We all want a beautifully decorated home that is enjoyable to live in, but many of us are also concerned about how to live more sustainably. Well, the good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice a beautiful home to do your bit for the environment and create an eco-friendly home.
In this guide, we’ll discover a few clever ways to make your daily life more sustainable, whilst keeping your home as stylish and unique are you are!
Creating a stylish, sustainable, and eco-friendly home is a great goal. With environmental concerns on the rise, making an effort to reduce your ecological footprint can be an impactful step.
There are many ways you can be more sustainable at home, but here are 3 very important steps to get you started.
1. Check Your Doors
Whether it’s the main event, at the front of your house, or those internal room doors that keep your rooms cosy, these often-overlooked essentials really matter. If your doors are poorly fitted, old, or distorted, it can impact their ability to retain heat and keep your home toasty.
There are several reasons why you should check your doors to create a sustainable home:
- Doors and windows are often significant sources of heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. If your doors and windows are not well-sealed, your heating and cooling systems have to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature, which consumes more energy.
- Doors made from sustainable materials such as reclaimed or recycled wood not only reduce the demand for new materials but also prevent old doors from ending up in landfills. When checking your doors, consider whether they might be due for a replacement with a more sustainable option.
- Regular maintenance and checks can extend the life of your doors, delaying the need for replacement and thus reducing resource consumption.
- Ideally, your doors (especially patio or balcony doors) should allow for plenty of natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting. They should also be easy to open and close for natural ventilation, which can reduce the need for air conditioning.
One way to improve sustainable living in your home is to ensure any gaps and cracks around those doors are well sealed. The first thing to do is to check for draughts and use draught excluders to stop cold air from getting in.
However, the best thing is to replace old doors with new energy-efficient models which can significantly reduce your home’s energy consumption.
This is because modern doors are often made with advanced materials and insulation that help regulate temperature and prevent heat loss, resulting in lower heating and cooling costs.
Additionally, upgrading to doors made from sustainable materials such as reclaimed wood or bamboo can reduce your environmental impact and support responsible forestry practices.
Replacing old doors with new ones can also improve indoor air quality by reducing drafts and improving ventilation.
Upgrading your doors can also increase the overall value and design appeal of your home, promoting long-term sustainability by reducing the need for future renovations or upgrades.
When checking your doors, it’s also a good time to boost their appearance. Depending on the material of your doors, you could varnish woods, paint them bold enticing colors, or replace them with better insulating materials. The perk of new doors means a choice of a new design as well!
2. Let your Garden Grow
Not everyone has a large garden or grass-filled space around their home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from natural designs.
Grow Your Own Food
From growing your own colorful fruits and vegetables to planting more insect-friendly (and beautifully scented!) flowers, there is a lot we can achieve just by exploring our outdoor spaces.
If you have a garden, a window box, or just some large plant pots, you can be part of a growing movement to be more self-sufficient.
It doesn’t take as much space as you might think to grow your own tomatoes, potatoes, and other fruits and veg. Not only can you supplement your diet with home-grown produce, but you can create beautiful displays of colorful pots and vibrant leaves.
Producing your own foods eliminates your contribution to the CO2 associated with transporting and packaging store-bought fruits and vegetables. Additionally, you have control over the use of pesticides and fertilizers, ensuring that your crops are free from harmful chemicals.
Growing your own produce also promotes biodiversity and can attract beneficial insects and birds to your garden. This practice can also promote a healthy lifestyle by providing fresh, nutrient-rich food that is free from preservatives and additives.
We know we can’t completely cut out our shop-bought groceries, but every small step helps reduce the environmental impact we all have as individuals.
Growing your own vegetables and fruit is a sustainable practice that benefits both the environment and your health.
Whilst you’re potting around the garden, you might also want to introduce a composting system for any food waste (an extra bonus move to enhance sustainably!).
Composting is a great way to reduce kitchen waste, such as vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells. This not only reduces the amount of waste going to the landfill, but it also enriches the soil in your garden, providing valuable nutrients to your plants.
Plant Native Species
Native plants are adapted to your local climate and soil conditions, which means they generally require less water and maintenance than non-native species.
This can significantly reduce the resources needed for your garden and they also provide habitat for local wildlife, promoting biodiversity.
Consider installing a rain barrel to collect rainwater from your roof. This water can be used to irrigate your garden, reducing your reliance on treated tap water.
Choose a rain barrel that suits your needs. They are usually made from plastic, wood, or metal, and come in various sizes.
Consider the amount of rainfall you usually receive and the amount of water you can use and keep in mind that 1 inch of rain on a 1,000-square-foot roof yields approximately 600 gallons of water.
Choose a downspout on your house for the rain barrel. The ideal location would be where water can be most beneficial, like near a garden or flower bed.
If possible, choose a downspout that’s far from large trees to limit the amount of leaves and debris that may end up in the barrel.
Most rain barrels come with a spigot near the bottom. You can attach a hose to this spigot for easy access to the water. Be sure to empty your rain barrel regularly, especially before heavy rains, to prevent overflow and maximize your rainwater collection.
Bees are vital pollinators, but their populations are in decline. You can help by planting flowers that bees love, such as lavender, sunflowers, and foxgloves.
Avoid using pesticides in your garden, as these can be harmful to bees and other beneficial insects.
Being outdoors not only gives you a chance to get creative in a new space, but it also does wonders for your mental well-being.
3. Raise the Roof
… not literally, but you can definitely raise the look (and usefulness) of your roof!
When thinking about improvements to, arguably, the most important aspect of your home, changes to your roof might be amongst the more costly options when it comes to creating an eco-friendly home.
However, if you find you are spending a lot on home heating during the colder months, your roof could be a factor in this.
You might want to consider installing roof insulation if you don’t have this already. It could save you hundreds on your annual bills, as it will stop heat from escaping and reduce the need to have your heating on as often.
An even greater upgrade for your roof could be solar panels! These are the best, overall, way to improve your home’s sustainability as they can eliminate the need for you to use any external electricity supply.
Solar panels will generate electricity for you to use directly in your home, just by absorbing energy from the sun. When coupled with a solar battery, solar panels can generate and store enough electricity for you to run your home completely independently.
Reducing your reliance on fossil fuel-based energy will reduce your carbon footprint to near zero, making this one of the greatest steps you can take to help the environment and create a sustainable home.
Solar panels come in many different materials, sizes, and appearances, so you should be able to choose a type that compliments your home’s aesthetic.
They have become more design-led in recent years, with sleek and modern designs that can add a stylish touch to your home’s exterior. This is especially true for solar panels that are installed flush with the roofline, creating a streamlined appearance that blends seamlessly with the rest of your home’s architecture.
In addition, solar panels and batteries are a visible symbol of your commitment to creating a sustainable home and can make a bold statement about your environmental values.
This can be especially attractive to potential buyers if you are looking to sell your home in the future, as more and more homebuyers are seeking out properties with renewable energy features.
Reducing your dependence on traditional power sources, solar panels, and batteries can make your home more self-sufficient and resilient, a point of pride and a desirable feature for many homeowners.
Overall, installing solar panels and a solar battery can make your home look good by adding a modern and stylish touch while also demonstrating your commitment to sustainability and self-sufficiency.
Whether your home is big or small, full or spacious, you can do things to make sustainable changes.
Helping out the environment takes a creative outlook, whether you make simple swaps, or utilize hidden spaces, every small action makes a difference.
When not take a glance around your home and consider how to make those design changes you so desperately want, in a more sustainable way. The benefits won’t just be to the planet, but to making your home unique in the process.