Earth Day is here, which means it’s time to reflect on how we can make the world a little greener with our daily routine. Don’t worry, living an eco-friendly lifestyle at home is easier than you think, plus we did all the heavy lifting and put together a guide just for you!
From your home design to your technology and living practices, there are several ways to live a greener lifestyle. So without further ado, let’s take a look at three eco-friendly practices you can do right at home!
Editors Note: In honor of Earth Day, we’ve put together a few tips to help you live an eco-friendly lifestyle at home!
The recent housing market has encouraged people to build instead of buy. If you’re in this position or something you’re considering, take note of a few green design features to include in your new custom-built home.
Here at Sustainable 9, we are dedicated to designing your dream home while building it with the environment in mind. With that said, there’s no better time to incorporate green energy into your house than while building it. A comfortable home includes beauty, efficiency, and practicality. By incorporating green energy practices such as passive solar heating or solar panels into your home design, you can both lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. When it’s done right, it will be a seamless and complementary addition to your new home. A win-win!
Solar energy isn’t for everyone and that’s ok. For those looking to think outside the box, you are in luck. Another great roofing option that is quite literally as green as it gets: is a green roof. A green roof is made up of plants that absorb rainwater, reducing runoff and improving stormwater management. Green roofs are eco-friendly, greatly improve insulation, benefit local pollinators, and bring a splash of color to your home.
Building a house requires a lot of materials—lumber, steel, cement, and stone to name a few—and it’s important to be mindful of the quality. Ensure you’re setting yourself up for the long term both for your home and for the environment. Luckily, at Sustainable 9, we use high-quality materials that are built to last with sustainability in mind. Wherever possible, we look to incorporate responsible materials that can be recycled or repurposed to reduce environmental impact. Overall, a strong foundation composed of quality materials sets your custom-crafted home to stand the test of time.
Not to be missed, quality insulation can reduce energy waste and keep your home temperature regulated. For both quality and eco-friendly materials, some of these insulation options include:
- Thermacork: This renewable insulation alternative is 100% natural, biodegradable, and made from the bark of oak trees. It is toxin-free and acts as a good insulator of heat, sound, and is fire resistant.
- Recycled Denim: This cotton insulation is made from post-consumer denim waste. It holds more heat and absorbs more sounds than traditional insulation and is treated to be flame retardant. This insulation is also formaldehyde-free, which in turn can improve indoor air quality.
- Sheep’s Wool: Another viable and Earth-friendly insulation alternative is sheep’s wool. An extreme insulator of warmth, this denser and natural material traps moisture and sound. When treated, it also acts to repel insects and is fire resistant.
With plenty of insulation options on the market, you can choose the best option for your new custom-built home and for the environment.
An eco-friendly and efficient home is only as efficient as the technology in it. Our homes consist of a number of appliances, so why not use ones that save you money and reduce your environmental impact.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Larger household appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers are often used daily. That’s why it’s increasingly important to make sure these appliances are serviced and functioning properly to reduce energy and water waste. When purchasing a new washer and dryer, make sure you are not just looking at the biggest model. Larger models usually require more water or energy, so only look for the size that best fits your needs. Similarly, newer dishwashers are starting to require less water each cycle. Some ENERGY STAR-rated models are using up to 5 times less water, so it’s important to do your research beforehand to find the option best suited for you.
To save both money and energy, many homeowners are looking to install smart thermostats. Why you ask? Smart thermostats are taking technology to the next level; they hook up to your HVAC system and use sensors to help you maintain your temperature within your home from your phone. The easy compatibility and convenience have many environmental benefits, which include reduced energy consumption, waste, and HVAC service reminders to ensure maximum efficiency. Integrating a smart thermostat technology is an easy way to expand your green portfolio.
Between remote jobs and hybrid school schedules, consumers are spending more time at home. This has resulted in an increase in household waste, averaging nearly 5 lbs per person each day. While a zero-waste lifestyle is unrealistic for some people, there are plenty of ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle at home while reducing your footprint.
A great place to start is to reduce your amount of household food waste. Sadly, America alone wastes nearly 40% of its food each year. Horrible right? Now’s the time to make a change. If you don’t own one already, start by investing in a compost bin. This is a great way to take everyday waste—coffee filters, eggshells, banana peels, etc. – and turn it into rich soil for a garden or landscaping.
Looking for something a bit simpler? Try your best to not overbuy food at the grocery store. Especially perishable items such as meats and produce, only purchase what you need. Try scheduling your meals out at the beginning of the week to have an accurate list when you head to the store. And don’t forget to eat your leftovers!
Health and Beauty Waste
Reducing waste with simple everyday products can have an insurmountable impact. Small changes to things like toothpaste, hand soap, and even contacts can start to add up over time.
Shark Tank fans: this one may ring a bell. In 2019, an eco-friendly household cleaner company went on Shark Tank and sparked a plastic revolution. Not only did they walk away with an investor, but their mission resonated with millions of people: single-use plastic is killing our oceans and landfills, and we must do better. By using recyclable glass bottles, Blueland has helped eliminate nearly two billion single-use plastic containers since 2019. Making the switch from plastic bottles to refillable glass not only reduces your household plastic consumption but joins you with the millions of others making a conscious difference.
You may not realize it, but little things like daily contacts create a lot of unnecessary waste. To combat this, check out a few of the eco-friendly options on the market. For example, brands like Bausch + Lomb have partnered with Terracycle to create a free recycling program for the daily contact packs.
Additionally, in 2019, Warby Parker launched their first contacts brand, SCOUT, which uses 80% less packaging than traditional lenses and is a great way to give back to the planet. Both Biotrue and SCOUT are great economical contact alternatives that can act as a more Earth-friendly option.
There you have it, three foolproof ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle at home! While these are just the tip of the iceberg, they are a great place to start!
Looking to build your dream home? Reach out to Sustainable 9 to learn how you can design and build a home that’s free of toxins and meets the highest standards of quality and energy efficiency.
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