It has been said that green is the new black. From industry to individuals, everyone is looking for ways to become more 'green.' Smart houses that use home automation technology can be counted among the greenest and most energy efficient residential spaces, but so are homes that have introduced simple practices such as recycling and pot plants. Here are the best strategies to greening your home.
Use Pot Plants - pot plants have been shown to improve air quality, reduce dust, and even assist with temperature control (larger plants only).
Install Solar Panels - solar panels reduce your carbon footprint. They also help save you money over the longer term by reducing your energy bills.
Update Your Appliances A�- older appliances tend to be less energy efficient. Choose new appliances with a good energy rating.
Use Surge Suppressors - plugging electronic devices into surge suppressors not only helps protect against voltage surges, but can help cut unnecessary electricity usage if you turn the strips off when the devices are not in use. It's useful to remember that a device on standby can require as much as 40 per cent of the energy used when it is on.
Use Energy Management Software - energy management software, as part of a home automation system, will help you keep track of water and energy usage by device, area, or time. You can use this data to make effective changes in your house or office. Home automation systems will automatically fully shut off devices when they are not being used, so you don't have to remember to turn appliances off from standby. If you use energy management software, you can identify 'leaky' appliances that are energy inefficient.
Install Sensors - installing occupancy sensors around your house, especially in corridors, bathrooms, and garages helps turn lights off when they are accidentally left on and no longer in use.
Turn Down Your Thermostat - reducing your thermostat by one degree in winter can save around 3 - 5 per cent of your monthly heating costs.
Insulate Your House - insulating your house helps protect you and your family from the extremities of weather so that you expend less energy on heating or cooling. Install insulation in your windows as well as your roof for maximum protection against the weather.
Install a Rainwater Tank for Flushing - have your rainwater tank connected to your garden and toilets and save on water consumption.
Recycle and Reuse - use re-usable containers whenever possible and recycle
Go Organic - buying and eating organic is one of the best ways to green your household as organic farming is less likely to degrade soil.
Use Green Materials - use as much green material around your home for building and furnish as possible. Bamboo, cordwood, and kirei board, are just a few of the furniture and building materials used for green homes.
Use Green Paint - opt for healthier paint for your walls. Traditional paint can contain a lot of toxic solvents and volatile organic compounds. These are released into the air you breathe even after the paint dries. Choose non-toxic paints where possible.
Put Your Lawn to Use - with just a little work, your water-intensive lawn can be converted into a mini vegetable patch or an attractive garden. Use natural rather than chemical fertilisers if you're starting up a vegetable patch, or design a garden patch from attractive native plants that won't need frequent watering.