Here are 11 steps to help the environment by modifying certain things in your home
We are thriving in an era of intelligent and smart technologies - ones that dominate almost every sphere of our lives. People today are increasingly adopting a greener lifestyle by choosing energy efficiency when it come to the technology they use. Choosing a green lifestyle not only helps save valuable energy, but is also great for the planet in the long run.
Small steps pave the way for significant changes - taking these take us a long way towards sustainable living. Here are a few ways in which you can make your home energy efficient.
1. Say Yes to Energy Efficient Appliances
Gone are the days of old appliances that make your electricity meter spin! Replacing old devices at your home with “Energy Star Certified" ones help both - the environment and your wallet. These appliances are designed to operate on less energy while giving you the optimum benefits. Energy Star products cover a wide range of appliances, including TV, fans, ACs, refrigerators, washers, water heaters, and so on.
2. Air Sealing
Air sealing is a great way to insulate your home. By air sealing your attic, you keep the outside air out and the inside air within the house. This helps keep the warm air inside during winters, and you can save up on your thermostat costs. Likewise, during summers, the cool air generated by your air conditioner stays inside.
3. Revamp Your Windows
Windows are a major source of heat loss from your home. By replacing the old-fashioned windows with double panel frames or vinyl frames, you can trap considerable amount of heat within your home during winters. This way, you can keep the thermostat at low heat and still keep your home warm. During summers, keep your blinds open and let the sunlight in - This reduces your light costs during the day.
4. Switch Off Appliances When Not In Use
What do Air Conditioners, chargers, and TVs have in common? Their power connection tends to stay on even when they aren’t being used! This habit needs to change immediately - even when devices are left idle and plugged in, they consume power. Always make sure that you switch off all your appliances whenever you are going out of your home.
5. Switch To Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs)
Replace the incandescent bulbs in your homes with CFLs. While the former is reputed to consume a lot of energy, CFLs are not only energy efficient, but they will also last way longer than incandescent bulbs.
6. Install Solar Panels
Even though solar panels are expensive, they are an excellent investment in the long run. By using solar energy to power up your home, you are lowering the pressure on the already strained energy resources and also cutting down on your electricity bills.
7. Go For Shade-Providing Landscaping
Plant a lot of trees and shrubs around your house. These plants will provide shade and keep your home cool during summers. During winters, they will act as a barrier for chilly winds and prevent them from entering your home.
8. Avoid Running Your Washer With Hot Water
According to Treehugger, washing your clothes using hot water drains a lot of energy - only 10% of the total energy is used by your washer! All the rest goes into heating the water. Hence, it is advisable that you wash your daily pile with cold or lukewarm water.
9. Set Your Water Heater At ‘Warm’ Setting
The ‘warm’ setting (120 to 140 degrees) in your water heater is ideal for doing your daily chores (washing dishes and clothes, bathing, etc.). Furthermore, you can insulate the hot water lines to prevent the water from cooling off quickly in between uses. Installing on-demand hot water loops is a great idea - These loops activate when the taps are turned on and switch off automatically when the hot water reaches the taps.
10. Adopt Rainwater Harvesting
During the rainy season, the downpour can be put to good use. By collecting the rainwater in clean tiled tanks or large containers, you can meet your watering or irrigation needs by using this recycled water. This way the water is put to use instead of becoming runoff.
11. Go Organic - Start Composting
Use the space in your backyard for a compost pit. When you start dumping all your organic wastes (leaves, vegetable and fruit peels, etc.) In this pit, they will decompose over time and will become natural fertilizer and manure for your personal garden!
These are a few way by which you can make significant changes within your home and consequently, benefit the planet too. With the ever increasing pressure on the Earth’s natural resources, every individual should adopt an energy efficient way of living. By doing this, we can still preserve the beauty of our planet for the upcoming generations.
Latin American Post | Arindam Paul
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto