How to create an environmentally friendly home you will love
From social media to newspaper articles, the world is becoming more and more environmentally conscious. Whether it is cutting out the use of plastic straws in restaurants or introducing paper bags at supermarkets, everyone is trying to do their bid to make the world a better place for future generations. But what can you do? Have you ever heard of "Charity begins at home"?
Here's how you can create an environmentally friendly home that you will love and be proud of:
Invest in environmentally friendly bulbs
You can start with the simple task of changing the light bulbs in your home to more efficient ones. Light-emitting diode (LED) and compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs are better for the environment as they use just a fraction of the energy that is consumed by incandescent bulbs. These bulbs will last much longer - between 20,000-50,000 hours.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Electrical home appliances can account for over 30% of your monthly utility bill. These are the most common residential energy consuming appliances:
- Central Air Conditioner: 1450 kWh/month
- Refrigerator: 205 kWh/month
- Dryer: 75 kWh/month
- Oven Range: 58 kWh/month
- Lighting 4-5 room household: 50 kWh/month
- Dishwasher: 30 kWh/month
- Television: 27 kWh/month
- Microwave: 16 kWh/month
- Washing Machine: 9 kWh/month
As a result of these estimations, many manufacturers have identified the need to produce more energy-efficient appliances. Appliances with smart technology are designed to utilize minimum energy to complete the required task. They can further optimize efficiency and send alerts if something is off track.
Installing solar panels in your home
It is essential for an environmentally friendly home to have solar panel features. Initially, the installation of solar panels will cost you a good amount of money, however, it is an investment that will save you tons in the long run. With loadshedding being a common occurrence in South Africa solar energy will allow your home to have electricity even during a blackout. Some households have opted to be 100% off Eskom's grid due to the uncertainty of loadshedding and the cost-effectiveness attached since the sun is the major source of energy.
Opt for water-based paints
Water-based paints are more eco-friendly than oil-based for many reasons. Aside from water-based paints offering a better variety of colours, they have zero or low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), while oil-based paints release high levels into the atmosphere. Water-based paint has less odour, dries quicker, and is simple to clean up. In contrast, oil-based paints require turpentine or mineral spirits to clean up, releases strong harmful chemical odours, and offer poor UV durability as it becomes chalky and fade faster.
Make your own cleaning detergents
Everyone has their own favourite detergents and cleaning products to help get rid of the toughest dirt. But, have you ever considered how toxic these detergents are to your home, family, and ultimately the environment? Did you know that once these toxins are washed down the drain they go into the water supply, which can take a lot more energy to purify the water again at treatment works? While there are many different methods, steam cleaners, bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice or vinegar can be used in place of bleaches and detergent. Not only will they kill bacteria but also leave your home grease and odour free.
While these tasks may seem overwhelming, they are the first steps to making your home more eco-friendly. Contact RealNet Watermeyer today if you are in the market for a more environmentally friendly home.