After years, decades and even centuries of neglect, we’ve finally started paying the necessary attention to the state our environment is currently in. We’ve been acting recklessly for way too long, actively destroying our only living environment that it’s a real wonder that we’ve only recently decided to change things up and do something about it.
Lately, people have started embracing the new way of living, accepting the green mindset as much as possible and finally changing things for the better. With the green way of life gaining such a huge momentum, we’ve now started to turn to our homes and inspect all the ways we can reduce our carbon footprint and minimize the negative effect we have on our immediate surroundings.
However, like with any major lifestyle changes, it all starts with baby steps that are bound to lead us eventually to a greener future. So, if you also want to make sure that you lead a better, healthier lifestyle, here’s what you can do.
No matter if we’re talking about your home or the choices you make on the daily basis, embracing sustainability should be your first step. However, when it comes to our homes, we should try to implement as many sustainable materials and solutions in its design as we can. So, for starters, when remodeling or especially if you’re building your home from scratch, use all the sustainable building materials you can get your hands on.
Now, it’s important to keep in mind that the sustainability of a particular material is defined not only by its efficiency and eco-friendliness but also by the amount of impact it has on the environment itself. Of course, the lower the impact, the more sustainable the material is. Therefore, when choosing the materials think natural, durable, recyclable, reusable and low environmental impact.
Now, it’s important to understand that the transition to a completely green way of living is not going to be an easy one; at least not initially. However, it’s also important to understand that this transition should not be considered a sacrifice as it will present its benefits in a very short time period. Sure, for example, installing solar panels on your home and completely transferring to this power source may be somewhat expletive at first, but the money you spend on installing them, you’ll save on the energy bill. After a while, you’ll be using energy that’s completely free, green and, most importantly, renewable.
Also, by upgrading your window and door treatments – or by even replacing them entirely, as well as your insulation, you’ll save a significant sum on your heating bill. Finally, use what nature has to offer – literally – and plant a tree that loses its leaves in winter on the sunny side of your home. This way, you will have a perfect shade during summer and plenty of sun during winter – which will, in turn, reduce the necessity for air conditioning even further.
Aside from all the structural changes you can opt for to make your home as eco-friendly as possible, there are some things you can do that are seemingly more in the domain of interior design, but that will also boost the sustainability of your home. Yes, we’re talking about all the ways you can use interior decor to your advantage and make it serve a dual purpose. Here’s what we’re talking about.
Hardwood floors, for example, are a beautiful flooring option, they go well with almost any style and they are very eco-friendly because they also act as additional insulation. If you top them off with an amazing statement jute rug, you will be left with flooring that’s not only very green but that looks simply breathtaking as well. Next, layered window treatments will also provide you with additional insulation while providing your room with more depth and dimension. Finally, consider creating a vertical wall garden in your kitchen where you’ll be able to grow your own herbs and spices while providing the wall the garden is mounted on with an additional layer of insulation as well.
Structural things to keep in mind
While it is true that the smaller the house, the smaller the environmental footprint it leaves, that doesn’t mean you should reduce the square footage of your home. What it means is that you should always opt for making your house tall, rather than wide.
Therefore, when building a home, build up and opt for as many open floor plans as you can incorporate into the design. Furthermore, try to make as many windows as you can which will reduce the necessity to use artificial light and thus save energy. Finally, opt for spiral staircase rather than the traditional one, as it significantly less interrupts the natural light and air flow.
As you can see, embracing the green lifestyle while still being able to create a luxurious living space is not difficult at all, as long as you know what you should be focusing your efforts on. So, get inspired and introduce some changes to both your lifestyle and your living environment today.