8 easy steps to creating the perfect eco-friendly home
8 Easy Steps to Creating the Perfect Eco-Friendly Home
home | Wednesday, 26 Jul 2017
As eco-awareness increases, we start paying attention to different ways of improving our home's eco-friendliness. The best part? It's not just the environment that benefits when you choose eco homes, as eco-homes environmentally can also save you money and improve your health. All you need to do is make a few conscious decisions and rest assured you’ll provide a safe and happy home for you and your family.
Here are 8 easy ways to turn your home into an eco-friendly haven.
Grow plants indoors
Growing plants indoors is a great way to clean the air by acting as a filter for any common pollutants in the home. For starters, use low-maintenance plants such as orchids, lilies, and snake plants, so you don’t have too worry too much about watering them.
When you’ve cultivated a green thumb, planting your own herbs and vegetables is a great way to purify the air while saving some money when you prepare a meal. Plus, knowing where your food comes from ensures you’re not ingesting harmful pesticides used in mass-produced crops.
Herbs like basil, curry leaves and ulam leaves and vegetables like kangkung are hardy crops and are easy to cultivate even in small spaces, like a balcony or a verandah.
Changing your lightbulbs
Changing your lightbulbs can reduce your energy consumption for lighting to decrease by up to 75%. Look out for cool new bulbs that are also cool in the sense that they produce 90% less heat. This makes for less stuffy rooms and also less need for air conditioning. Wins all around!
There's a bit of debate on whether LED or CFL lightbulbs are the gold (or shall we say green) standard. Both are a substantial improvement from incandescents so just make sure you do your research and find out what are the limitations and conditions you need before you make your choice. When installed properly with the right fixtures, the risk of electric fires due to overheating bulbs is greatly reduced.
Unplug electrical devices when not in use
You know those little red lights that tell you your TV or monitor is poised to spring to life whenever you need it? They might be convenient but they actually cost you more than you might think in energy consumption.
Electrical usage makes up a large portion of your home utility bill. So, a simple habit to cultivate is to turn off any power chargers for your TV, computer, phone chargers and kitchen appliances when they’re not in use. This will help you reduce energy wastage, your electrical bill, and most importantly, the risk of a fire.
As an effective safety measure, consider Allianz Smart Home Cover to protect you from these potential fire hazards. Set up your plan and customize the components so that you get covered for what you are concerned.
Fix leaks in a timely manner
According to a research from Anta Plumbing, something as simple as a leaky faucet or a worn toilet flapper can waste an astounding 10,000 gallons of water per year. Plus, burst pipes and leaks could lead to rust, mold and damaged floorboards which could be hazardous to your health and safety.
Although simple plumbing problems can often be fixed by homeowners, ensure that you contact a professional plumbing company for more serious issues. It is also a good idea to have your plumbing inspected annually to ensure that there aren’t any hidden leaks.
When a pipe bursts, it can cause a lot of damage to your home and its contents so you're going to want to get it fixed as soon as possible. A comprehensive home insurance should cater for this and you can learn more about different kinds of home insurance here or find out about Allianz Smart Home Cover which lets you add on HomeFix as protection against leaks and other home maintenance requirements whether you're a homeowner or a renter.
Composting is a fun and easy way to reduce waste and level up your gardening skills. Instead of leaving trash around the house which could attract bugs and various diseases, composting helps you reduce landfill waste, enrich the soil of your home, and reduce overall greenhouse emissions such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and methane.
Switch to eco-friendly cleansing supplies
Soaps and suds from detergents can sometimes cause blockages to pipes and drains. Plus, detergents that contain perfumes, colourants and brighteners biodegrade poorly and are associated with allergic reactions and skin and eye irritation.
Diluted vinegar can be used as a natural way to kill bacteria, germs and mold. Because vinegar is so acidic, it can counteract some icky buildups, dissolve soap scum, brines left by hard water, and glue left behind by stickers. However, be careful to avoid surfaces which can be damaged by acidic cleaners.
Don’t feel comfortable having everything smelling like pickles? There are plenty of eco-friendly cleaning supplies available in the market for cleaning everything from porcelain, to linen, to steel.
Use eco-friendly paints
Eco-friendly paints always score over traditional ones that use a great deal of chemical components. Traditional paints typically cause burning eyes, irritated skin, minor burns, headaches, dizziness, and even asthma. Thus, eco-paints which are composed of natural ingredients and less volatile compounds are safer options for you and family.
While the price of eco paints may turn some people off initially, in the long run it can actually be more cost efficient to use them instead of more conventional paints. After all, overexposure to VOCs in paint can send you to an unexpected trip to the hospital because of health-related concerns. In addition, the general quality of eco paint is more superior to its chemical counterparts. It has been proven to have greater colour retention, viscosity, abrasion resistance and paint coverage.
Use natural repellents
Modern man-made pesticides are often used to minimize pest infestations. And we’re not just talking about garden produce, but also comfort as well as safety in our own homes. Progressing to organic repellents is a wise step to potentially help reduce the chances of disease or disease acceleration. Going organic also decreases soil chemical contamination and creates an overall "return to nature" factor, that brings back nutrients and helpful organisms, while yielding clean produce.
For starters, pandan leaf for cockroaches, cucumbers for ants, lemongrass for mosquitos. Eucalyptus, mint, and lemongrass oil are just a few traditional methods which are famous all-rounder pest repellents.
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