The design of your home makes a huge difference in liveability, and there are always new methods of adapting to the changing climate in discovery. The best thing about these trends is that they won’t go out of fashion nearly as quickly as a questionable paint choice or tiling pattern, so you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits for years to come. If you haven’t already, consider embracing these home alterations, for the better of the planet and your wallet.
Embracing Solar Power
The technology has been around for years, but many people are still catching up on the benefits of solar power. A few solar panels on your roof can help you store up a significant energy reserve, and although they may not look fantastic, they do have the potential to save you thousands of dollars on your quarterly gas/electricity bills over time. Of course, your ability to collect solar power using panels depends on the shape of your roof and any overhanging trees in your yard, but if it’s a possibility for you, solar is a great way to help yourself while helping the environment.
Conserving Water Outside
In an ideal world, a plentiful supply of fresh rainwater would keep your lawn and plants looking lush all year round, but with water restrictions and the threat of drought looming in many parts of the world, it’s not always easy. The good news is that it’s possible to save your garden from a lack of hydration. The addition of a water tank will enable you to store fresh water in plentiful supply to use around the house and garden, but in case a tank is beyond your budget, strategic watering practiceswill save your plants during times of hardship. Water your garden in the evening to ensure maximum soaking time, and when the sun comes out, you’ll find your yard looking that little bit perkier.
Conserving Water Inside
Water is a precious resource, and yet it’s surprisingly easy to waste, often without even realizing how much is going down the drain. The good news is when you’re trying to cut down on your usage inside the home, there are plenty of ways to make a difference. If you can afford it, there are a few key appliances in every household that could probably do with a water-efficiency upgrade, like the washing machine and dishwasher. Meanwhile, in the bathroom, low-flow showerheads and taps will be your friends. For bonus points, keep a bucket in the shower to collect “grey” water for use in the garden, and soon enough you’ll be on your way to conservational nirvana.
Employing Passive Building Design
Any good architect has a host of clever tricks up their sleeve when it comes to weather-proofing a home, and they can save you from making expensive adjustments down the track. Facing windows to the north or south will give you some protection from the afternoon heat, while simple additions like shade cloths outside can help to shield the house from the sun’s harshest rays. Meanwhile, age-old building tricks like tuning your window openings will make an incredible difference to the feel of your home on a daily basis. In a nutshell, you can use windows to draw heat inside during winter and to deflect it outside during summer.
Turning Waste into Wonder
In the average family home, each day brings with it plenty of waste, and unless you know what to do with it, it can wreak havoc on your little corner of the planet. Recycling is a great starting point since much of what ends up in the regular waste bin is recyclable, so make sure you and your family are well-versed in the art of recycling, and reuse whatever you can. Just remember to do your research before putting anything you’re unsure of into the recycling bin – one non-recyclable item can contaminate an entire load of cardboard, paper, and plastic, landing it in the regular rubbish pile. Once you have the basics down, invest in a compost bin for your yard to turn your kitchen and garden scraps into nutrient-rich mulch, and before you know it, you’ll be running a low-waste household.
Once you’re collecting energy through your solar panels and channeling it into the devices around your home, the next step is to make sure you’re using what you have as efficiently as possible, and that’s where energy management systems come in. With a constant influx of new developments in home automation, it’s getting easier all the time to stay on top of your electricity, gas and water usage. A good home automation system will tell you exactly how much of each commodity you’re using, so that you can cut back where it really matters.
In the age of sustainability, nothing could be more fashionable than eco-conscious home additions, so rather than investing in a costly new couch pre-summer, try a few of these long-term mods and experience the difference which can come from seemingly-small changes.