Have you ever thought about embracing a more sustainable lifestyle? What about leaving all the chaos of the modern world behind and living “off the grid?” Today more and more people are making the change to sustainable living. I have to admit that I am attracted to the idea of helping the planet and making our home and lifestyle more green and sustainable. Even though I love modern conveniences, I am concerned about the environment and the carbon footprint that my family is leaving. While most modern homeowners are not in a position to live entirely off the grid or to build fully sustainable homes, there are some changes everyone can make to their homes that will not only be more eco-friendly, but will also save money in the long run. Even adding an extension to your home that is more sustainable could be a great start. Here are two ways to make your home more sustainable. *This post contains affiliate and or sponsored links.
1. Use Solar Power
The first thing to consider is solar energy. First of all, allow natural light into your home. One way to become more self-sufficient through solar panel installation. The sun provides enough light energy in one hour that could essentially be used to power the planet for a whole year!
It is mind boggling to think of all the energy that is being wasted and the massive amount of money that homeowners spend on powering their homes each year! Installing solar power will not only save money, in some instance your energy costs could be free!
Right now it may seem like an inconvenience and expense to switch to solar energy, but fossil fuels may eventually run out and the world will rely on solar power. Many homeowners are put off by the modern look of solar panels on the roof, but today there are some newer attractive options on the market for solar roof tiles. In some cases you cannot tell the difference between traditional roof tiles and solar roof tiles.
Iowa Solar is a good place to start if you’re looking at getting a quote on solar panels for your home.
It’s not just in the home where we have an impact on the environment. There’s also the world around our home, such as how we get from A to B. Taking trips in your vehicle is perhaps your biggest contribution towards climate change! There is a way to reduce the footprint of your car journeys, however, and that is to invest in an electric vehicle. You can get an electric car charging station from Suncoast Energy, and then give your car juice right from your own property. With this, you’ll be using your home to make your life additionally sustainable — and part of the future.
Considerations for Winter
Solar panels provide you with clean energy that you can store up over time. This is important as they don’t tend to be wildly effective in winter. Solar panels require the sun to generate energy, and you get less of this in the winter.
With that in mind, it makes sense to invest in solar panels earlier in the year, then store as much energy as possible. When winter comes, you should have a backup generator full of clean solar energy to supplement your home with. By all means, you’ll still generate some solar energy during the winter, but the lack of daylight and bad weather means it isn’t as effective as it is in spring or summer. This is why you invest earlier in the year and stockpile for winter! As an extra heat source you can consider natural gas or propane. Propane is not regarded as a greenhouse gas. As mentioned by Annapolis Propane, it tends to be cheaper to use than electricity. For this reason, many people choose this source to power their homes. Aside from the affordability, propane also isn’t affected by electrical outages. Blackouts can be expected during the winter months, especially if there are snowstorms. So, it can be helpful to use a different source that won’t be impacted by this.
Consequently, this stops you from turning the furnace on, saving money on your energy bills this winter. If you really wanted to take things to another level, you could use the fireplace for cooking! It would be like cooking on a campfire, though you’re limited to what you can cook. Still, there are plenty of recipe ideas out there that work brilliantly and stop you from turning on the cooker.
2. Begin Rainwater Harvesting
A Rainwater Harvesting System isn’t that complex, but it requires a good amount of planning. The simple concept is that rainwater runs down the drainage pipes or a specially fitted pipe connected to the drains. This water is then flushed from an outlet pipe that has a valve at the bottom for release or catch control. The water that is set to go into the harvesting system is then dispensed into a filtering system. The filter consists of fine grains of sand and a layer of tiny pebbles. After the water is filtered through the pebbles, it then pours into a container which is either above or underground according to your wishes.
After it has been harvested you can use the water for washing the car, spraying off the deck and porch or watering your lawn and flowers. I love the idea of using rainwater to water the garden!
One of the easiest ways to harvest rainwater is by using a simple rainwater barrel. The water can be used to water the garden, wash the car of spray off the deck and patio, and won’t cost you a dime! This summer I plan to start rain water harvesting with an attractive rain barrel that I will work right into my flowers and landscape. You can find out more about rain barrels and rainwater harvesting in my post Beautiful Rain Barrel Ideas For Rainwater Harvesting.
More Sustainable Ideas
You can kick your home’s eco credentials up another notch by setting up a vegetable garden in your yard. By planting a self sustaining gardening you will save money and have healthy food right outside your door. You’ll find that it’s fun and good for the earth — plus, there’s nothing like using produce that you’ve personally grown in your cooking.
Of course, if we have to choose between making our home look good, and making our homes sustainable, most people would take the former. Ultimately, we do have to live there, and we want our properties to look good.
But what if there was a way to do both? Well, it turns out that we can. Instead of buying new furniture, take a look at getting or making upcycled furniture instead. This is the process of taking existing pieces of furniture and bringing them back to life. They usually look much better than new pieces, and they’re completely earth-friendly.
Create A Smart Home
Smart homes are a great way to help make your living experience at home a lot easier. If you aren’t ready to go off the grid just yet there still might be some ways that technology can help make your home more eco-friendly. For example you can control your thermostat from your phone when you are away from home. You can adjust your themostat from your phone about an hour or so before you get home which allows you to reduce heating and cooling bills and use less energy while you’re not at home.
Finally, also think about your everyday purchases. You fill your home with many items, for design, decor, cleaning products, and so on, and they won’t all have equal earth-friendly credentials. So when it comes to buying those everyday items for your home, take a look at the processes that went into making them. Are they good for the earth? Is there a better option available?
When it comes to green living and ensuring the sustainability of our planet we all have a part to play. Even small changes can make a big impact. If you need some more inspiration to make your household greener, check out this guide.
Have you begun to implement sustainable living practices around your home and in your life? I love hearing your ideas!
Thanks for visiting today!