green-homeSustainable living has become a trend throughout the world. It is basically a lifestyle that aims to preserve the environment by reducing the use of earth’s natural resources. As time passes by, people are becoming more awakened by the implications brought by man’s wrongdoings to the earth. With this, awareness about the earth’s preservation and sustainability are spread throughout the world by advocates. Though they are spoken in different tongues, people are united by one clear message: to save the earth.

The thing is you don’t necessarily have to be an advocate for you to become a tree hugger and a nature lover. This may be a cliché but yes, change starts with you. You can contribute to the welfare of the environment by having an eco-friendly home; a home where the air is clean and filtered, where the energy comes from a renewable source, and where the materials are recycled yet crafted beautifully into creating an eco-friendly ecosystem.

Going green may be quite expensive at first but if you are dedicated to aiming a sustainable and healthy home, you’ll find that the transformation to be worth every dime. Here are some of the tips in creating an earth-friendly atmosphere in your home.

Let the natural light in

Embrace the beauty of natural light by letting it shine in your room. In this way, you can minimize the costs on your electrical bills and help contribute to the reduction of burning fossil fuels in the power plants. Turn the switch off during the day and let the sunlight illuminate your space. Aside from having good, energy-efficient windows, you can also put in skylights to achieve a brighter room. If you’re not really a morning person and sunlight isn’t your best friend, you can always use shutters, curtains, and blinds to cover your windows and regulate the amount of light that passes.

Settle for sustainable, organic materials

Do you want a rustic and antique appeal for your interior like those of century-old houses? Or you prefer a contemporary look with a touch of nature? Whatever that is, using recycled, custom-crafted organic materials will definitely work for your home. Walls, ceilings, floors, and pieces of furniture that are made up of organic elements do not only promote an eco-friendly household but also beautify one’s space.

Let a trusted artisan do the creative recycling process of turning a piece of wood, bamboo, or stone into a unique chair that you can sit on or to a rustic-modern coffee table. If you are going to use hardwood, make sure that it came from a sustainable source. Bamboo is also an ideal alternative for hardwood since they can grow fast and can easily be replaced, unlike hardwood which takes 3 to 5 years to mature. In creating an eco-friendly home, it is also important to get rid of materials like plastics and chromed metal, unless you are recycling them

Avoid materials with VOC content

Volatile Organic Compounds or VOC are harmful chemicals emitted easily as gases or vapor from certain liquids or solids. Some of these can be found in several household materials including paint, wood preservatives, aerosol sprays, and pesticides that may damage the liver, kidneys, and brain after long-term exposure. Although the exposure to these cannot be avoided, you may still promote a safer and a more eco-friendly household by using products that have low VOC.

Let plants do their duty

Going green? Then you might as well consider reserving a space for plants in your home. Plants are not only attractive pieces of décor but are also useful elements that help provide a clean and fresh environment. In the late 1980s, NASA conducted an extensive research claiming that plants such as Peace Lily, Aloe Vera, and Bamboo Palm remove indoor pollutants. They help purify the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and release oxygen during photosynthesis. Several plants can also filter out common Volatile Organic Compounds that are harmful to one’s health. With this, they recommend placing, at least, one potted plant in every 100 square feet of the indoor space

Choose energy efficient appliances

Saving energy can help preserve the environment, as people always say, but how? Well, energy comes from power plants that provide power to our electric products by burning fossil fuels. This process can cause pollution and can drastically contribute to acid rain and global warming. You may lessen your energy consumption by using energy efficient appliances.When you purchase appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, stoves, washers or dryers, and computers, take a look at the energy level guide and look for those with lower numbers in the energy efficiency rating. You may also look for the “Energy Star” logo, a symbol for energy efficiency created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Invest in solar power

In line with the reduction of energy consumption is the use of solar power. Investing on solar panels can be costly at first but in the long run, you can save thousands of dollars. Solar panels are devices known to convert sun’s energy to electricity. Solar power is not just sustainable but renewable as well. But since sunlight does not shine on earth for 24 hours, an alternative for natural light is a compact fluorescent light, an energy-efficient lighting that helps save electrical power and prevents the emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

AUTHOR BIO: Carmina Natividad likes the idea of finding a home that matches one’s personality. Her keen interest in real estate and design helps her in writing for Thomas Property, a boutique real estate agency based in Australia that aims to improve the consumers’ experiences in leasing, selling, and buying properties.