Let’s face it: the hot topic of environmentalism is going nowhere, with people around the world becoming increasingly conscious of their footprint and negative impact on the planet. Whether it’s in the food we eat, the way we get from point A to point B, or the way we set up our living spaces, there’s no time like the present to think about the positive strides we can take in protecting our planet.
If you’re wondering where to begin, making small changes at home is one of the best ways you can start to contribute to a greener planet, and should be on your list of New Year’s goals right up there with diet and exercise resolutions. While not everyone will be installing solar panels or re-doing their flooring, there are simple tweaks you can make to start saving energy and cutting down on emissions. Follow our guide below for a list of ways to go green at home in 2020.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Turning down the thermostat just a couple of degrees can save a huge amount of emissions, and many of us end up leaving on the heating for much longer than we need to, even during the colder winter months (or alternatively, turning up the A/C unnecessarily during summer). A Smart Thermostat allows you to automate settings and adjust your home temperature remotely, as well as have a constant monitor on your electricity consumption.
Create better insulation
Insulating your home properly can go a long ways in helping to trap in heat, thus cutting down on energy and heating costs. For those with large homes to keep warm in the winter, consider inserting foam boards in the walls and using sealant to cover small cracks and gaps between the floors and walls. Other ways to keep heat from escaping include double glazing any windows and covering hardwood floors with rugs to help air from slipping through the cracks in floors.
Become more water-wise
Water consumption is one of the number one ways we waste environmental resources at home. Tighten up your water usage by implementing low-faucet aerators and tankless water heaters, and try switching to a smaller or more efficient dish washer. Of course, some of the best ways to save can be implemented in your day-to-day: take shorter showers, capture excess running water in your kitchen sink to be reused in watering your garden, and get into the habit of turning off faucets while brushing your teeth.
Switch to LED lighting
In addition to being toxin-free, LED lights are proven to be up to 80% more energy efficient than traditional fluorescent and incandescent lights. Emitting very little heat, LED lights last up to 10 times longer than conventional lighting, minimising the number of times you need to change your lightbulbs. While enjoying the same beautiful bright lighting, you’ll see immediate cost savings on your electricity bill.
Rely on sustainable materials
If you’re renovating or even building a new home in 2020, you’ll want to pay extra close attention to the materials you’re using, from flooring to walls and rooftops. Renewable materials such as bamboo and linoleum flooring are much more environmentally friendly, in addition to sustainably harvested and reclaimed wood. When possible, materials are best sourced locally to cut down on the impact of transportation.
Turn your roof into a garden
Given you have the space — or a roof, at that — installing a rooftop garden is a great way to make a sustainable impact, and perhaps pick up a new hobby while you’re at it. Green roofs help to improve air quality and reduce pollution, and are becoming increasingly popular in urban destinations around the world. Growing your own plants and vegetables helps cut down on your monthly groceries cost plus gives you a green space to relax and hang out — making this home sustainability solution a win on all fronts. Don’t have a rooftop? Considering building an indoor vertical garden as another unique way to go green indoors.
Add solar panels to your home
The future of solar energy is looking bright, with solar panel systems for homes taking off at an exponential rate. The benefits are vast: from reducing energy bills to even earning back tax credits and rebates, depending on where you live. Generating renewable energy through solar panels not only helps the environment — it can also help prolong the life of your roof against weather damage and up the resale value of your home.