The Home and (H)Earth: 5 Ways to Design and Decorate a Sustainable Household

Nearly two-thirds of global carbon emissions result from household energy consumption. Some of the most significant changes that need to come about in the fight against climate change are centered around individual households. 

Screening 6990 records worldwide, an academic research study  conducted in 2020 found the best actions against climate change are fixing, redesigning, and upgrading homes. These changes range from using renewable energy and creating composting units to switching out high energy-consuming appliances for smart and energy-efficient variations. 

Eco-Friendly Household Practices

Some general eco-friendly household practices have made their way into people's lives already. This includes recycling, making wiser food choices, upcycling trash, and buying locally. But there are a few other changes one can make to one's household to reduce one's environmental impact. 

While some of these changes are implemented in the initial design of a house, some key sustainable architectural upgrades can also be made to established homes. By switching to cellulose insulation one can reduce heat and energy loss. Additionally, double-studding walls also go a long way in providing insulation. Other simple changes include switching out fossil fuel-consuming appliances like gas stoves with induction ovens. This severely reduces energy wastage and a household's overall carbon footprint.

Energy Guzzling Appliances

According to the United States Energy Information Administration, while homes in the US use a variety of appliances daily, the most significant energy guzzlers constitute air conditioning and heating appliances. These account for over half of a home's yearly energy consumption. However, these are seasonally used appliances, and their usage may vary by location and household size, structure, and design. 

Cooking, refrigeration, and lighting devices are used in every home year-round. These accounted for 27% of annual energy usage in 2015, with the remaining percentage being taken up by computers, televisions, and other entertainment devices, etc.

All lead to one conclusion — there is an ever-increasing need for sustainable changes in households. So, what improvements and upgrades can you make to your home to not only improve your carbon footprint but also severely reduce your energy bills while not giving up on comfort?

Using Double-Glazed Windows

Installing double-glazed windows improves the overall insulation of your house. They keep your house warmer during the cold winter months and cool during summer, thus reducing energy consumption and wastage.

Installing a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat comes with several perks. Not only does it help reduce your carbon footprint, but it also keeps your energy bills from drilling a hole into your pocket.

The idea behind a smart thermostat is simple. It ensures that your heating and cooling devices do not run when they do not need to. This would come especially handy during the hot summer months as you can make sure the appliances come on and start cooling the house down. So, you never have to come back to a swelteringly hot house. During the winter months, you can set the meter so it keeps your home warm and shuts off after.

Using Energy-Efficient Appliances

Smart devices like energy-efficient lighting and appliances that shut off automatically after each use can also come in handy when trying to reduce your energy consumption. Energy-efficient lights are also more durable and don't have to be nearly as often as regular bulbs, making them excellent long-term investments.

Installing Solar Panels

Solar panels are another excellent long-term investment if you are trying to make your home more sustainable. While they cost a chunk of money to install, they make up for it in the long run and can keep your house well-lit and heated/cool while consuming little to no energy. They have no negative impact on the environment. They can go so far as to help you completely off-grid, taking the headache of high energy bills entirely out of the picture. 

Using Recycled Furniture

Upcycled pieces of furniture are all the rage right now. Not only do they add to the aesthetic of a modern home, but they also reduce the number of furniture that ends up in landfills. The best part? They are also relatively easy on the pocket. If you DIY your furniture — as so many social media influencers are doing — the entire process will cost a negligible percentage of what buying a new dresser or coffee table would cost.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks