If you have started to respect nature more, separate your waste and recycle it or use shopping bags made of cloth as opposed to plastic ones, you are on your way to living a happier and more conscientious life. The next area to work on is your humble abode – you might be surprised at how easy it is to make some changes which will be sustainable and which don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are a few pointers to help you with your ‘go green’ house and garden project.
Make a plan in advance
Respecting the environment, among other things, includes avoiding clutter and unnecessary things which will inevitably soon become garbage. Besides avoiding purchasing items you will not use, it would also be senseless to waste money on things you cannot use because you didn’t check if they can fit in your house. So, it is essential to first measure the walls and ceiling so as to have a clear idea about the available room.
The next step is to think of the essentials – e.g. for a bedroom, you would need a bed, a closet, and a nightstand; for a garden – a table, two chairs, and several pots, and so on. Putting all of this on a piece of paper will help you not only regarding the choice of furniture, but you will also have a rough calculation of the necessary budget.
Mind the materials
When it comes to the furniture, think in terms of a bamboo set for your garden, since bamboo grows quickly or a metal table, because metal can be recycled. Recently, reclaimed timber has been growing in popularity but its rustic charm makes it sometimes difficult to come by. However, if you love wood as a material, you could opt for sustainable timber, which means that a new tree was planted in the spot of the tree which was cut down.
While ecologically re-creating your home and considering the furniture and decoration materials, you might want to also check whether they are hypo-allergenic. People who suffer from allergies rarely have a good night’s sleep so you could check if there is an eco-friendly mattress sale online so you can combine practical and sustainable since a lot of them are fully bio-degradable. Also, decorative pillowcases of organic cotton could be a nice addition to your living room sofa.
As to round it all up, you should make sure to pay the same attention to your floor as to the other elements in your room. There is a great difference between cheap and affordable and if you add quality to the equation, it becomes quite a task finding a carpet or a rug made from all natural materials. Luckily, the Internet offers an incredible opportunity to get the bang for your buck by ordering from vendors all around the world, like choosing rugs from Hong Kong or another country with the world-renown carpet and rug industry.
Choose the appliances carefully
Some household appliances waste a lot of water and energy so before purchasing any, analyze their consumption either online or by asking around. Since we all lead very busy lives, nobody is expecting you to wash all your laundry by hand, but there are appliances such as high-efficiency washing machines and low-flow toilets which consume less water than standard.
Also, technology is your friend when it comes to sustainability. Some of the benefits include programmable thermostats which can be set to be active only when you are home, as well as other technologies which allow for the appliances to be turned off when they are not being used. Having an insight about energy and water consumption can not only help you reduce your bills but most importantly, be mindful of the environment.
Dig through the second-hand treasure
People get rid of almost brand-new furniture and decorative trinkets for numerous reasons. They might be moving house and cannot take it to their new home, or they purchased something which cannot fit into their space and which they cannot return to the store. You can get those and many other items for half the price and stop the circle of throwing away things which can be useful.
There are many other items that can get a second life. For instance, aluminum coffee cans can serve as plant holders, while wine bottles can become a decorative element in any garden. Even old CDs can find their usage as cup coasters, and glass jars can be turned into drinking containers or windproof candle containers for breezy evenings in your garden.
Most people have something in their subconsciousness telling them that they should be more mindful of the environment, but they mostly never get to that part of considering how they could contribute. Why? Because it seems complicated, like it is too much sacrifice or even that it costs a lot of money which would also be contrary to any logic. People also go as far as thinking that they need to give up on technology entirely to reduce their carbon footprint.
We are well aware that the times when we lived without the aid of technology are long gone and that abandoning it would be counter-productive. Instead, we should see what we as rational individuals can do to help the environment. When it comes to your house, spend a bit of time analyzing the consumption of the washing machine you are planning to purchase; save a fully functional table somebody used for a few months from the junkyard; and plant as much greenery as you can!