Want to make a difference in reducing your carbon footprint? Start by making eco-friendly renovation choices. Here are five ways to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle.
1. LOW VOC OR VOC-FREE PAINT
Conventional paint is said to contain a higher level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which include chemicals like benzene, methylene chloride and others that have been linked to cancer. When released into the air, these compounds cause ozone depletion. Paints with low-VOCs not only have lower odour, it also is less toxic and therefore has less impact on the air quality and toxic emissions.
2. ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES AND SHOWERHEADS
You must have noticed the Energy Star certification when shopping for new appliances. These energy efficient appliances such as water heaters and refrigerators have the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy. Plus, the less energy you use, the more money you save.
Besides saving energy, it is also a good idea to save water. Showers account for approximately a third of household water usage. You can reduce the amount of water used simply by switching to a low flow shower head that has a lower water consumption rate. A five-minute shower using a low flow showerhead uses only a third of the amount of water a regular showerhead would.
3. SOLAR PANEL SYSTEM
The most compelling reason to make the switch to solar energy is the fact that solar energy does not produce harmful emissions. Solar energy uses the energy from the sun to generate electricity, an important energy source in the move to clean energy production.
4. GREENER FLOORING ALTERNATIVES
Cork comes from a renewable source – tree bark – and it is an often overlooked sustainable flooring option. Because it does not accrue dust and contains Suberin, a natural substance that fends off mould, mildew, rot and pests, it makes for a great option for people with allergies. Cork sheets have long been used for sound insulation, hence, cork flooring helps prevent sound transfer to and from rooms. Other green flooring options include bamboo and linoleum.
5. LED LIGHT BULBS
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) light bulbs are extremely energy efficient and consume up to 90 per cent less power. Ninety-five per cent of the energy in LEDs is converted into light and only 5 per cent is wasted as heat. Therefore, it uses only a fraction of the energy of an incandescent light bulb. Less energy use also means a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as lower power costs.
This story first appeared in 99.co.