Interior trends may come and go, but one thing will never go out of style: eco-friendliness. And even though it seems like a lot of (expensive) work, the truth is there are many easy and fun ways to take care of the environment and conserve both energy and money.
Besides TV, there is one thing that is constantly turned on in our living rooms – the light. There are two ways to save energy in this area. Number one is to replace your old incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s or LED’s and automatically save 66% of energy, while number two is to rely more on sunlight. Turn the lights off during the day and open the blinds to let the sunshine in. This will save you up to 10 percent of energy.
Next, try sing multi socket extension leads instead of single socket and turn them off when you aren’t using them. The same goes for TV – instead of keeping it on standby, unplug it when nobody’s home.
During winter, use logs that are made out of recycled coffee grounds rather than wooden logs for your fireplace. They burn cleaner and produce far less carbon monoxide and creosote.
Finally, if you are going shopping for a new furniture pieces or rugs, make sure they are made of all-natural fibers and 100 percent recyclable.
If you are thinking full kitchen renovation, firstly consider these materials: bamboo (grows really fast and there is so much of it), scrap wood (it is a quality hardwood that can look pretty good in any space) and cork (renewable, hypoallergenic, resistant to mold and sound-absorbing).
When it comes to the appliances, make sure they are all Energy Star qualified, because they use from 10 up to 50 percent less energy than standard ones.
Speaking of the appliances, one of the most important kitchen appliances is definitely the fridge. First, if your fridge is in the sunlight, note that it has to work a lot harder to keep cool, so move It into the shade, and make sure there is at least 8 cm between your fridge and your wall (this will ensure proper airflow).
Next, use glass, ceramic or silicone cookware because they require a smaller oven temperature. Speaking of ovens, make sure you use both racks at the same time while baking or roasting your food, and for warming up use the microwave.
When it comes to dishwasher, always run full load and instead of pre-rinsing, scrap the remaining food from the dishes and always use no heat drying.
There is one old trick a few people know and it involves ceiling fan. Believe it or not, but you can use it during winter as well because the warm air rises. To help the hot air circulate, just run the fan in the reverse at low speed.
Next, make sure you are sleeping on organic sheets such as organic cotton or bamboo and that your mattress is completely non-toxic.
Instead of using your dryer, hang dry your clothes. Next, save 40 percent of electricity by washing at 30 degrees Celsius. Also, switch to concentrated detergents because their packaging is reduced and transport costs are way lower.
Bonus: (since the utility room is perfect for these kind of instalments) if you already have solar panels, consider installing a Tesla Powerwall 2 that will store all of your excess solar power and save you tons of money.
Many of you are probably already familiar with bathroom tips, but let’s go through them once again, shall we?
Save water by turning off the tap while brushing your teeth and by rinsing your razor in a cup of warm water rather than under the tap.
Opt for recycled toilet paper and consider installing a low-flow toilet as well as low-flow showerhead.
Also, avoid humidity that will later cause mold by opening the windows regularly.
Finally, make sure you fix all the leaking taps and toilets in your home and avoid wasting around 800 litres per year.
Do you have some more tips you would like to share? Let us know.
Catherine is a passionate home design consultant from Melbourne. She loves making homes beautiful and buildings sustainable, but she also like sharing her advice and knowledge with people. That is why she is also a regular contributor to the Smoothdecorator blog. Besides all this, she loves reading and enjoys a superhero movie from time to time.