How to create a more sustainable home
Most of us spend so much more time in our homes now so it’s no surprise that we’re realizing that sustainable, environmentally friendly choices at home just make sense.
There are tons of ways to create a more sustainable home and everyone can do their own little bit. I’m not the kind of person to change people’s lifestyle if it doesn’t work for them, so whatever you can and want to do will be a great change. And let’s be honest, a lot of the sustainable choices for your home will save you money in the long run so that’s great, right?!
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Hi, I’m Nadine
Interior design expert, globetrotter and the creative mind behind this blog and NH.DESIGN.
I’m originally from Germany but have been living abroad for over 10 years, from Canada and the UK to Sweden.
What is a sustainable home?
A sustainable home can be anything from energy efficiency to being completely off the grid, and anything in between.
Most people think they have to do everything and change their lifestyle and shopping habits completely to create a more sustainable home. But that’s not true. That would be really difficult to achieve for everyone and it wouldn’t last very long, making it again, less sustainable.
Because sustainability is not just about buying things that are made sustainably or using products that save energy. There are so many different ways to create a more sustainable home and I believe everyone should be able to choose what works best for them.
If you can’t afford something, or it’s too inconvenient for you to do or use long-term, then it’s not right for you.
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Create an energy efficient space
Energy efficiency is a great start to make your home more sustainable. Some solutions and changes are a little more expensive than others and won’t work if you live in an apartment but there are some things you can do to make any space more energy efficient.
Of course things like insulation is something you can only really influence if you live in a house. Same goes for using renewable energy sources like solar panels.
But 2 things that make a surprisingly significant difference in any space are the right use of textiles and using appliances with a good energy rating.
Rugs are great to insulate against heat or cold rising from the floor(and they feel nice on your feet). And curtains are perfect insulation for the walls, again both for hot and cold temperature. Both textiles help regulate the room temperature naturally which means you don’t have to spend as much money on other heating or cooling solutions.
Energy efficient appliances are a no-brainer for any kitchen but especially one with sustainability in mind. Because they’re always plugged in and consuming energy it’s good to choose ones that have a good rating.
Save the environment with eco-friendly materials
The amount of things we buy and throw away every day is huge. But I’m not here to make anyone feel bad about their choices, I want to help you make more sustainable ones for your next purchase. And again, there are different ways to create a more sustainable home, so find the right one for you.
You could for example choose furniture made from natural materials, like wood, and make sure it’s certified and the company sources it in sustainable ways. You could also choose materials like bamboo which grows a lot faster and requires less space than regular trees. Or you can choose to buy home furnishings made from recycled materials, like material that otherwise goes to waste or recycled plastic.
Another great way to create a more sustainable home is using eco-friendly paint. This kind of paint doesn’t contain much (or sometimes any at all) VOCs, which are volatile organic compounds, making it a lot better for the environment. Companies like Lick, Coat and Little Greene are great places to go for eco-friendly paint.
3 little things everyone can do to create a more sustainable home
It may seem a little daunting to think of making your whole home more sustainable but if you break it down room by room it’s very easy, I promise.
And the idea is not to go and throw out all your current stuff and replace it with new, more sustainable things. It’s about making a more sustainable choice the next time you need to.
Change your light bulbs
Start by changing broken light bulbs to LEDs. Not only do they last longer, they also save energy and money in return. A lot of LED bulbs, like the TRADFRI series from IKEA, can also be connected with remotes and apps to turn your home into a Smart Home.
Water-saving showers and taps
Another great thing to save money and water, and be more sustainable in the process, is to change shower heads and taps/faucets to water saving ones.
Recycling, upcycling and DIY
Instead of throwing out your old pieces of furniture, give them new life with a lick of paint or some new handles.
And if DIY isn’t your thing you can always sell them or donate them and make someone else happy.
Take care, Nadine
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