It might feel overwhelming to consider making some environmentally friendly changes when it comes to your home — the potentially drastic changes in furnishing and lifestyle choices can deter any hopeful eco-warrior.
But, even after factoring in the initial cost, the time you’ll take to do research as well as the amount of effort you’re bound to put into this, you may be surprised that saving the planet can also be kind on your wallet in the long run, too!
So, what are you waiting for? Get on board on cultivating an eco-friendly home with these six easy steps:
#1: Watch your energy consumption
To keep tabs on how much electricity or water you’re using, you can use this neat guideline or even an energy rating calculator website. Alternatively, get a digital display that’ll allow you to monitor your electricity consumption in real time (like this The Energy Detective monitor).
Besides being an educational experience, watching exactly how much electricity you actually use will surely get you in an energy-saving mode in no time!
#2: Turn it off
Now, once you start monitoring how much energy your household uses, slaying these known “energy vampires” may be in order. You can easily cut your energy consumption by unplugging your appliances and devices when they’re not in use.
Also, make sure that all taps are turned off when not in use. As dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for two whole minutes, leaving the tap on during this period can quickly add up to over 5 gallons of wasted water every time.
#3: Change things up
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But, if it’s breaking your bank (with unnecessary energy consumption), you should really consider swapping it out. You can do this by checking the energy rating labels on your electrical appliances.
Another simple move would be to swap out baths for quick (10 minutes and under!) showers. Once that’s become a habit, up your green points by swapping out your old showerheads for a “low flow” or water-saving showerhead — it can reduce your water consumption by up to 11,000 litres a year.
#4: Let the light in
Most people have a tendency to leave the lights on even when it’s a bright, sunny day outside. But, did you know that turning off your lights for just one hour a day will save 1.22 pounds of carbon dioxide, which adds up to 0.216 metric tons over the course of a year.
It might not sound like much yet, but if every household started doing this, the impact would be enormous. Switching your lights off doesn’t mean having to live in darkness, though. Open up your blinds and curtains and utilise natural light as much as possible!
#5: Have fun with the furniture
One key thing that makes a house a home is the furniture, and we have three C’s which is part of our checklist for the perfect piece of furniture. Comfortable, Chic, and eCo-friendly (yes, we cheated on that last bit!). Strive to fill your home with locally-sourced (or supplied!) building materials from local furniture manufacturers if possible. Alternatively, buy furniture made from recycled materials. But, whether you’re looking for
Alternatively, buy furniture made from recycled materials. But, whether you’re looking for chic, green furniture in Malaysia or anywhere else in the world, rest assured that there are various ways you can be an eco-warrior through your furniture choices.
#6: Go green (literally)
You know what they say… when you’re trying to go green, you should also take it literally.
We jest, but there is some truth in the statement. If the space permits, plant trees in your house compound to enjoy the benefits of having shady trees. They provide reprieve from the hot, sunny days by blocking harsh sunlight, which in turn reduce the amount of energy you spend to cool your house. Also, trees absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide and release oxygen. A single tree can produce enough oxygen for four people in a single day.
Alternatively, give your homes a breath of fresh air with indoor plants, or plant herbs and vegetables for your household’s consumption. This can even be done in small spaces indoors or on your balcony. Much less energy will be used in the cultivation of your own herbs and vegetables than it would be by a farmer who will harvest, package and transport them to a grocery store.