Your Guide to a Sustainable Home
April 11, 2018
Implementing a few sustainable practices in your home can have a big impact on the planet. From using green materials to build a new house to sharing some simple ways to reduce waste with your family, there are many steps you can take to make your household more sustainable. Whether you are hoping to do your part for the planet or simply to save a few dollars on your electrical bill, here are a few eco-friendly house ideas to consider implementing.
If you are building a new home, your sustainability efforts can start from the ground up. This includes choosing green materials to build with, implementing an eco friendly design, doing site assessments, and more. Harjo Construction provides sustainability consulting in the following areas:
- Fundamentals of sustainable building and design
- Energy-efficient design
- Green material selection
- Indoor air quality
- Sustainable job site operations
- And more!
Add Plants to Your Space
Anyone with a green thumb who is interested in eco-friendly homes should consider starting a small sustainable garden or implementing a living wall. Having even a small garden in your space can improve your air quality, improve aesthetics, and even give you some fresh produce to cook with. If you don’t have enough space for a garden, consider a living wall — a vertical garden on a building’s interior or exterior. Living walls can serve as elegant decor and also add oxygen and clean air to your space!
Implement Energy-Efficient Technology
Using energy-efficient appliances will lower your electric bill and have a positive impact on the environment. From replacing your old appliances with new, energy-efficient ones to swapping out your light bulbs for Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs), these small steps can make a big impact in the long run. Some practices you might consider implementing include:
- Installing low-flow shower heads and low-flush toilets to reduce the amount of water your household uses
- Equipping your home with ENERGY STAR Certified appliances to use less energy for the same appliance productivity (this can also save you money on your electrical bill!)
- Using CFL light bulbs, which will give your home the same amount of light with just one-fifth of the energy
Teach Your Family Simple Sustainable Practices
If you live in a sustainable building and have energy-efficient appliances, the final step to your eco-friendly household is maintaining ongoing sustainable habits in your home. Whether you live by yourself or with a large family, there are many simple practices you can implement. Try some of the following:
- Use natural resources first. This means maximizing natural light and opening windows for cooling as much as possible before you turn on lights and air conditioners.
- Avoid excess packaging. For foods such as yogurts and snack packs, opt for larger single units instead of many small units with lots of packaging. This is an easy way to reduce your waste!
- Take shorter showers to use less water.
- Eco-commute when possible. This includes walking, biking, or taking public transportation to your destinations. If that is not possible in your area, consider starting a carpool to cut down on vehicle emissions.
- Bring reusable bags to the grocery store to eliminate waste from shopping bags.
- Use reusable water bottles instead of buying plastic ones to reduce waste and energy consumption.
At Harjo Construction, we believe in creating sustainable homes in our communities. To learn more about our work, visit our portfolio. For more of our thoughts on sustainability, check out our guide to a sustainable remodel.
Image credit: Floraformdesign.com
Floraform Design is a Seattle-based company specializing in sustainable vertical garden design, installation, and maintenance. Living walls allow us to incorporate the beauty of nature into our living and working spaces so that we can reap the benefits of cleaner air, improved well-being, and increased productivity and creativity. A densely-planted vertical garden is a space-efficient answer to ensuring that green is the foundation of a sustainable design.