Our homes are sanctuaries where we seek comfort and rest after a long day of working or studying. Unfortunately, houses and other buildings account for 13% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Government of Canada. The global climate crisis requires immediate action to reduce carbon emissions. To achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, governments and private investors are looking to build greener buildings.
This sustainable approach will help enhance energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions to create a healthy environment for living. As a homeowner, there’s a likelihood you have tried different methods to create a sustainable household, like using cold water for laundry, buying reusable water bottles, installing a recycling and compost bin and replacing conventional bulbs with LED bulbs.
So, what else can you do to make your house emission-free? Below are other effective household management tips for an eco-friendly home.
Clutter builds in living spaces over time and it can take a toll on your mind. And while decluttering helps you lead a more sustainable lifestyle, doing it the wrong way can put a strain on the environment, contributing to climate change. That said, there are eco-friendly ways to clear out unnecessary items from your home.
Recycling or donating large household items is one of the most practical and green methods to declutter living spaces. Since furniture and electronics contain toxic chemicals, leaving them outside for waste pickup or landfills can result in soil and water pollution. The toxic chemicals found in appliances and furniture may start leaching into the soil and water. To protect the environment, consider donating furniture and electronics you no longer use.
Alternatively, find a recycling shop that accepts old appliances and furniture. Other ideal tactics for getting rid of clutter include opting out of newsletters and junk mail, scanning and saving photos in the cloud and donating old clothes to charity.
Also, choose reusable shopping bags over single-use plastic bags. That way, you’ll avoid creating clutter in your home. Doing so also prevents you from adding to existing rubbish in landfills and allows you to reduce toxic emissions associated with your home.
Switch to Fixtures That Conserve Water
Reducing water usage in your home is a smart move towards sustainable living. To achieve this goal, consider replacing conventional fixtures with those designed for water conservation.
Installing low-flow faucets, showerheads and toilets helps in conserving water, thus reducing the strain on natural water sources. For example, low-flow faucets and showerheads can reduce water usage by 30% to 50%.
Besides making your home more eco-friendly, low-flow fixtures save you a considerable amount of money. Swapping out your showerhead with a low-flow option and taking 10-minute showers can help you save a ton in electricity bills every year.
Home Maintenance Makes a Difference
Many homeowners assume that they have to invest money on costly renovations to make their homes eco-friendly. But in most cases, keeping up with property maintenance goes a long way in ensuring your living spaces are green.
For example, fixing leaky pipes and fixtures immediately when you notice leaks can help save water and energy. Small leaks in your plumbing system, like dripping faucets, result in wastage of large water quantities.
You should also insulate water pipes to reduce the time it takes for hot water to flow into the kitchen or bathroom. Pipe insulation might be a minor change, but it can help reduce water and energy bills significantly. Typically, insulated pipes prevent hot water from losing heat as it travels from the heater to the faucets. This means your water heater doesn’t have to work extra hard to provide hot water.
Cleaning kitchen appliances regularly is another excellent step towards creating a greener home. Ensuring the coils at the back of your refrigerator stay clean boosts performance efficiency and reduces toxic gas emissions. Also, insulate your floors, doors, windows, and walls, caulk the vents and keep your air conditioning system in perfect working condition. Doing so helps minimize energy consumption.
Green Your Cleaning Routine
There’s no doubt that chemical-based cleaners clean and sanitize living spaces effectively. However, these cleaners contain toxins that cause allergic reactions when released in your home’s atmosphere. To ensure your home is eco-friendly and free of allergens, consider greening your cleaning routine.
This step entails choosing detergents free of harsh chemicals like ammonia and formaldehyde to prevent allergy symptoms like sneezing, skin rash and headaches. Instead, buy green cleaning agents or make DIY cleaning solutions with baking soda, white vinegar, lemon and salt.
Besides choosing green detergents, consider swapping beddings made of feathers and wool with hypoallergenic beddings. Since hypoallergenic beddings are washable, getting rid of pet and human dander and dust mites becomes easy. Also, keep windows open during the day to eliminate pollutants like mold, dust mites and pollen.
Drying bathroom towels and mats regularly, eliminating clutter, keeping your clothes free of dust and choosing easy to sanitize flooring like tile and hardwood are ideal house cleaning practices for allergies.
You should also choose the right cleaning equipment. For example, you can use microfiber mops and cloths to wipe off dust and other allergens on hard surfaces and floors. These mops are easy to wash, meaning you can reuse them multiple times. Also, avoid bagless vacuum cleaners, as they release airborne allergens when emptying the dust cup.
Invest in Rainwater Harvesting System
In addition to installing low-flow fixtures, having a rainwater harvesting system can reduce water use from the main water system. Even a cheap water barrel can help supplement water supply in your home during drier seasons, which can save water by 35% to 50%.
Not to mention, rainwater collection prevents flooding, as it reduces the amount of runoff water drainage systems need to move by storing excess water in tanks and water reservoirs. You can use stored rainwater for flushing toilets, washing laundry and outdoor irrigation.
Converting your property into an eco-friendly hub is vital to ensuring you and your loved ones live healthy and reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Some of the best ways to make your home eco-friendly include installing solar panels, switching to LED light bulbs, recycling, using cold water for laundry and composting. The methods of going green within your home are endless.
You can also ensure that your home remains sustainable by installing low-flow fixtures, keeping up with maintenance, opting for green cleaning methods, donating furniture, clothing and electronics and installing a rainwater collection system.