For the longest time, environmental concerns has been a priority with the hastening of global warming and its related issues. Recently, UK has announced its preparations for hotter climate as a 'national priority' – signalling an ever pressing need for us to take a greater look at how we can reduce the strain on the environment.
Consequently, many of us are turning to eco-friendly options when it comes to renovation. Not only does it help the environment, it also helps to save energy consumption. When done correctly, you get to save a few bucks as well. However, what are the most worth-it options? We have gathered a few key tips to consider when you renovate to make it eco-efficient and eco-friendly!
1. Use solar energy
Since sunlight is a renewable source of energy, relying on solar panel or solar energy source equipment are naturally an eco-friendly and popular choice. The power of the sun through these solar panels are able to charge sufficient electricity to power your house’s electrical needs without any hassle.
Many also fear that installing solar energy panels can really cost a ton, and therefore refrain from making the commitment. But with the escalation of electricity prices, you may find yourself saving up money in the long run instead when you rely on solar energy panels. In addition, according to sources like EMA and BCA, the cost of solar panel systems has also seen a gradual but substantial dip each year by 4% annually.
That being said, do note that while solar panel systems do not require operating costs, it will require annual maintenance costs that amount to approximately 0.5 to 1% of the installation cost incurred. However, compared to the savings on your electrical bill, I would say that it is an economic and environmental win for you.
2. Furnishing your house with low-VOC or even VOC-free paint
VOC, also better known as volatile organic compounds, are actually harmful for our bodies since it produced harmful molecules that may incur long-term health effects. To breathe a little easier and rest well within your own home, you might want to opt for low-VOC and or VOC-free paint if you have the option to do so. Not only are they better for you and your family’s health, they are also better for your environment as well, since these compounds cause ozone depletion when it reaches the air. Ozone depletion in the long run is extremely hazardous as it will strip away the protective layer around Earth that protects us from ultraviolet radiation from the Sun.
3. Consider using Recycled Glass
There are numerous options for windows and recently there has been greater attention given to bio-glass, which is a type of recycled glass - equally chic but 100% environmentally friendly. By allowing more natural lighting to enter your room through these aesthetically pleasing recycled glass windows, it makes your home look more spacious and well-lit.
4. Switch to LED light bulbs
Another small but significant change you can commit to would be to switch all your light bulbs to LED light bulbs, which use around 2 watts of electricity as compared to 17 watts from the normal incandescent light bulbs. And since LEDs use only a quarter of the energy and last much longer, they definitely bring in more cost savings and allow you to make a greater effort to save the environment.
An extra note would be that LED lights are now equally competitive to incandescent bulbs, which means that you do not need to incur more cost to enjoy greater cost savings from greater longevity and utility as well.
5. Consider a low-flow toilet
Conservation also comes in reducing water usage as well, and this can be done by considering a low-flow toilet that does its job equally well, but save water. With the water shortage issue being a worldwide problem, it is equally important for us to reduce our water wastage, which can first be done through a low-flow toilet that reduces flush volume but maintains cleanliness equally well.
Ever notice that there is a pool of water underneath flooding the bathroom floor? That might be a sign that you are using too much water for your showers. Another option to consider would be to change the showerheads as well, which can be a low flow shower head to reduce the water flow so that you can consume less water during when you bathe.
6. Invest in energy-efficient appliances
An easy way to identify energy-efficient appliances would be to look for certifications like Energy Star, or approach shop assistants nearby to know more about the options that you can consider for your home. Some of them are priced equally competitive and give you a huge save in terms of your bills, which is definitely a win for your wallet and the environment.
7. Source for pre-owned household items
Sometimes, not everything new is the best for your home - certain antique items like music recorders or desks and home accessories are equally chic and unique, adding a rustic and sophisticated feel to your home as well. After all, it's your home and what you decide to decorate it with.
Final note: Replacing everything? Think again
A final consideration that you can ponder over would be whether the new makeover really requires you to destroy or remake new material or not. Sometimes, certain furniture that you already have can be re-designed to give a new look to fit into the dream home that you envision it to be -- re-face them instead of replacing it all completely!
If thinking through what is best for your dream home is overwhelming, fret not. For dedicated guidance and help from someone with the right experience and knowledge, reach out to us to find our more.