Small changes can reduce the impact of our day-to-day living on the environment. By making thoughtful choices when furnishing and decorating our homes, we can lessen our use of resources and help the planet. Often it takes just a little research or planning before you make a purchase to find the best, most eco-friendly option you’ll enjoy for years. Read on for our easy tips on how to create a sustainable home.
Choose Double-Paned Windows
An important feature of any sustainable home is top-quality, double-paned windows. Because they have two pieces of glass instead of just one and the panes are separated by airspace, they offer superior sound and temperature insulation. This style of window does a great job of keeping your interiors cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Pay attention to the thickness of the glass itself too, at least 3 mm (¾”) is ideal. Thermal curtains are an excellent alternative. With multiple layers of fabric, often with a layer of acrylic foam in between, they help keep out chilly drafts and reduce heat loss in the home.
To reduce overall water usage in the home, try to be mindful of your consumption. Launder clothes and household linens in cold water where possible and select the shortest, most efficient setting on your washing machine. When washing dishes, run your dishwasher only when it is full and use the briefest setting. If your dishwasher happens to have an energy-save or eco program option, take advantage. With all of your appliances, keeping them well maintained will allow them to operate at peak performance and efficiency.
Select Furniture Thoughtfully
When shopping for your sustainable home, choose pieces of furniture that are made from natural, renewable materials, are eco-friendly, organic and non-toxic. Many fair trade furniture brands make a point of using only carbon-neutral, low-waste practices in production. Reclaimed, upcycled furniture is another great option, as you’re reusing perfectly good pieces and giving them a second life. If you’re crafty or handy, you can reupholster, refinish or otherwise repurpose existing pieces of furniture and make them your own.
Take Up Gardening
Your balcony or back deck is the perfect spot to grow your favourite vegetables and herbs. Container gardening is popular for a host of reasons: it’s inexpensive, easy to do, and totally rewarding. Growing your own produce is a sustainable practice as you are actually feeding your own household. Herbs, lettuce, peas, peppers, and tomatoes are all easy to grow for the beginner gardener. The only real trick to patio gardening is making sure you water well and often. As long as you keep the soil hydrated and your plants are in a sunny spot, you’ll be successful.
We hope we’ve given you some great ideas for how to make your home a sustainable one. Every change counts, so get started with something small and build your commitment over time. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow the Gemterra blog for more great eco-friendly living tips.