Sustainability 101: How to be an Eco-Friendly Homeowner?

eco-friendly home

Being the owner of a house and lot property is a dream of a lot of Filipinos. There are thousands of perks why people dream of becoming a homeowner, one of them is that you can do anything you want to your property because it is yours compared to living on a rental property as you don’t have much liberty to design and make changes to the structure and the area. But with the benefits of becoming a property owner, comes a lot of responsibilities as well. One of these responsibilities is to give back to our environment by choosing to live a sustainable life. In this article are some eco-friendly practices for every homeowner to make life more green and environmentally friendly.

Here are some advantages of making your home eco-friendly:

  1. Living in a green home makes air circulation more efficient and thermally comfortable
  2. It also reduces operating costs
  3. It reduces the usage of water as well
  4. It decreases the amount to pay on utility bills
  5. It also reduces the greenhouse gases (GHG) and helps protect the environment
  6. It gives your home a positive environmental footprint and decreases your carbon footprint
  7. It improves the quality of living inside your property
  8. Green homes potentially have a higher resale value
  9. Green homes encourage other people to be environmentally responsible

You see there are tons of benefits to living in a sustainable home and here are some ways you can start making your ordinary home a friend of the environment.

9 Ways to make your home eco-friendly

house, structure, real estate

There are a lot of methods to make your home eco-friendly, some of them you might already know, and some of them you would learn here for the first time. Making sure that your home is running on a nature-friendly routine doesn’t only make your household environmentally friendly, but it also gives you a lot of benefits as well such as saving money.

1. Installing solar panels for less energy usage

One of the characteristics of a sustainable home is being energy efficient. That is why it is becoming more and more popular to install solar panels to save energy. These energy-saving panels are a home feature that might seem expensive at first but is actually cost-effective in the long run.

Saving on electricity is important because people consume energy every day and almost the entire day.

Having them installed in your home is energy efficient because it reduces the energy consumption from your main energy service thus making your household use less energy.

You will definitely agree that your home’s energy bills mess up your monthly budget because it changes. In some months it goes higher, especially during the dry season, that’s why making use of solar power, which is renewable energy, to generate electricity is a great idea.

2. Reducing food waste

It is easier to just throw away any food excess such as vegetable and fruit peelings, but did you know that there is a smarter and more nature-safe way to dispose of your food waste?

Turning any food waste into compost is the right move! Every home should have a compost bin where people can put their kitchen scraps. The result would be your very own organic fertilizer to put into your garden or indoor plants.

The best part about this is that you can create your own compost container from recycled materials instead of buying one from the store, which is more sustainable!

3. Upgrade to smart appliances and fixtures

It is no secret that the appliances that we use in our house contribute to our carbon footprint. By investing in and using smart energy-efficient appliances, you are saving a lot of energy and making your home more energy efficient. Energy-saving appliances that reduce electricity consumption are common nowadays so they are not hard to find and they are also becoming cheaper.

Inverter appliances help save a lot of energy because of how they work. Basically, inverter appliances regulate the energy usage for each use depending on what is only needed instead of using constant energy every time.

Energy efficiency is almost synonymous with inverter appliances. Here are some appliances and fixtures you can invest in:

  • Inverter washing machine
  • Inverter aircon
  • Inverter refrigerator
  • Smart thermostat
  • LED bulbs
  • Low-flow shower heads

Smart thermostats automatically adjust the temperature of your home to have more optimal performance, so that you would only have cool air or keep your house warm when they are only needed. If installing a smart thermostat isn’t your cup of tea then you can look into designing your home for passive cooling which is a cheaper alternative.

Using energy-efficient bulbs such as fluorescent light bulbs helps you save electricity because they run on low energy than other bulbs. If you would compare the electricity and energy consumption of using fluorescent bulbs to incandescent bulbs you will notice a huge difference in energy use.

Using fixtures features such as low-flow shower heads greatly helps on saving water. They regulate your water supply so that less water is being wasted every time you and your family use water. Who doesn’t want a low water bill, right?

4. Recycling water

Since we’re on the topic of saving water, the shower isn’t the only thing that you should be looking out for. Common water usage comes from our tap water supply such as kitchen sinks, garden faucets, and laundry areas. Learning how to recycle water will help your home be more sustainable. This method is a great way to save water.

Recycling water is an easy task. All you need to do is gather every water left on water plastic bottles or excess from drinking water and put them in one container. The accumulated water can now be used for other uses such as rinsing dishes, watering plants, mopping the floor, and more!

Read Also: Water Conservation Tips

5. Using natural cleaning products

baking soda, box, white

One of the great threats to our environment is the chemicals that you might not know you are using daily. If you’re wondering what they are, just look inside your cabinet where you store your cleaning products.

That’s right, store-bought cleaning products have a great environmental impact, and by looking at most of the ingredients on the bottles, they are actually harmful to the environment. Here is a list of natural cleaning products with zero or fewer toxins that you can use

  1. Borax – is a cheaper alternative to harmful products that are used for cleaning walls and windows. Borax can be used as a disinfectant and decreases the chance of ruining the paint on your walls or wallpapers.
  2. Baking soda – is an all-around great product not only for cleaning but for a wide variety of uses. It can be paired with water or vinegar as a disinfectant or deodorizer.
  3. Lemon juice – can be used as an anti-bacterial ingredient. You can use it with water or by itself. Lemon boasts a lot of natural acids that are powerful enough to kill bacteria and clean greasy areas.
  4. White vinegar – can also be used as a disinfectant because it contains acetic acid which helps on removing annoying grease buildup, burnt stains, and mildew.
  5. Hydrogen peroxide – can be used to remove stains and soften molds on clothing. Some fabric solutions such as bleach can be harmful to nature so having an alternative is a must.

These are only a few of the many cleaning product alternatives. You can mix some of them together or pair them with water for more efficiency but they will sure be safer to use not only for the environment but for you and your family’s health too.

6. Cultivate an indoor garden to battle indoor air pollution

pots, plants, cactus

Indoor gardens have a lot of benefits for your home, whether it is by becoming more nature-friendly, aesthetically, or by improving the quality of air inside your home. Plants naturally produce oxygen by consuming dirty indoor air. We have a lot of things that we use inside our homes that have carbon emissions. Having indoor plants scattered around your home will definitely make it easier to have fresh air circulating around your property.

Indoor gardens or indoor plants don’t have to be in one place, you can have them planted in beautiful pots and displayed at spaces that you think need a green touch.

Indoor gardens also don’t have to be always ornamental, you can cultivate your indoor herb garden as well! This is also efficient because the ingredients that you usually need to buy from the store are now growing inside your home.

7. Avoiding the usage of plastic

Plastic is one of the most common garbage that is found in garbage dumps all around the world. It is hard to avoid using plastic because most of the time, you don’t have a choice since it is what is being used as containers for a lot of products. Going to the market means that you are going home with more plastic waste and it’s harmful to nature because plastic doesn’t dissolve or decompose for a lot of years.

Luckily, there are ways to avoid the usage of plastic!

  • Instead of using plastic bags when going shopping, use an eco bag. Eco bags are now sold almost everywhere but you can even make your own from recycled materials. Eco bags are usually made out of cloth which makes them more durable and washable.
  • Use reusable containers when storing food instead of using plastic. Not only is it safer for the environment, but plastic containers also have harmful chemicals that can mix with food.
  • Plastic bottles can also be avoided by using reusable tumblers. Reusable tumblers also have thermal properties that can keep your cold water cold.
  • Avoid using single-use plastic straws, instead, use metal straws that can be washed and stored.

Read Also: 10 Environmental Organizations You Can Volunteer For

8. Preserve cool air inside with glazed windows

Window glazing is not one of the common window treatments that can be found used in most Filipino houses. Double glazing is great for energy efficiency and saving because it increases insulation by up to 40% by preventing direct contact between outdoor air and indoor air.

Regular windows allow the heat from the outside to enter the house which makes the atmosphere inside of your house warmer. It also prevents heat loss during the wet season.

Aside from insulating cold air in your home, it also acts as an acoustic feature that reduces the outside noise from entering your home, thus, saving energy in a lot of ways.

9. Follow the 3R rule

shop, shopping, bags

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Three words that we are all familiar with. It is still important to learn how to control the amount of stuff that we use and own based on what is needed. Following the 3R rule does not necessarily mean that you would live a strictly minimalist life.

Reducing the stuff that you buy will not only help you save money but also lessen your waste in the future. For example, instead of buying the latest smartphone every year, make it a habit of replacing your gadgets every five years. You can also reduce using your car for short errands and use public transportation once in a while.

Reuse things that are not broken and do not need replacing. There are tons of ways to reuse your old stuff such as donating the items to the orphanage or victims of calamities. You can also reuse gifting bags instead of buying new ones

Recycling is a lesson that we are taught since we are young and growing up does not mean that people should stop doing it. Actually, people should do it more often as the population gets older. Individual efforts count in having an environment-friendly and climate-responsive household so it is best to get everybody involved!

As we battle climate change, there are tons of ways you can do to help as homeowners, whether it is by using eco paints or using nature-safe paper towels. With your own little ways, you can live in a sustainable home and gear up for a sustainable future!

Bria Homes is a leading real estate developer in the Philippines that provide affordable house and lot properties. Bria Homes also utilize environment-friendly systems to create sustainable communities. The Bria Homes website contains amazing features such as a 360-degree virtual scope of a Bria Homes community and a virtual calculator that will guide you to find the perfect property for you to invest in.

Written by Rashid M.