6 Awesome Steps to Decarbonize Your Home
Even if you live under a rock, chances are you’ve heard how the effects of man-made climate change are upon us. It’s not enough to reduce plastic waste and continue with your life. It’s time to do more to save the environment and salvage a good future for the next generation.
Among the many things average citizens like us can do, decarbonization offers an excellent way to reduce your emissions while living a normal life. So, how can you do it? Here are six awesome steps you can take to help decarbonize your home.
What Is Decarbonization?
In simplest terms, decarbonization is reducing the amount of carbon footprint you leave behind by consuming less energy. This concept applies to all aspects of life, including transportation, energy consumption, food production, and material consumption.
Decarbonization may mean different things to different people. For some people, it means minimizing the number of flights they take in a year; for others, it means reducing their energy consumption, and for others still, it means eating less meat.
Whatever decarbonization means to you, the most important takeaway is that reducing carbon footprint is not as hard as it may sound. It’s not about going cold turkey and giving up on all the things you enjoy in life; rather, it’s about making small changes that add up.
1. Go With Solar
Renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar are now more affordable than ever. In fact, installing solar panels has become a trend among homeowners. One of the easiest ways to reduce energy consumption in your home is to go solar.
Solar panels are becoming very popular among homeowners, and for good reasons. First, solar panels are cheap and easy to install. Secondly, they are suitable for the environment. Finally, you save a ton of money in the long run.
According to the US Department of Energy, an average US household saves up to $1,500 per year by going solar. Moreover, you can save up to $40,000 over the 25-year life of your system, but that’s not all.
Besides reducing your carbon footprint, going solar also gives you a source of passive income. In fact, many solar homes can generate more electricity than they need, then they sell the excess electricity back to the grid.
2. Utilize Natural and Wooden Materials At Home
Every renovation you make to your home has a carbon footprint. If you want to avoid increasing your carbon footprint every time you renovate, you must prioritize natural (eco-friendly) materials.
Building materials made from wood, clay, stone, and straw are natural, renewable, and environmentally friendly. They also help reduce your carbon footprint because they are energy efficient. You can help reduce carbon emissions at home by choosing natural and biodegradable materials for your home and office.
Besides using natural materials at home, you can also incorporate wood in your bedroom. Wooden bedroom furniture such as beds, cabinets, and nightstands look great and are comfortable. But more importantly, they are suitable for the environment.
Buy furnishings made of recycled wood or take advantage of vintage furniture. Most antiques look rustic enough to fit almost every home's style.
3. Recycle and Repurpose
Recycling and repurposing have become popular ways to reduce carbon footprint. In fact, they are even more popular than going solar because the process is inexpensive. Everyone can recycle and start to repurpose their waste, from small children to older adults.
Reducing carbon footprint by recycling and repurposing is relatively easy, which starts with segregating garbage that you can recycle and what you can repurpose. Making or buying wood clocks, for example, are good options because they allow you to be creative.
You can recycle your waste, old clothes, and broken furniture, then repurpose them to make new things. For instance, you can reuse an old table as a shelf or repurpose an old t-shirt as a cleaning cloth.
4. Add More Greenery At Home
If you have a home garden, you already know how green and environmentally friendly it is. For those who don’t, adding greenery to your home is a great way to improve your home’s air quality.
Plants absorb carbon dioxide, making them the perfect companion for any eco-friendly home. Besides giving your home a fresher look, plants also help reduce stress and improve your overall health.
Indoor plants such as succulents are easy to maintain. Many indoor plants thrive well in poor soil, making them perfect for homes with hard water. They also help regulate indoor temperatures, reducing humidity and heat while keeping your home cool.
Adding more greenery at home is also a great way to save money. Indoor plants help purify the air, thus reducing the need to buy air fresheners. They also help you sleep better, increasing productivity during the day.
5. Buy Local
Local products are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, as it helps support your local economy. It also helps keep production costs down, which, in turn, reduces emissions.
Buying local is not only good for the environment but also your health. It’s much healthier to buy local produce than imported goods. Besides, local produce is fresher and cheaper than imported goods.
If you buy locally, you are also helping to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are not only bad for the environment, but they also fuel wars in third-world countries. The world over, local communities are having trouble meeting their energy needs.
6. Spend More Time In Nature And Away From Technology
The beauty of nature is breathtaking, but we often take it for granted. How often do you take a hike with your loved ones? How often do you sit quietly and watch the sunrise or sunset? How often do you spend a weekend camping in the woods?
We live in a world where technology is king. Computers, cell phones, and televisions are integral to our lives. But truth be told, spending less time in front of your screen is beneficial.
Spending time in nature is good for your health. It reduces stress and improves your mental health. Spending more time in nature also helps you connect with Mother Nature, making you more appreciative.
Spend more time outdoors, away from technology. Go for a walk at the park, hike some mountains, swim at the beach, or camp in the woods. Even if you don’t go far from home, you only need to spend more time in your backyard. Get yourself a wooden bench and sit under a tree. Enjoy the slow life when you can.
Decarbonization is for everyone, no matter who you are or what you do. Don’t let the idea of controlling your carbon footprint scare you; instead, see it as a challenge to do better.
Don’t feel pressured to reduce your carbon footprint overnight. Start small, then grow from there. Make one or two changes at a time, then work your way up. Buy eco-friendly products and furnishings for your home and help save money while helping combat climate change.
A big Thank You to Bash Sarmiento our guest post author. He is an educator and writer, you can follow him here on Instagram!
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