What Does it Mean to Have a Sustainable Lifestyle?
A sustainable lifestyle is one that prioritizes activities, materials, and practices that are environmentally friendly. People who live a sustainable lifestyle go out of their way to reduce the amount of physical waste and energy waste associated with their way of living. The easiest place to begin living a more sustainable lifestyle is at your own home because you have control over just about everything.
You decide where your energy and home goods are sourced. You decide what appliances to purchase and how often they run. And you decide what gets thrown in the trash and what gets reused. This level of control makes it easier to transition to a more sustainable lifestyle.
There are several reasons you should adjust your lifestyle to be kinder to the environment. The first of these benefits is fairly obvious. You’ll be doing your part to protect the environment. We all share this planet, and we all feel the pain of pollution. Protecting the environment is a responsibility that people of all walks of life share. By living a more sustainable lifestyle you’ll help make the world a safer place for everyone.
Secondly, you can actually save money by living a more sustainable lifestyle. Many eco-friendly decisions are just as kind to your wallet as they are to the environment. For example, using reclaimed materials during residential construction can help reduce the amount of investment needed to get the raw materials you need such as wood for flooring.
Additionally, environmentally friendly home products oftentimes run much more efficiently. This means that even in situations where green products are more expensive up front, they can end up paying for themselves within a few months.
How Can Your Dream Home Match That Lifestyle?
Every person’s journey to living a more sustainable life will be different depending on their individual circumstance. Some people may have a large budget that allows them to install more expensive environmentally friendly solutions such as solar panels. Others will have to find cheaper more creative solutions for their homes. Fortunately, you can begin making a difference without the need for major investments. Here are a few ways to make your dream home support a sustainable lifestyle for everyone.
Most of the materials thrown out during the home renovation process can be reused. This includes raw materials such as wood or stone for flooring and countertops, as well as entire features such as doors or lighting fixtures. And these reused or reclaimed materials can cost about half as much as those same materials would when purchased new from a home goods store.
Your contractor may even be able to provide you with reclaimed materials that are left over from previous projects. This will not only lower the cost of the materials themselves but also cut down on the amount of physical waste that takes years to deteriorate in landfills.
You should also try to source these materials locally if at all possible. Purchasing a new eco-friendly product to add to your home is great, but many new products still have environmental concerns attached to them. For instance, if reclaimed wood needs to be transported across the country before it can be installed in your home, then it may not be as kind to the environment as you intended it to be. In many cases, it can actually be more environmentally friendly to buy materials that are locally sourced than it is to ship a new eco-friendly product.
Make Your Home Energy Efficient
Our homes’ energy consumption is the largest generally the largest contributor to pollution that we have direct control over. Making a home more energy efficient will help protect the environment and also save money in the long run. There are three primary ways we can make our home more sustainable: the lighting, the insulation, and the appliances.
Switching to more efficient lighting is the easiest way to shrink a home’s carbon footprint. Skylights and windows can replace artificial lighting in many parts of the home if your budget allows you to add them. If you want more sustainable lighting on a budget, then you should consider switching to LED lights. LED lights cost more than traditional bulbs initially, but they are much more efficient and generally pay for themselves within a few months by saving you money on your electricity bill.
Another major way our homes waste energy is through poor insulation. Poor insulation allows a great deal of the hot or cool air our air conditioner creates to flow out of the house. This causes our air conditioner to work overtime to keep our homes comfortable. Additional insulation can help keep a house at the desired temperature without constantly running the air conditioning. A cheaper way of improving a home’s insulation is resealing all of the house’s windows and doors.
Finally, you should consider your home’s appliances and their impact on the environment. Older appliances tend to be more inefficient, which leads to wasted water or electricity. If large appliances, like washers and driers, are too expensive for your budget, then look into smaller appliances like a smart thermostat or low-flow showerhead. These appliances are generally less expensive and can still help your home run more efficiently.