A sustainable house is one that uses natural resources in a smart way. It has quality systems that produce durable results and is built with smart materials that reduce the need for ongoing maintenance.
A cool roof helps to reduce energy costs as it reflects sun heat rather than absorbing it. Energy efficient lighting and low-flush toilets also help to lower the household’s electricity consumption.
Insulation is one of the most important aspects of a sustainable home. It prevents heat from escaping the house in the winter and keeps cool air from escaping in the summer, decreasing energy bills.
Eco-friendly insulation products are available that are made from recycled materials or cellulose. These materials are better for the environment and use less energy in their production than fiberglass.
When insulating your house, make sure to do it properly. Many houses have gaps and holes where heat can escape, driving up your energy bills. Also, consider the orientation of your house when choosing a type of insulation. Homes facing south are more likely to get sunlight, allowing them to generate their own heat in the winter. This will help to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Many people are now focused on buying eco-friendly products, including paints. These paints are water-based, which means they release fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemicals that turn into vapor and enter the air through off-gassing. These chemicals are known to cause a wide range of health problems, from irritation to nerve damage.
Low-VOC paints have lower toxicity levels and don’t harm the environment or living organisms. They also don’t contain ozone depleting chemicals and don’t contribute to global warming.
To qualify as a low-VOC paint, a litre must have VOC levels of 50 g/L or less. The best option is to look for paint with a Green Seal certification logo. This is the highest level of assurance that a paint is truly low-VOC.
Drip irrigation delivers water and nutrients directly to a plant’s root zone. This significantly reduces evaporation and runoff losses and helps protect plants from diseases that are caused by splash-up of spores from water in the soil.
For home gardens, drip irrigation is best suited for vegetable, perennial and small fruit crops. In landscapes, drip irrigation is also suitable for many ornamental and groundcover plantings.
A drip system consists of the mainline, valve and sub-main, backflow preventer, pressure regulator, filter, tubing adapters and fittings, emitters and end caps. Regular flushing of the mainline, sub-main and emitters is important to maintain high water quality. A soaker hose is an alternative to drip irrigation and requires less equipment, but it may not be as efficient in sloped areas.
Energy Star Appliances
Energy Star appliances use less energy, which reduces utility costs. That, in turn, cuts the demand for energy from power plants and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel reliance.
Plus, the EPA tests and certifies Energy Star products to ensure they are performing as promised. That means you can compare similar appliances to find the best one for your needs.
Sustainable home improvements can seem daunting and expensive, but the reality is that there are lots of small changes you can make to your home or apartment that are eco friendly, affordable, and will have a significant impact. From insulation to low-VOC paints, there are a lot of ways you can be more sustainable without breaking the bank! Just start with these simple tips.
Using recycled materials is one of the most important steps to sustainability. This reduces the need for extracting raw materials from the earth, which helps to preserve natural habitats, ecosystems and biodiversity. It also helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Recycling paper, aluminum cans and other common household items prevents waste from being sent to landfills or incinerators where it can leach harmful chemicals into the air, soil and water. Recycling these materials also uses less energy than manufacturing from raw materials.
You can also use recycled paints, wallpaper and furniture. Just be sure to choose items that are durable. It is not sustainable to replace materials every few years! This includes the flooring, countertops and carpet.