heater while you sleep or work, or the air conditioner when you are not at home.
Sustainable home with double glazed windows
The double glazed windows keep better the interior temperature of the house. If it is very expensive, you can use thermal interior curtains, which also reduce the penetration of extreme external temperatures. This reduces the energy expenditure in heating and air conditioning.
Install solar panels
If you have the possibility, install solar panels. It can be for partial use of some things , such as to heat the water or some specific sector of the house. In this way you will reduce the consumption of polluting combustible energies in exchange for clean energy. It will also represent a saving on your electricity bill.
Finally, remember that all these strategies are aimed at improving the environment and the health of the planet. On the other hand, although some of them require an initial investment, your factoras and expenses will also benefit.