Greener living is becoming more of a priority for families across the globe for a myriad of reasons. Thanks to student climate strikes taking place internationally, younger generations are more motivated than ever before to develop eco-conscious habits. In fact, parents may find that their kids jump right into the process of greenifying the family home, displaying a dedication to do their bit.
But what are the most sustainable methods for reducing your household’s overall carbon footprint? We’re here to answer just that question today, with 6 quick and easy lifestyle tips for making your home more energy efficient and eco-friendly to boot.
1. Swap out your light bulbs, fixtures, and appliances
The first thing you’ll want to consider is how much energy is required to run all the lighting and appliances throughout your home. Your home could be experiencing energy drains through the use of outdated appliances or even outdated power outlets and wall fixtures. In the context of the latter, it’s best to consult with a licensed electrician to ensure that your home’s power outlets and fixtures can be upgraded with minimal fuss.
Your home’s built-in appliances (i.e. your dishwasher, oven, stovetop, and range hood) will also likely require some expert assistance when it comes to managing these bulky installations. As for your home’s lighting, any outdated incandescent light bulbs in your home can easily be swapped out for modern LED lights. You may even opt to swap out all your bulbs for smart bulbs that are accompanied by dimmer remotes or can be made dimmable by using smart home apps on your phone.
2. Swap out heating and cooling appliances
Yes, technically your heating and cooling systems are also considered to be ‘fixed appliances’, in your home. But as these systems are more likely to be the main culprits when it comes to your home’s overall energy consumption, it’s well worth taking some extra time when assessing their overall performance and energy efficiency.
When upgrading your home’s HVAC systems, there are some factors you’ll need to keep in mind. First of all, you’ll want to ensure that the size and style of the HVAC unit is suitable for your home. If you’re living in a smaller unit in the inner city, for instance, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll need the power and output of a ducted HVAC system. Although ducted heating and cooling can be more energy efficient, these systems are complicated to install and can ultimately be impractical for smaller properties. If you’re only looking to regulate temperatures in one or two rooms, then a smaller split system will be sure to do the trick.
3. Update your home insulation
Regardless of what heating and cooling systems you have installed in your home, there’s no denying that one of the simplest ways to cut your household’s carbon footprint clean in half is to assess your use of heaters and AC units. Overrunning heating and cooling systems can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to your home’s utility bills over the course of a year, alongside greatly contributing to your home’s overall energy consumption habits.
With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure that your home is as comfortable as possible without having to run heating and cooling during winter or summer months. This can be achieved by upgrading your home’s wall, ceiling, and floor insulation.
Thankfully, there are many different kinds of home insulation materials that are naturally effective when it comes to retaining heat during the winter months or even reflecting external heat during summer. Bulk insulation for retaining heat during winter is available in the form of glass wool, cellulose fibres, foam insulation, and other organic and inorganic materials. Similarly, reflective foil insulation can be a valuable asset for properties that are located in regions that are likely to experience higher temperatures during the summer months.
4. Design a self-sufficient home with renewables
One surefire method of making your home more eco-friendly is working towards self-sufficiency. This means that your household can create its own food and perhaps even its own energy. Families can grow an edible garden in their backyard or even on balcony spaces to help easily add some locally sourced fruits and vegetables to their diet without even having to splurge on their grocery shopping.
As for being self-sufficient when it comes to your home’s energy, solar panels are becoming a more feasible investment for families of all shapes and sizes. If you have the roof space for a couple of panels, we highly recommend booking yourself a consultation today. By investing in renewable energy sources for your home, you’ll be able to reduce your utility bills over the foreseeable future and perhaps even supplement your household income by selling solar energy back to local energy companies.
5. Revisit your laundry habits
Washing machines and dryers can also be notorious energy guzzlers, which is why it’s well worth reviewing your family’s laundry habits and finding ways to streamline this routine process as well. For starters, setting your washing machine to cold cycle settings wherever possible can help reduce the overall energy consumption of your laundry habits.
Many eco-conscious families are also either using their dryer increasingly minimally, or even doing away with their dryer altogether and opting to air dry their clothes and sheets by installing a larger, covered clothesline in their backyard. Drying your clothes and sheets less won’t just be great for the environment, but it could also support the longevity of these items as well. Dryers can easily wear clothes and underwear out a lot faster than air drying.
6. Reduce your household waste
Finally, one of the most powerful methods at your disposal when it comes to reducing your household’s carbon footprint, is to just try and get your curbside bins as empty as possible come bin collection every week. Less rubbish means that your home will be contributing less to local waste disposal centres, which naturally utilise a lot of energy when processing household waste.
You can reduce your plastic waste by opting for products wrapped in paper and cardboard when doing your weekly shop. As processed foods are more likely to come wrapped in plastic, you’ll find that this small lifestyle adjustment could even boost the health and wellbeing of your family too. Swap out supermarket store loaf of bread for something that’s been freshly baked at your local bakery, and opt to buy your produce at wholefood markets rather than pre-sliced and wrapped in plastic.
Composting any food and garden waste can also be a fantastic way of cutting down on your home’s weekly waste production. Your composting can also be used to feed your garden beds and perhaps even your edible garden too!
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to decrease your household’s carbon footprint. Whether your use all of these tips or just a handful, you’ll be able to see some positive change in your household’s energy usage, and perhaps even experience some undeniable improvements to you and your family’s personal lifestyle and daily habits.