Hello My Lovelies,
Hope Everyone is well. We have just arrived home from our holiday in Vietnam and had a fantastic time. It’s really fascinating to see how others live, especially in a third world country where resources are limited. This got me thinking about how wasteful we can be in the west and brainstorming ways to counteract this.
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If you love the feeling of using less energy at home and reducing your energy costs, keep reading. As a co-parent in a large family, this is something I definitely think and worry about.
We’re not just talking about our own energy, even if it is great to just relax on the couch on a Sunday arvo – the energy that your home is using can certainly be reduced and save you a small fortune at the same time.
Image via: Pexels
Making sure that your home is as energy-efficient and as sustainable as possible doesn’t actually have to cost as much as you might think.
It’s all about reducing waste, eating short-travelled food, and, yes, finding a better source of energy. While some of it is for free, other steps might require that you make a small investment initially.
The great news is that solar panels have become quite a lot cheaper than they were back in the day and they are now much more affordable, especially with the government rebates available.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of research into this lately. When we moved into our house I was pleased to see the solar panels on the roof but pretty disappointed to find out a year later that they hadn’t generated any energy or discounts because they weren’t even connected!!
If you haven’t thought about installing them lately, it’s definitely time to have another look and see if the prices have come down.
Here is a handful of other excellent ways to make your home a better place to live in and a healthier place for mother earth.
That way, you can charge your own batteries at home with a clean conscience, knowing that your home is using renewable energy, saving water, and feeding you extremely short-travelled food as well.
Start by cutting down on your electricity bills:
Keeping it cool
If you’re not quite ready to install those solar panels yet, you can always find a couple of other ways to save energy at home and save yourself a lot of money in the long run.
With the extreme heat we’ve been having lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve been running your A/C on high – but it’s not great for the environment or for your hip pocket.
Make it easier for your home to stay cool naturally by covering up the windows when the sun hits hard, use outdoor shading, and keep the heat from sneaking into your house.
It’s probably the last thing you want to do when it’s so sunny and bright outside, but that wonderful light is only going to heat your home up to the degree that you’re going to have to turn on the air con.
Check out this article for excellent tips on energy saving window covers – it makes a huge difference.
Thin, old windows are also your worst enemy during both the cold and the hot season. Double glazing is costly, but really worth it if you can afford the investment; by keeping all the elements outside, it protects your home from being affected and will inadvertently save you money on other related maintenance costs.
Consider replacing your old windows for some thicker ones so that your home can stay cool in the summer – and start retaining heat as soon as winter hits again.
Find ways to keeping warm during winter
Speaking of winter; it might not feel like it quite yet, but it’s not far away. That’s why you need to think about other ways to keep it nice and warm as soon as the sun heads north again.
If you have managed to replace those windows, you should be able to see the benefits almost immediately which will benefit you regardless of the season.
Think about other ways that cold air can sneak its way into your home too; with thicker curtains and a few rugs laid out when it’s freezing out, you’ll be able to sustain the heat indoors.
Depending on the season, you may want to think about how you lay out your furniture. For example, in winter make your living room cosy and warm by putting furniture close together, not placing your couch in front of a window, rugs on the floor etc. In your bedroom, put the flanelette sheets on and an extra blanket on your bed. It’s definitely a lot better for the environment – and, of course, your wallet.
The good old fashion way of just putting on an extra layer of clothes will also make it a bit easier to stay warm rather than turning the heat up a notch too.
Just put something warm on, trackies are my personal favourite at home in winter and throw another blanket on and you’ll be perfectly warm and cosy without having to pay any extra energy costs.
Plants can actually help out too
This might seem like an odd tip but bare with me; plants are wonderful in terms of creating fresh and breathable air for us humans, but they can actually help you out in terms of saving on that electricity bill as well.
Shrubs, trees and bushes create shade around your house which will definitely come in handy during the warmer months.
Image link: Pexels
The trick is to plant them close to your home so that you’re able to enjoy the added insulation and beauty they give you for free. Plus, they’re going to attract cute birds that can wake you up in the morning and make you enjoy this whole sustainability project a bit more.
If you manage to invite a few of them inside, they will also help you to keep the air nice and fresh. Go for plants such as snake plants and others that are known for being low-maintenance while also keeping your air clean – that way, you won’t have to feed them too much water but they’ll still do their job properly.
Create a compost in your garden
While we’re on the topic of plants and gardens, it’s good to keep in mind that creating a compost pile in the corner of your garden is great for the environment too.
You’ll be following the rules of recycling impeccably and can use it to keep those insulating plants nice and healthy as well.
While it might not sound as fancy as a shiny and expensive solar panel, or even that dog generating electricity for your outside light on a treadmill, sustainable homes are actually all about compost piles – and you’ll feel like you’re winning this sustainability game in no time.
Sure, it’s not going to lower your electricity bill much but it’s going to do a lot more in order to help the environment and even your wallet.
You’re saving money on fertilizer because all of this decomposed organic material is like wonder juice for your lawn when the spring arrives.
It’s also limiting the amount of waste you’re creating on a daily basis as you’re just giving it back to nature – and that’s awesome!
A small corner will do just fine, especially in this day and age where we are all so limited for space, keep an eye on it to see when your compost has started to turn into soil. When it smells like and looks like soil, it’s ready to use.
Have a look at this article to learn more about creating a compost pile in your garden and get started while it’s still nice and warm outside.
Remember to save water
With the crisp, dry months we’ve been having, it’s no wonder if you’ve been looking for ways to save water at home already. It can be scarce and the better you are at keeping your showers short and not wasting water, the happier mother nature will be with you and your household.
Luckily, there are many ways to do this besides just installing a water saving showerhead – although this is also a great idea.
You could start by buying rainwater tanks, so your household can sustain itself – and so that no drop of water goes to waste when it’s first raining.
It’s the kind of stuff that makes it a lot easier to run a sustainable home that is actually putting in a decent effort to be good for our environment.
You’ll definitely have the greenest home on the block too, especially if you manage to do everything else on the list as well.
Another benefit of saving water is that you also save on electricity costs associated with heating water so it’s a win win!!.
Try out that eco-friendly option from now on and if you wash your clothes in warm water, do you really need to?. I’m no domestic goddess (if my mum was still here she would be smirking at me right about now), but I have always washed in cold water. It’s much easier on your clothes, cheaper & there is no danger of shrinking garments.
You’ll be saving money on electricity as well as clothes all while also saving the environment right in your own home. Who knew that an energy efficient home could be so easy to achieve??!!.