The efforts to combat climate change have been underway for many years now. There are now large-scale movements to recycle, fight pollution, protect our forests and replant trees. But what can we do as individuals? We can start our own efforts at home. Here are a few tips to renovate your home to make it more eco-friendly.
Tip #1: Go digital
You can turn your home into an eco-friendly haven by going digital and reducing your use of paper. So instead of buying broadsheets every day and maintaining a huge library of books, consider using a smartphone for downloading news updates and an e-book reader for reading that latest paperback.
Tip #2: Replace your incandescent bulbs
Many countries around the world have begun getting rid of or outright banning incandescent light bulbs to improve the energy efficiency of homes and establishments. You should too. Use LED lamps or compact fluorescent lights. One CFL alone can keep 450 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere during its lifetime.
Tip #3: Put in motion sensor light bulbs
With motion sensor lights installed, lights turn on automatically when you’re passing by and stay off when no one is around. Motion sensors can light your way without having to look for the switch, which can be a problem in the dark. More importantly, you’d be saving electricity.
Tip #4: Use power-saving devices and appliances
There are many power-saving devices and appliances that can make your home more energy efficient. These include dimmer switches for lowering the consumption of your lights and fans; and programmable thermostats for saving air-conditioning costs. Even the telly can save power, as long as you choose wisely. Instead of going for a plasma screen, get an LCD TV—it’s more energy efficient.
Tip #5: Install solar panels
If you have the budget, then install solar panels at the roof of your home. With solar panels, your home will be powered by the sun rather than “dirty” energy generated from fossil fuels, which contribute to pollution. You’ll also save money and increase your home’s value in the process.
Tip #6: Switch off your lights when not in use
Here’s an old tip: if you don’t need lights, switch it off, or don’t turn it on in the first place. If you make this a habit, you’ll reduce your home’s power consumption. Sure, you can make the switch to LED lamps or CFLs, but they only save 75 per cent less energy than old incandescent bulbs. Lights that are switched off consume no power at all, which is way better.
Tip #7: Stop using plastics
In place of plastics, start shopping for items made of natural fibres like silk, cotton, hemp, or even bamboo. Don’t buy regular sofas; many use foam stuffing that are made of petroleum products. Instead, look for couches that use eco-friendly materials, like stuffing made of soybeans.
Tip #8: Wash clothes in cold water
Washing clothes in warm water is said to kill more germs, but the power it takes to heat the water isn’t helping the environment. It’s actually increasing our carbon footprint. If you want to save energy and make your home more eco-friendly, start washing clothes in cold water. It’ll help you take care of your clothes too.
Tip #9: Mount a skylight on your roof
Having a skylight would give your home more natural light and make your living room look more spectacular. And since it’s free, a skylight would reduce your power consumption.