Sustainable living is the practice of being more conscious of how you use Earth’s natural resources. The goal is to reduce unnecessary waste, which leads to less pollution. Sustainable practices are going into place worldwide, including right here in the U.S.
Pennsylvania, for example, is currently 1% powered by solar energy and has plans to raise that number to at least 10%. To achieve that, the state created a project called Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future. The project uses regulations and incentives to encourage people and businesses to switch to solar.
That’s just one example of the push for sustainability. The movement is largely sustained by normal citizens like you who are making more eco-friendly choices every day. One of those choices is incorporating sustainable design in your home.
Here are three eco-friendly tips that will make your home fabulously sustainable.
1. Start Decluttering.
Owning only what you need is as big a part of sustainability as using solar energy is. There are items in your home collecting dust while someone is out there buying the same item, brand new, and causing more of them to be made.
Instead of keeping what you don’t need, pass it on. Give it to friends, family, your local charity, or a thrift shop. This is especially important with clothes, as over 80% of unwanted clothes end up in landfills.
By donating items, you let them move on to someone who needs them, and you can reclaim your space.
Once you get rid of your extra items, it’s time to do a deep-clean. Cleaning gives you a fresh space to redesign. You can keep the sustainability ball rolling by using eco-conscious cleaning products. That way, your home is clean, and you and the planet have skipped being exposed to toxic chemicals.
2. Re-Use What You Can, Go Natural For What You Can’t.
While you declutter, consider which items you may be able to re-use in your new design. Repurposing items is a great way to be sustainable as it increases the life of an item which causes fewer new items to be made.
Here are just a few ideas.
- Remove the doors from old cabinets and turn them into open bookcases.
- Turn your unwanted coffee and end-tables into fun pieces for your outdoor seating area.
- Paint or stain wood furniture to make it fit your new design plan.
When re-using won’t work, shop for pieces made from ethically sourced natural materials. Ethically sourced means that there’s a plan to ensure the resources used to make the item are replaced.
Often, you can find ethically sourced products that have been made locally. This gives you the chance to support a small, local business. That’s good for two reasons.
The first is that you can support your eco-conscious neighbors. The second is that you can buy the item knowing it wasn’t shipped using fossil fuels, a major contributor to climate change.
3. Let The Sun In.
One of the most important sustainable design decisions you can make is to let the sun in. This is done in two ways. First, physically let the sun in. Go open those blinds and let natural light brighten up your home instead of turning on the lamps.
The second way you can let the sun in is to embrace solar energy. It’s the most sustainable form of clean energy, as it will last as long as the sun. It’s also the cleanest form of renewable energy, in that it causes the least damage to maintain.
Earlier, we talked about the changes Pennsylvania is making to encourage the use of solar. So it’s worth noting that if you live there, you can have residential solar installed right now and begin earning incentives like the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate.
If you don’t live in Pennsylvania, check into the perks being offered federally, and by your state. Solar is available in all fifty states and you can find all kinds of additional benefits depending on where you live.
Powering your home with solar energy is the cherry on top of your sustainable design plans.
Using these three eco-friendly tips will ensure that you get the most out of your sustainable home design.