|Ten easy steps for creating a green home
South Africa has very good solar and wind resources yet the development of renewable energy has been slow to take off. It is amazing how many people want to embrace renewable energy by creating green offices and homes, but they have no idea where to start. Whether your end goal is to help conserve the environment, become carbon neutral or save energy, here are a ten tips to get you started.
This might seem like the most obvious place to start, but unfortunately South Africans don’t have a recycling mindset. On top of that many municipalities don’t have the infrastructure geared towards recycling.
Put your lights on timers
Even if we go out of our way to be as responsible as possible, we all forget the lights on every now and then.
Keep a garden
Keeping a garden and growing your own herbs and vegetables will help you save money as well as help become carbon neutral.
Repair old goods
You might be tempted to to throw away that old broken table, chair or couch, but don’t. Rather fix it yourself and cut down on waste at landfills. Or upcycle, in other words find a different use for the old piece of furniture.
Concentrate on windows and doors
Insulation is extremely important when building a new house. Heating and cooling of a house could amount 50% of the home’s energy consumption. Leaks around windows, doors or ducts could amount to extreme heat loss.
Efficient faucet systems
Efficient faucet systems will help you save energy, water and money. They don’t have to be expensive and are easy to install as well.
Choose sustainable products
When choosing flooring make sure to choose from rapidly renewable resources, such as bamboo. It’s one of the fasted growing plants in the world. Bamboo requires no replanting and little fertilization or pesticides.
Install solar panels
Solar is a clean renewable resource. The initial installation might be a bit costly, but it is an investment and will save you a lot in the long run as well as add value to your house.
If you create a compost corner in your backyard you can nourish your garden and cut down on fertilizing costs in the spring. You can also cut down on wastage by using leftover veggies and fruit in your compost heap.
LED lights might be a bit more expensive, but they use less energy and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Since they offer significant cost savings in the long run, they can be ideal for your new green home.