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The scope of our lives has been redefined in terms of what we are going to leave behind. In the broader sense, this is a reckoning for us to reconsider how we live; how we spend, consume, and the choices we make. Something that has become the center of much dialogue is the need to live sustainably – which in a broader sense makes one rethink the myriad of choices we make, especially with regards to consumption. Therefore, in the twenty-first century, it’s about living sustainably. As we all are too familiar with the saying ‘Charity begins at home’, we must first think of how we can create our living spaces sustainable as we shift towards eco-friendly homes.
Living sustainably might seem like a drastic adaptation, however, you can start small. But it is essential that you move towards creating your homes more eco-friendly.
Living Sustainably: Eco-friendly Homes
You can make your homes eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable by following these simple steps.
Use Sustainable Energy Solutions
The first thing you can do to make your home eco-friendly is to use sustainable and/or renewable energy options. In Pakistan, the summer season lasts for a good 8 to 9 months, and so installing solar panels is the best sustainable option. Apart from providing energy for your needs throughout the day, the solar-powered batteries are able to cater to your needs for much of the evening and night time. With fairly low maintenance costs, you can easily shift to a more renewable method of consumption.
The same is true for wind turbines as well, however, their usage remains limited and can only be installed along coastal areas. These renewable energy solutions can be easily installed in a way that the houses are sustainable to produce their own electricity.
Insulation for Eco-friendly Homes
Another way of saving up on energy consumption, is to insulate your homes. This will significantly bring down your energy consumption, as your home will be much more suited to controlling the temperature. You can find more about how insulation makes your life more convenient in this blog.
Pakistan’s metropolises are growing rapidly, resulting in the heart-breaking takeover of nature by concrete jungles. These concrete jungles absorb and trap heat, significantly raising the overall temperature of the surroundings. For this reason, studies have shown that if all the roofs of the house are painted white, the temperature of the city can significantly be lowered. This is a simple measure that can be easily adopted.
Moreover, in your house, try to create a green space, wherever you can. You can start a simple garden or kitchen garden, as per the space provided and your needs. Small acts go a long way. Moreover, you should plant native species of plants.
Apart from lawns (inside and outside the house), people are now creating green spaces on the roofs of their house. This is a fairly new idea, but easily applicable if you use the right technique. These rooftop gardens are not just a millennial thing, but a necessity to balance rising temperatures. You can easily find instructions online, and there is no need to use faux grass, when you can grow it yourself. On the roof of your house, which largely remains unused, you can also place clay pots of fruit trees and plants, if you are not adaptable to the idea of building a rooftop garden.
Moreover, you can also go green by reducing your use of single-use plastic. The most common practice that can be abolished in this regard is the use of plastic shoppers, and use biodegradable options.
There are a variety of ways you can build your house in a sustainable way. While this applies to houses that will be constructed in the future, you can take inspiration from the list and make small adjustments to your built and lived-in home.
The wood that you use in your home construction or for décor can also be reclaimed to make it a more sustainable choice. You can also use wood from your old furniture and repurpose it into something new.
For your windows, use low-emittance glass, specifically if your house is located in a warmer region. This type of glass is especially beneficial for reducing heat consumption inside the house and serves as an insulator.
Moreover, a lot of studies have shown that building on a smaller area of the residential plot saves up on energy. However, as building and construction regulations dictate, this can not be done for smaller plots in Pakistan. If your plot is bigger, you can reserve more area for green space, as compared to constructed area.
Moreover, ensure that the architectural design of your house ensures maximum ventilation and natural lighting.
Smart technology is all the rage these days, and rightly so. You can trust the technology to automatically adjust your thermostat temperatures.
Moreover, choosing LED and compact fluorescent light bulbs will also help you save on energy costs. In addition to this, choose electrical appliances from Energy Star, which is a label for appliances that are termed efficient by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA).