A sustainable home means less environmental impact and less waste. It contributes to the optimization of resources. The increased interest in this topic has allowed for progressively more developments towards the implementation of more eco-friendly design in sustainable buildings.
You do not need to be an architect to choose to live sustainably. All it takes is a small contribution to make the world a better place for both ourselves and future generations. Everyone can create a positive impact on the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.
Opting for a sustainable lifestyle does not mean that you need a new build, there are many ways in which you can convert your existing home into a more sustainable space. Simply follow a few easy strategies to turn it into a small jewel of sustainability.
1. Choose the Most Suitable Hydraulic System
Plumbing is a world full of surprises and challenging technical terms. However, it is easy to see that not all pipes are the same. The installation of some of them involves excessive water consumption. The best advice is to get information regarding the latest technology with the help of a professional. The right plumbing can make a huge difference in conserving water!
2. Taps: Are They Sustainable?
If you thought the plumbing was enough, you were wrong. Never underestimate taps! A sustainable home requires taps with aerators. This accessory reduces the flow of the taps and, therefore, guarantees a reduction in consumption. It is a special seal applied to the waterspout. It is equipped with a series of blades arranged in a radial pattern, which facilitate a more fluid and uniform jet. The aerator is an accessory fixed to the water breaker. Inside it, there is a set of overlapping nets that allow the formation of air in the pipe. This air mixes with the water and produces a softer, more uniform, lesser flow than standard taps. Indeed, this mechanism will bring about a considerable reduction in waste.
3. A Zero-Waste Flush is Sustainable
Following in the wake of plumbing and water systems, we cannot fail to mention the leading source of water waste: flushing. In particular, a large family can face excessive water consumption due solely to flushing the toilet. All the more reason, a sustainable home can be made even more so with a specific flush. In fact, there are certain flushing mechanisms designed to have a reduced capacity. This guarantees immediate and essential preservation on water savings.
4. Bathtubs? The Enemies of Sustainability
Did you know that bathtubs consume on average 36 gallons of water? An average shower drains about 5 gallons a minute? Well, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, there is no more deleterious device for a sustainable home than a bathtub. True, a hot bath may be relaxing but is it really necessary?
5. Showers: Beware of “Normal” Ones
Although showers are a better solution than bathtubs, you still have to be careful. In fact, like taps and pipes, they are not all the same! When it comes to using a sustainable shower for your home, it is essential to choose the right shower head. The correct showerhead can reduce the amount of water used; ensuring savings and minimizing environmental impact. When looking for a new shower head, make sure to do your research and choose the right fit for your family as there are many on the market!
6. Reducing Electrical Use
This is a minor expedient, but if not followed, can cause enormous consumption. First off, it is necessary to pay attention to the time in which the electrical devices are used. It is especially crucial for those with high power consumption. In this sense, one must choose the right electrical equipment, starting with light bulbs. These should all be low consumption bulbs, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although they can initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, during their lifetime they will save you money as they use less energy and effectively last longer.
7. Reducing the Cost of Electricity
With regards to the point covered above – number six on this list – it is necessary to clarify the cost of electricity. In a sustainable home, a great deal can be saved by installing appliances that use alternative energy sources. The most classic example of this is photovoltaics, which uses incident solar energy to produce the necessary electricity. Although, there is also the solar thermal system, which meets the needs of heating water, or the geothermal system, which provides heat from underground. Therefore, there are many solutions out there; it is important when looking for alternative energy sources to inquire and look for the one most suitable to meet the needs of your home.
8. Heating and Cooling Your Sustainable Home
Temperature management in the home is one of the most sensitive issues in terms of eco-sustainability. First and foremost, the temperature– hot or cold– must not be lost. This is in fact made possible by choosing the right insulating frames. Next, it is a good idea to equip oneself with efficient, sustainable air conditioners, boilers, and heat pumps. In other words, these devices must be able to optimize their energy consumption. Another alternative could be automatic and programmable thermostats. These heat only when necessary and maintain an off position at all other times. Finally, the tools must be maintained to ensure that they are always in perfect working order.
9. Heating Water Without Waste
A house is sustainable not only by its accessories and tools but also by our habits and behavior. For example, to heat, it is always necessary to choose the boiler rather than the water heater. Unlike the latter, the former will only heat the correct amount of water. In this way, significant electrical and water waste are avoided. A further solution could be to use a solar thermal system to always have hot water at zero impact. There is not one better sustainable choice than the other. It is necessary to consider which one is best suited to your home and your needs.
10. A Sustainable Garden
You do not need to have a green thumb to achieve a sustainable garden! You just need to follow a few simple rules. First, it is necessary to respect the naturalness of the chosen plant species and to choose variances that work in the space you have, i.e., more sun versus shade, temperature range, rainy or dry natural environment. In this way, you are not only saving on how much you must care for the garden but also on water consumption. Additionally, it is equally important to opt for rainwater recovery and solar lighting systems.
These are a few of the significant changes we can all make by simple choices we take in pertaining to our homes that can improve quality of life. Everyone is capable of taking their small steps in building a more sustainable world. Small choices lead to big changes!