The movement to improve the world’s environmental issues is still ongoing. The effects of bad environmental practices have led to significant problems such as increased air pollution, limited clean water, and global health issues. It may seem you can’t play a role in minimising the effects of this phenomenon, but you can! Your “minimum” effort can go a long way to reducing the daily environmental problems. One way you can do this is by creating an eco-friendly home. Today, there are several improvements you can implement to make your home more sustainable. Below are six eco-friendly home improvements you need to make this year.
1. Use sustainable linens
From your bedrooms to the living room, linens play a vital role in ensuring comfort and enhancing the style of your home. Linens are breathable material that absorbs moisture without keeping bacteria in, keeping your home looking and feeling fresh. Well, you can add to this by selecting eco-friendly linen. There are several sustainable linen options made from organic material. A popular choice among homeowners is linen made from bamboo.
Bamboo is most preferred because the bamboo plant grows without fertilisers or pesticides. Switching to bamboo linen comes with several benefits. For instance, this type of linen is hypoallergenic, making it the perfect choice if you have a family member with allergies or sensitive skin. Also, bamboo linen helps soothe the symptoms of eczema, making it easy to lay or sit on. The softness and durability of bamboo linen add a touch of sophistication and luxury to your home.
2. Place indoor plants in your home
Placing indoor plants in your home is another sustainable home improvement you should make this year. There are several benefits to keeping indoor plants. Placing plants around your home adds to your home’s ambience. It also reduces fatigue and stress, boosts healing, and improves mood. Environmentally, keeping indoor plants improves the air quality of your home. Plants absorb various molecules and restore balance in the air. During this process, plants purify the air circulating in your home from carbon dioxide, ammonia, and other pollutants. Therefore, consider including some plants, such as Strings of Heart, Snake Plant, or Monstera Deliciosa, to name a few, to beautify your home and make it more sustainable.
3. Plant a garden
In addition to placing plants inside your home, you should plant a garden. Gardens beautify the exterior of your home and add to its curb appeal. It is also a great way to play your part in averting the current environmental issue. Planting preserves the soil, improves soil health, and reduces erosion. A garden in your home also plays a significant role in protecting biodiversity, so keep this in mind. This is because your garden can become home to various animals, such as bees, that are facing a high rate of habitat loss. So, plant a garden today to play your part in protecting the environment.
4. Power your home with renewable energy resources
Traditionally, energy for your home is created by burning fossil fuels. This has several negative environmental effects, such as air and water pollution and poor solid waste disposal. It also plays a significant role in climate change. According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, about 100 million barrels of fossil fuels were burnt globally daily in 2019! With the increase in population, it’s safe to say this figure has increased drastically. This is why using sources of renewable energy to power your home is a sustainable and smart decision.
You can explore several renewable energy options, such as air source heat pumps, biomass systems, and wind energy. A popular choice among homeowners is solar energy. The sun provides solar energy to your home through strategically installed panels. Using solar energy reduces electricity bills and is low-maintenance. Additionally, countries like the UK offer solar panel grants to homes that use this sustainable option.
5. Replace your lighting with energy-efficient ones
Changing your lights to energy-efficient ones is one of the easiest and quickest ways to make your home more sustainable. Energy-efficient, or energy-saving, lightbulbs such as LED bulbs use about 90% less energy than traditional bulbs. Although LED bulbs are more expensive, they last longer than traditional bulbs and run efficiently. Another form of energy-efficient lighting you should consider is natural light! Utilise the sun’s rays during the day to ease the burden on your home lights, saving electricity. It also has benefits such as providing the body with a natural source of Vitamin D and improving focus. Natural lighting also improves circadian rhythms and your mood.
6. Clean your home with eco-friendly cleaning products
While it is important to keep your home clean, you shouldn’t be doing it at the expense of your family’s health and the environment. Many of the detergents you use around the home contain toxic chemicals that harm the environment by polluting water. These substances are washed down into water bodies such as streams and rivers. This, in turn, harms the ecosystem in the affected area. Mainstream clearing products may also cause air pollution and distort air quality in your home. These detergents release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere. VOCs also affect one’s health, usually causing irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. It also causes difficulty breathing in extreme cases.
You can solve this problem by switching to eco-friendly cleaning solutions. When buying cleaning detergents, read through the active ingredients to decipher which products may be harmful. You can also make your own cleaning detergent. All you will need is vinegar, lemon, and bicarbonate soda. Mix them all, and you’ll have a sustainable, toxic-free, yet effective cleaning detergent.
Running a sustainable home is not only cost-effective but also gives you a sense of accomplishment. Knowing that you’re playing your small part in securing and improving the environment is all that’s needed to see better results. Therefore, take some time to implement these changes in your home this year. It would be best to explore other ways to make your home eco-friendly.