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Aug 25

Its Easy Being Green – Transforming Your Home Into an Eco Haven

In the past, we could claim ignorance regarding the negative impact that certain human activities had on the Earth. We didn’t realize the drastic results that burning fossil fuels would have on the environment; we were unaware of how factory farming produced excessive methane which would work towards destroying the ozone layer; we didn’t consider how plastic would pollute the world’s oceans. However, nowadays, scientific research and advancement mean that the majority of us are fully aware of how our lives are damaging the natural world that we inhabit. So, without giving up all modern day conveniences and heading out into the wild, how do we go about reducing our footprint on the planet? A good place to start is your home. This is where you spend the majority of your time and is a space that is under your own, personal jurisdiction. Perfect! Here are a few changes that you can make around the house to make it an eco haven.

bees - eco haven

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Giving Wildlife a Helping Hand

An extremely simple place to start your journey towards helping the environment is to offer a helping hand to your local wildlife. Certain species are struggling to survive, with their habitats being destroyed to build human property. A key concern at the moment is the rapidly reducing numbers of bees worldwide. Honeybees (both wild and domestic) perform about 80% of pollination, with a single colony pollinating up to 300 million flowers every single day. We rely on them for fruits, nuts, and vegetables. So much so, in fact, that the average person has bees to thank for one in every three mouthfuls of food that we consume. However, pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit, air pollution and global warming are all contributing to the worldwide bee colony collapse. So give the little creatures a hand, for both their sake and our own sake. The Bumblebee Conservation Society has a handy tool that allows you to check how bee-friendly your garden is. This group also offers advice regarding the ideal types of plants, flowers, and trees to distribute around your garden to give bees the boost that they need to thrive.

Using Sustainable Materials

When decorating your home’s interior and exterior, try to use as many sustainable and renewable materials as possible. If you are planning on fitting decking outdoors, opt for reclaimed, untreated, natural hardwoods from sustainable sources. For interiors, try alternatives to laminate flooring. Bamboo is a great option. While bamboo is technically a grass, it supplies high-quality “timber” that can be turned into flooring that will give your room a beautiful finish. It is naturally water resistant, anti-bacterial and durable. But its merits don’t stop there. Bamboo is an extremely fast-growing plant, which makes replacing crops much faster and more environmentally friendly than woods used for other types of flooring.

 

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Making the World a Little Greener

You can quite literally make your home a little more green by investing in potted houseplants. These little leafy wonders help to purify the air in your home, photosynthesizing to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. They also remove traces of toxic vapors in the air, so by simply having a plant in your home, you can remove low levels of substances such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide from the atmosphere. In a world with increasing levels of air pollution, this is nothing but a positive thing. The more plants we can have around, the better! For us, the planet and all of the other living things that inhabit it alongside us.

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Giving Solar Power a Chance

Now, if you’re a little more dedicated to taking steps to helping the environment, then you may have considered installing solar panels on your property. Not only does generating your own energy for your personal use cut down on your household bills (making solar panels an economically viable option), it reduces your consumption of non-renewable energy sources such as coal, gas, crude oil, and propane. Just one person taking to using renewable energy sources in the home results in the elimination of three to four tonnes of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere every single year. The main thing that often puts people off installing solar panels is the upfront cost. It’s not exactly cheap to purchase them and have them installed, but you will reap the benefits in the long run. Consider applying for a cash advance to cover the initial costs. You will be able to pay this back in installments over time, perhaps even using the money that you’ve saved from no longer relying on non-renewable energy.

Effectively Insulating Your Property

Effectively insulating your property ensures that your home can maintain the temperature that you decide is best for you. If it is cold out and you warm your home, insulations stop warm air leaving your property and cold air coming in. If you decide you want your home to remain in the summer months, insulation prevents the cool air from your home escaping and the warm air from the outdoors making its way inside. This reduces your overall energy consumption, as you are not having to constantly heat or cool your home. The most important place to start is your roof. Remember that warm air rises, so the roof is where the most energy is likely to escape from your home. Don’t forget conservatory roofs too! Conservatories are often made of glass which is generally not a very effective insulator. Consider adding a specialist, tiled roof to your conservatory to reduce waste. You should also ensure that the glass walls (and any other glass in your home, such as windows) are double glazed. This, again, helps to reduce heat loss from your property.

You don’t necessarily have to go all out to make a difference. Implementing just one of these changes into your lifestyle can have a profoundly positive impact on the planet. So don’t be afraid to start out small. As time passes, you’ll come to realize how simple these small changes are and may decide to make more and more. Before you know it, your home will be an eco haven.

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