5 Sustainable Home Improvement Ideas
If you didn’t think taking care of the world around us was important before, the Coronavirus pandemic should have already changed your mind! Sustainable house design was already on the rise in response to climate change, but now this trend must become a staple for the future. From plastic bottle houses in Honduras to hydro-electric tree houses in Costa Rica, while these designs are certainly impressive, you don’t have to move into such spaces to lower your carbon footprint. Sustainable homes don’t have to be built from scratch. With a few modifications, you, too, can make your home more eco-friendly. Here are some sustainable home improvement ideas you can try.
5 Sustainable Home Improvement Ideas
Mind Your Flooring
In colder countries like New Zealand, insulation is an integral part of keeping homes energy-efficient. And while it’s important to thicken up your walls, cover up your windows, or even block gaps between doors—people often forget to insulate their floors. According to New Zealand interior designer Victoria Lloyd, you can end up losing more heat through un-insulated hard flooring. So if you don’t want your HVAC working overtime, consider laying thick carpets on your floor. These can prevent heat from both entering and leaving the house, so it’s good practice for any climate.
Install Solar Panels
Strong typhoons often hit Japan, and it often ends up disrupting the national power grid. Last year, locals experienced the worst electrical disturbance, as thousands of households had their power lines cut off amidst Typhoon Hagibis. It goes without saying that life without electricity—especially during natural disasters—is extremely difficult. In response, many Japanese citizens have taken to installing solar panels to keep their houses running. It’s important to note that solar panels are more than just a backup generator—they work all-year-round. With solar panels, you need not rely on the local energy grids too much, thus decreasing your overall energy consumption.
Recycle Your Rainwater
Places located near the equator, such as Colombia, India, and Brazil, are taking advantage of their wet climate by installing rainwater harvesting systems for their households. While many places don’t get as much rain, it still drizzles enough that you should definitely consider this option. Take note, however, that it’s not advisable to use it to bathe or wash your hands. It is more ideal to use filtered rainwater for flushing your toilets, funneling your irrigation systems, and even as an emergency reserve for fires.
Maintain Your Pipes and Appliances
Carbon neutrality is easier said than done. In the UK, the BBC reports that a significant amount of carbon waste comes from homes. Specifically, 12 million households that fail to meet the standards for energy efficiency. And while it’s important that we push for commercial buildings to be more eco-friendly, these findings prove that every single house has an important role to play too. You can start by ensuring your appliances are well maintained. Old and damaged devices tend to consume more energy to keep functioning. It is for this reason that HomeServe recommends regularly maintaining and updating home appliances to their 1.8 million British customers. Another option is investing in-home appliance insurance. This will ensure everything keeps running as efficiently as possible as you’ll have professionals you can call if anything goes wrong. In turn, this reduces your home’s overall energy footprint.
Decorate with Plants
Homes tend to accumulate a lot of dust and toxins like benzene and formaldehyde over time, making your ventilation and air purification work more than it should. To ease the burden from these systems, Italian physiologist Frederico Brilli recommends bringing a couple of plants into the household. According to his research, plants can absorb pollutants and store them in their roots. His study stemmed from his concern for industrialized cities like Lecco and Bergamo, which don’t have enough plants to purify the air around the vicinity. As a general rule, the larger the roots, the more air it can clean.
Sustainable homes aren’t just a passing trend—they’re a necessity. After all, what’s the future going to be like if we don’t start caring for the environment today?
For more home improvement ideas and news on luxury living, check out our other posts on Love Happens Magazine.