It’s up to everybody these days to make some changes to try to lower their carbon footprint. Every household has a number of ways to be more sustainable. It takes a change in mindset and some lifestyle changes, but with just a little bit of effort, there is a lot of good that happens. Not only are you helping the climate by making these changes but it can also help your finances. Energy and water are getting more expensive every year so finding ways to save water or use solar for energy is going to save you loads of money. In this article, we will go over several ways that you can make sure your house is a sustainable one.
1. Buy in Bulk
Getting products to your home is a huge resource hog. It takes a lot of packaging which is going to use a lot of water and energy to make. Then it has to be shipped to the store and then to your home. Instead of buying things with lots of packaging and needing to have a lot of packages shipped, you should be buying things in bulk.
There are a lot of everyday products like bulk laundry detergent that you can get that cut way down on the packaging. Shopping for staples like dry goods is also a great way to help lower the number of resources needed to get food to your house.
2. Grow a Garden
The farming industry is one of the biggest resource users as it takes so much to grow, process, and ship their products to you. They are also contributing heavily to the degradation of the soil in the breadbasket of the Midwest since they use so many synthetic fertilizers and grow mainly monocultures like wheat and corn.
If you start to grow a lot of your own vegetables at home then you will cut down on the use of fossil fuels across the whole supply chain. No matter what zone you live in, there are lots of vegetables that you can grow to feed your family almost year-round. As a bonus, you will also be healthier since you are eating produce that is at its nutritional peak.
3. Use Less Water
Water is becoming a scarce resource with each passing year. Every household needs to find new ways to conserve so that there will be enough going forward.
The first thing to do is to set up a greywater system so that the water from the dishwasher, washing machine, and shower will go into the garden where it can be faltered and passively keep the plants and lawn watered for free.
Look into installing a bidet since they are much better than toilet paper. Since toilet paper needs to use a lot of water to be manufactured, the water from a bidet will eliminate that wasted water.
Lastly, install low flow fixtures on your sink and shower so you use less water, to begin with. They have a reputation for not providing enough water pressure, but the newer designs are not going to feel any different than a traditional fixture.
4. Use a Heat Pump
Heat pumps are much more efficient than a typical furnace when heating a house. They use electricity but the process is not like using electric baseboard heat. The technology is similar to a refrigerator since it pulls heat from outside the house, compresses it, and then uses it to heat water or force hot air.
If you are using a solar power system then you are essentially heating up your house for free potentially when you switch from a tank boiler to a heat pump. Even if you are on the power grid, you will use a lot less energy to produce your heat than with any other system.
5. Insulate the House
Unfortunately, there is a lot of heat lost in modern houses. There are leaks all over the place that allow the heat to leave the house. The best way to make sure that you are using less energy to heat the house is to get it insulated. The first place to attack is the attic since it is the primary source of heat loss. Insulate it so that the heat stays in the house where it belongs and is not rising up into the attic space.
Then, look into replacing the insulation in the walls with more efficient material than what used to be used in the past.
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