As an increasing number of people are starting to incorporate eco-friendly, planet-conscious notions into their everyday lives, the demand for environmentally friendly products and eco services is constantly growing. It’s not hard to do your bit for the planet, and with a little bit of thought and working with the right business, you can quickly achieve a well-decorated, eco-conscious home too. Looking for some inspiration? Look no further.
Given the market price on homes a lot of first time buyers look for fixer uppers to save on the purchase price or do up and flip. No matter what your reason for doing up your home, this is a great way to take stock and see what improvements you can do to make your home more energy efficient.
Follow the list
- Ensuring the shell of your home is prepared for whatever the season will throw at you would be the first step. Check and see if your walls and roof are insulated, this is the first step to trapping in that warm or cool air.
- Next check your windows and doors, if you can feel air coming through the gap your warm/cool air is leaking out. Air leakage can account for up to 10% of your heating and cooling bills. You don’t always have to replace the windows and doors in your home, simply sealing up these gaps and cracks will prevent the air escaping. It can be as simple as getting the right sealant from your local DIY store and applying it yourself. Ensure you do your research and use the correct sealant for the material you are working with. If your applying it outside ensure that the sealant you are using is water proof.
- Once your walls and windows are taken care of look through your home and ensure any loft hatches or fireplaces are correctly sealed up. Fire places are great in winter but can end up costing you during the warmer moths when all the cool air is being sucked out.
- If you don’t have them already, install celling fans and ensure they have a reverse function so you can use them to circulate cool air in summer and push warm air down in winter. While you’re on the renovating journey get all or your appliances serviced annually to ensure they are working efficiently.
- Any appliances you find haven’t aged well should be replaced for a more energy efficient model. Save Energy, Save Money (SESM) allows you to not only compare prices on thousands of electrical appliances, you can also compare the energy consumption at the same time. If you’re in doubt you can use the SESM website to compare the annual running cost of your old appliance and the new appliance you wish to buy.
Seek help from experts
If you’re luck enough to be building your own home you should consult a sustainable builder who can talk you through your options for passive cooling and other great design attributes you can incorporate into your new build.
Good Luck renovating and reducing those energy bills!
Julie Moore director of Save Energy Save Money
For those who are willing, there are many ways to save the planet and at the same time improve your budget. Although at first, some of these changes might seem radical or even abstract, you need not go far to start this “green” revolution, you can start in your very bathroom. There are many ways in which you can significantly improve your bathroom in three important fields- economically, ecologically and even improve the influence of your bathroom on the general health of your family. The choice is all yours, but here are some simple advice and examples which will best show you all your options and their effects.
Water of life
First you may start by trying to reduce the usage of water in your bathroom. There are several simple and extremely efficient ways to do this. You may start off by installing low flow faucets and shower heads, since it is proven that they spend almost up to 60% less than regular ones, with pretty much the same effectiveness. Next thing is do pretty much the same with your toilet. Low-flush, high-efficiency toilets use almost half of the amount of water that regular toilet does while achieving almost the same effect. Just by taking these two simple steps you will affect both your budget and your impact on the eco-state of your planet significantly on a daily basis.
When speaking of some serious savings, it is of crucial significance to check your plumbing. Leaking pipes may result in a water loss that can annul all your water savings combined. A single leaking pipe if not discovered in time, can cause major problems in your home, which requires additional investment in walls or floors renovation.
The eco-effects on a local scale are almost as devastating. This is definitely not something you can do yourself so make sure to contact a plumbing company and let the professionals deal with that. While at it, make sure to check if your pipes are made of lead, especially in the older houses or apartments. If so be sure to change them since they can represent a serious hazard on your health.
Saving the energy
As for saving the energy, it is one of the most effective ways in which you can improve the eco-friendly conditions in your bathroom. This is also one of the rear situations in life where without some great initial investments, you can save substantial amounts of money. You can start as simple as trying to cover your water-heater and its pipes with some old cloth, blankets or some other isolating material.
In a long run this can save both a lot of energy and affect your budget significantly, in a positive way. If you have wider budget for bathroom remodeling, you could get tank-less water heater, as they provide hot water on demand but they don’t produce standby energy losses as regular types. You should also replace all your regular light bulbs with a LED or CFL (compact fluorescent light) ones.
Photo credit: Flickr
You may also want to try to replace the source of energy that you use for the needs of your bathroom, if not entire home as well. You can always try to change your current energy source for one of the alternative ones, the one with a renewal source. Solar energy is the most obvious and most adequate solutions since just a couple of solar panels may supply your bathroom with hot water, light and even heating for an entire season, as they are efficient even during wintertime. What better way to help both your home budget and global energetic and ecological situation at the same time.
You are the key
But before any other changes take place, there is one thing that is most important of all for this to work. The greatest change must happen inside in you. By changing your everyday habits you can significantly affect your environment in a way you never before believed possible. By taking a shorter showers, not rushing but just being realistic about time needed, or by doing something as simple as turning of water while brushing teeth you can make all the difference necessary. Being a bit more practical and economical about the use of toilet paper or by purchasing only towels made out of organic cotton or linen is really not that hard and do not require any physical changes, but only in the raised level of your general awareness.
“Be the change you want to see in the world”; this change must first happen in you and then and only then can you transfer it to the world around you. With just a bit of will, determination and awareness of the global and local ecological situation, you can be the key of both your own salvation and at the same time leave the Earth a better place than it was before you gave your best shot in preserving it.