Being a sustainable homeowner means doing all you can to limit your impact on the environment. This could include anything from limiting waste to using resources more responsibly. For the sake of the environment, you might consider ways you can make your home more sustainable.
Build With Sustainable Materials
As you work to become a sustainable homeowner, it’s a good idea to start with the home itself. There are many sustainable materials available, many of which have been adapted from historical building techniques. One such material is rammed earth. This building technique uses waste from quarries to create strong surfaces such as walls or floors through applying pressure. Rammed earth is an excellent alternative to concrete.
A wonderful lumber alternative is bamboo. Bamboo has become very popular in recent years both because of its sustainability and aesthetic appeal. It mimics the properties of wood, although it is in the grass family which allows it to grow quickly. It can take at least 20 years before you can harvest wood from a forest. Bamboo forests can be harvested after three years and they will regrow faster than a regular forest.
How to Be a More Sustainable Homeowner: Alternate Energy Sources
In recent years, it has become more common for people to embrace clean energy sources over carbon-based energy sources. These include solar power, wind power, hydropower, and more. These sources of energy are beneficial because we will never run out of them. There are many ways you can apply these sources to your home. Your first approach may be contacting your current provider and seeing if they have alternative options available. If so, they can attach your home to energy that is created through these cleaner sources. You can also consider adding solar panels to your home. In doing so, you can either be fully detached from the grid and depend on solar energy alone or you can stay attached to use the grid as a backup. However you choose to harness alternate energy sources, make sure you check all zoning laws in your area to see what is allowed.
Use Less Water
When you think of waste in the home, wasted water might come to mind. It’s important to be thoughtful of water usage. You might be reminded of that classic tip to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Water waste can also be cut by using low-flow toilets and showerheads. These will help to conserve water. You can also make use of greywater in your home. Greywater is water that has been used but not been flushed down a drain. This could include water for boiling pasta or from taking a bath. Instead of just dumping this water, you can use it to water your plants. Look for other ways to save water in your home.
How to Be a More Sustainable Homeowner: Cut Electric Expenses
Another major source of waste in the home is the use of electricity. There are a lot of steps you can take to limit the amount of electricity wasted in your home. For starters, turn off lights and other electronics when they aren’t in use. You can also consider changing light bulbs. LED bulbs cut your home energy bill by using less electricity for better performance. Don’t do laundry or run the dishwasher unless you have a full load. If you are traveling, unplug all devices and appliances. Be conscious of how electricity is being used in your home and see where you can limit usage.
Recycle Instead of Throwing Away
Reducing waste is essential to running a sustainable household. Recycling is a positive first step to reducing waste. Consider how much plastic, paper, or glass you simply throw away. These items can be recycled and then used for something else. The more people recycle, the less need there will be for new materials. One way to improve recycling in your home is to have a smaller bin inside your home that you can dump into a larger recycling bin. You may also consider having separate bins for paper, plastic, cans, glass, and cardboard. Separating your recyclables yourself only makes it easier for the recycling process to get done.
How to Be a More Sustainable Homeowner: Start a Compost Pile
Another form of reducing waste is starting a compost pile. If you’re an avid gardener or if you just want to improve the health of your yard, a compost pile is a great option and it also helps you cut down on waste. Your compost pile can be made up of anything from leftover food scraps like peels to lawn clippings and dead leaves. These organic materials break down in the presence of oxygen, moisture, and certain microorganisms. This process then creates excellent fertilizer.
Before you start your pile, make sure you have adequate space. Try to have space for three piles: a pile you’re actively adding to, a pile that is decomposing, and a finished pile ready for applying to your yard. If this is not possible, there are plenty of other methods you can apply. You should also remember that certain materials such as meat, dairy, charcoal, diseased plants, or human waste should not be included.
Donate Unwanted Items
Continuing with the idea of waste reduction, consider donating old or unwanted items rather than throwing them away. Some of what we throw out may still be usable and in decent condition. Find any and all local donation centers in your area. Pass your belongings on to someone else who could use them. By doing so, you’re not only reducing the amount of waste you produce, but you are also helping others in your community.
How to Be a More Sustainable Homeowner: Teach Your Children
Keeping your home sustainable may seem like a job that only you need to handle and it may very well be one you can handle on your own. However, it’s important to teach your children these practices as well. Get them involved in the process and teach them why it’s important. Make it an enjoyable and positive experience for them so they can understand the value of it. Hopefully, they will carry these practices into their own homes.
Creating a sustainable household may take a lot of work, but it will be greatly beneficial to the environment. Use your resources well and try to reduce your waste. You can live with peace of mind knowing that you are doing your part.
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