With the increasing awareness of our impact on the environment, it's important to take steps towards sustainability in our homes. From using renewable energy to harvesting rainwater, there are countless ways to create a sustainable home that's good for you and the planet. In this article, we’ll explore 10 ways to make your home sustainable. Discover how small changes can make a big difference!


What is a Sustainable Home? 


sustainable home


Sustainable homes make use of eco-friendly materials like reclaimed wood which minimize waste and negative impact on the planet. They also feature energy-efficient systems, e.g. solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, and smart home technology. By reducing reliance on non-renewable energy sources, these homes help reduce carbon emissions and promote a cleaner environment. Water conservation is also a key aspect - with features like low-flow toilets and rainwater harvesting systems that minimize water usage (Hansen & Patnaikuni, 2014).


1. Use Renewable Energy Sources

These are energy sources that can be replenished naturally, such as sunlight, wind, and water. By using renewable energy, you can reduce your reliance on fossil fuels, which not only deplete natural resources but also contribute to climate change. Benefits of using renewable energy sources include cost savings, increased energy independence, and reduced carbon emissions. 

Examples of renewable energy sources that can be used in a home include solar panels, wind turbines, and hydropower systems. 


2. Install Energy-Efficient Appliances

Energy-efficient appliances are designed to use less energy while still providing the same level of performance. This can result in significant cost savings on your utility bills, as well as a reduced carbon footprint. Benefits of using energy-efficient appliances include lower energy bills, increased durability, and reduced environmental impact. 

Examples of energy-efficient appliances include refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners. When shopping for appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR label to ensure you're getting an energy-efficient model.


3. Use Sustainable Materials

Sustainable materials are those that are produced with minimal impact on the environment and have a low carbon footprint. Benefits of using sustainable building materials include reduced energy consumption, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and improved indoor air quality. 

When renovating or building your home, consider using sustainable materials such as bamboo flooring, recycled glass countertops, and reclaimed wood. Other examples include planters made of recycled materials, as well as recycled metal roofing, cellulose insulation made from recycled paper, and natural insulation materials like sheep's wool and hemp.


4. Reduce Water Usage

Water is a precious resource, and reducing our usage can help conserve it for future generations. Ways to reduce water usage include fixing leaks, installing low-flow fixtures, and using water-saving appliances. 

Examples of water-saving appliances and fixtures include low-flow showerheads, dual-flush toilets, and front-loading washing machines. By reducing your water usage, you can save money on your utility bills and help conserve this precious resource.


5. Use Low-VOC Paints and Cleaning Products

This is a simple yet effective way to make your home more sustainable. VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are chemicals that can be found in many household products and can contribute to indoor air pollution. Low-VOC paints and cleaning products are made with fewer harmful chemicals and have a lower impact on indoor air quality. Benefits of using low-VOC paints and cleaning products include improved indoor air quality, reduced exposure to harmful chemicals, and reduced environmental impact. 

Examples of low-VOC paints and cleaning products include natural cleaning solutions, such as vinegar and baking soda, and low-VOC paints from brands such as Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams.


6. Incorporate Natural Light and Ventilation

Natural light and ventilation can provide numerous benefits, including improved indoor air quality and reduced energy usage. Ways to incorporate natural light and ventilation include adding skylights, using windows to create cross-ventilation, and designing spaces to maximize natural light. 

Examples of design elements that incorporate natural light and ventilation include open floor plans, light-colored walls and ceilings, and window treatments that allow for maximum natural light.


7. Use Sustainable Landscaping Practices

Sustainable landscaping practices include using native plants, reducing water usage, and avoiding the use of harmful chemicals. Benefits of using sustainable landscaping practices include improved soil quality, reduced water usage, and increased biodiversity. 

Examples of sustainable landscaping practices include using rain barrels to collect water, composting yard waste, and planting native trees and plants.


8. Recycle and Compost

Recycling helps to reduce waste and conserve natural resources, while composting helps to divert food and yard waste from landfills and create nutrient-rich soil for plants. Ways to recycle and compost include separating recyclable materials from trash, using a compost bin or pile for food and yard waste, and donating or repurposing items instead of throwing them away. 

Examples of items that can be recycled or composted include paper products, plastic bottles and containers, food scraps, and yard waste.


9. Install a Green Roof

A green roof is a roof that is partially or completely covered in vegetation, which provides natural insulation, absorbs rainwater, and reduces stormwater runoff. Green roofs also increase biodiversity in urban environments by providing habitat for birds and insects. Installation of a green roof can be done by adding layers of soil and vegetation to the existing roof, and can range from simple rooftop gardens to more complex green roof systems.


10. Harvest Rainwater

Benefits of harvesting rainwater include reduced water usage, reduced stormwater runoff, and increased availability of water for plants and gardens. Ways to harvest rainwater include installing a rain barrel or cistern to collect water from roofs and gutters, and using rain gardens to capture and filter stormwater. 



Conveyancing. (n.d.). 17 ways to make your home more eco-friendly. Conveyancing.com.au. https://conveyancing.com.au/lifestyle/ways-to-make-your-home-more-eco-friendly

Hansen, H. & Patnaikuni, I.. (2014). Design of Sustainable House for Reducing Energy Use. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272493815_Design_of_Sustainable_House_for_Reducing_Energy_Use

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