Guest post by Tony Mers
Living an eco-friendly lifestyle is essential in the modern era. Many people who want to live healthier lives and promote sustainability begin their eco-friendly journey by implementing small changes within their home.
Unfortunately, many people think of two versions of eco-friendly living: a cold, industrial building covered in solar panels, or a home akin to the ground floor of a rainforest (complete with compost piles in the corner of each room).
But this couldn't be further from the truth. In reality, environmentally-friendly living doesn't mean you have to undergo a complete lifestyle change when you want to support our planet and engage in sustainable efforts. Here are just some of the ways you can craft an eco-friendly house without sacrificing the comforts of home.
The best part of eco-friendly living is the impact it can have on your bank account. You worry about how much you'll pay in electricity and natural gas costs during the cold months of winter, but making simple home changes can help mitigate costs and improve the efficiency of your home. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy reports that more than 44% of your home energy use goes toward home heating and cooling. Luckily, there are a few ways to improve your home's energy use.
The simplest change you can make is installing attic insulation. It's estimated that properly insulated buildings can help lower CO2 emissions by nearly 780 million tons.
If you really want to improve the energy efficiency of your home, however, you should pair attic insulation with new window upgrades. Old homes with single panes simply don't insulate your home as well as newer models. This can lead to drafty rooms and higher energy bills as your HVAC struggles to keep up with inefficient windows. It might be a little more costly up front, but eco-friendly wooden window frames are sturdy, resilient, and more insulating than older models.
Fix your flooring
Did you know that bamboo flooring is an environmentally-friendly option that looks great and feels even better? Bamboo is a particularly sustainable option because it grows quickly and without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. It also results in higher yields in a smaller area than trees used for similar purposes. On top of that, bamboo also releases up to 35% more oxygen into the atmosphere than trees, mitigating the greenhouse gas emissions that are released during their cultivation, processing, and shipping.
If you want to upgrade your floors in the near future, hunting for bamboo flooring is the best way to encourage sustainable practices, both in the flooring industry and in your home. They can also be treated to give them the look you desire in your home.
Limit your light use
The lights in your home are undoubtedly beautiful, but turning them off when you leave the room is a great practice to follow. Even though it seems like you're only raising your electric bill minimally, the CO2 emissions used to produce that light in your home is being wasted unnecessarily if no one is occupying the space. Always turn off the lights when you exit a room.
You can take this a step further by opting for eco-friendly lighting options within your home. Replacing old, dim incandescent bulbs with LED options uses up to 75% less energy while offering a brighter light. This ambient lighting will create a better-looking room without the annoying hum that's associated with a dying incandescent bulb. LED light bulbs also last nearly 25 times longer than a traditional incandescent bulb, making this buy an investment instead of a purchase.
Stop wasting water
Is your toilet running? Then you better go catch it!
No, seriously. Go catch it. Wasting water is a serious environmental problem when our planet's groundwater supplies are running low. As low-flow toilets become increasingly prominent in the home market, installing this upgrade in your home will give you a better-looking, more efficient toilet. You can even choose toilets with different flow settings for number one and number two, accordingly.
Trying to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle doesn't mean that you have to give up the many comforts of home. When you want to make the switch to living more sustainably, try these tips, tricks, and upgrades to improve your life and help the planet.
Tony Mers is the website manager for Ambient Bamboo Flooring, which was formed in 2005, as one of the first companies in the world to specialize in strand-woven bamboo and eucalyptus flooring. These floors have an unparalleled reputation for hardness, eco-friendliness and affordability. All of Ambient’s floors are Lacey Act compliant, which ensures that they’re legally sourced with an eye towards the environment.
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