These days, it’s hard to escape from talks about making our lives more eco-friendly. The planet is going through some big changes and it’s our responsibility as humans to take better care of the world that provides for us. Unfortunately, many of us are just lazy. We can all take small steps to help the planet, such as recycling more often and being more mindful about driving our car. But at the end of the day, those small changes really don’t amount for much in the grand scheme of things.
So instead of making small changes, have you ever considered more drastic yet meaningful home transformations to become more eco-friendly?
Despite our rather gloomy introduction to the topic, we do believe that everyone can make a difference that contributes to having a larger positive effect on the planet. But instead of just making small and convenient changes to our daily lives, what if we made bigger changes? In this post, we’ll be taking a look at some of the bigger changes you can make that can have a massively positive effect on your impact on the environment.
Solar panels have long been touted as the renewable energy solution that we’ve all been waiting for. You stick some panels on your roof, they charge up when there’s sunlight, and it provides power to the rest of your home. However, there have been a few hiccups along the way. Solar power isn’t quite a perfect solution yet, but it’s slowly getting there. It’s still not as efficient as we’d like it to be, and it can’t really power an entire home yet. However, it does offer energy savings that could help you save a lot of money over time.
The biggest issue with solar panels is usually the cost. Installing a solar panel is really expensive, and you have to think about all of the extra equipment as well. There are also installation fees, and you may need to pay for regular maintenance. A more pressing issue is the potential waste it can create in the distant future. What happens when your solar panels become inefficient and outdated? You’ll probably have to replace them sooner or later, but there aren’t any effective recycling methods right now for your older panels.
It’s also important to consider your location when it comes to solar panels. The best cities for solar panels are usually places that get a lot of sunlight and have clear skies. After all, cloudy places tend to have very poor solar panel efficiency due to a lack of sunlight. So if you’re looking to install solar panels, it’s best to consider where you live. Some parts of the world just aren’t cut out for solar panel due to the lack of open sunlight, and if you live in a city surrounded by tall buildings, then the amount of sunlight your solar panels can absorb is minimal.
But despite the potential issues, solar energy is still something that can drastically improve your carbon footprint. It helps you become a lot more eco-friendly, and it’s one of the largest and most meaningful additions to your home that money can buy.
There are a number of different eco-friendly materials that we can use in order to cut down on waste and effectively recycle things. This can create a positive environmental impact, but it also means that we can do certain things for a much lower price. For example, what if we started using reclaimed wood for things like flooring, furniture, or even repairs? While it might sound like a hassle, there are actually many companies these days that recycle materials and promote the use of eco-friendly materials.
A great example of this is eco-friendly rubber roofing alternatives. Eco-friendly roofing comes with several advantages, such as being relatively lightweight and versatile compared to traditional roofing materials like tiles. They also provide additional insulation to keep your home temperature more stable, and they’re also resistant to chemicals and UV rays which helps to prolong the life of your roof.
Another common way to reuse materials is to collect reclaimed wood. This is a term given to any kind of wood that has been salvaged from various sources. It could be from old flooring, buildings, or even fallen trees. Reclaimed wood currently isn’t the easiest thing to find, and its effectiveness as an eco-friendly material will really depend on where you live and what you plan to use the wood for. After all, we can’t expect regular people to take wood reclaimed from an old building and turn it into furniture.
Lastly, another common eco-friendly material that we can reuse is plastic. More specifically, the act of removing disposable plastics from our daily lives and replacing them with plastic for long-term use. There are many people that still use plastic cups and cutlery for eating and drinking. However, we can make a simple switch to reusable cups, flasks, bottles, and other eating utensils.
A lot of people don’t really consider this to be a drastic change in their lives, but it depends on how far you want to take it. For instance, some people might start using more reclaimed wood in their lives, burning when necessary for heating purposes or learning to work with it for repairs and new furniture. Similarly, some people might replace their entire roof with a more eco-friendly material for long-term use.
Smart home technology conversion
Smart homes have been a hot topic for many years now. The idea that you can use a computer or smartphone to control various parts of your home opens up a lot of convenience–but at what cost?
Well, not much. Smart home technology doesn’t exactly use much electricity or resources in general. However, it can have a drastic positive impact on our daily lives when used correctly. For example, heating is something that we can control using a thermostat, but for more fine-tuned controls, we can turn to smart home technologies.
Imagine being able to turn the heating on or off remotely, set more precise temperatures, and also view statistics and data such as usage and costs. All of this information gives us greater control over our heating, enabling us to make smarter eco-friendly decisions in regards to basic necessities like heating.
The same can be applied to lighting and other common home features. While smart home technologies initially seem like a luxury convenience for the technologically fluent, they’re actually extremely useful for everyone given their automation features that can lower our energy usage.
Another great example is a home energy dashboard. These have become popular over the past couple of years, serving as hubs for us to see exactly how much energy we use throughout the day. This kind of information is fantastic because it helps us make eco-friendly decisions when it comes to turning appliances on and off. It also helps us visualize just how much energy we use, what’s using it, and where we can cut down on it.
But setting up smart home technologies can be a pain. You need to have smart home devices which can be a lot more expensive than their “dumb” alternatives, and there also needs to be a way for the devices to communicate with each other. This usually means having a relatively strong WiFi network. It doesn’t need to be connected to the internet, but configuring it can take a bit of practice if you’re not fluent in networking technologies.
However, the result is fantastic, giving you a lot more control over your various technologies and allowing you to see exactly how much you use certain things. So while the initial investment into smart home technologies can be quite high, it’s worth it for all of the added features that can help you become more eco-friendly.
Lastly, let’s talk about reusing rainwater. If you live in a location that gets quite a lot of rain, then you may have considered reusing rainwater in the past.
Rainwater is often collected in rain barrels or cisterns from your roof. This water tends to get a little dirty as it sits being collected, so it’s not exactly potable water. However, there are many non-potable purposes that it can be used for. A good example of this is gardening. Collected rainwater is perfect for watering plants, saving you a considerable amount of money that would otherwise be spent on water.
Rainwater can also be used for outdoor cleaning tasks. It can be used to clean out your driveway, outdoor furniture, and even your car if you’ve collected enough of it. If you have a water feature such as a pond or fountain, then rainwater can also be used to fill them up. Tap water tends to have extra added nutrients which can upset the balance of your lawn, particularly when it comes to weed growth. As such, using rainwater is usually a much better option for gardening tasks.