Home Improvement

Building a Sustainable Household: Where to Start

(This post has been contributed to. You can learn more about my sponsored and contributed posts in my disclaimer.)

Chicago is a buzzing environment for sustainable, green and eco-friendly projects. If you haven’t heard about it yet, there’s a five-bedroom house called the most sustainable home ever built in Chicago in the Roscoe Village. It’s been developed by Ryan Kolar and it has received a lot of media attention when it entered the real estate market.

The house, on sale for one and a half million dollars, has an outside made of recycled brick and wood, repurposed steel stairs and doors made of repurposed mahogany floors. Using strategically placed windows and a skylight, Kolar has reduced the energy consumption to an eighth of what other households current pay for similar properties. He’s also installed a water recycling system that uses shower and faucet water in the toilets.

Admittedly, it’s a high price for an environmentally-friendly house, but you may not need to buy new to create a sustainable home that looks after the planet – and after your savings too.

Energy saving technology

You might need to ensure that your home is prepped with the best energy-saving technology. Let’s clarify this statement: It doesn’t mean that you should install a solar panel on your roof. Instead, you can make sure that the property is set to limit energy waste. Consider the cost of creating hot and cold water and pumping it around the property, for instance.

If your building is set with a traditional pumping system that has constant flow water loops, this design requires a lot of unnecessary water flow and affects the energy cost. However, if the property uses an ultrasonic flow meter, it can monitor and vary the flow to match your needs in real time. In short, you don’t need to waste energy. Make sure also to consider your heating systems and your lightbulb equipment to save energy.

Planet-friendly habits

You don’t always need to change your energy systems to build a greenhouse. You can also modify your habits to reduce waste at home. Fridges, for example, are cost-hungry. The way you organize your shelves can save you a lot of money. For a start, keeping your fridge full consumes less energy than keeping an empty fridge cool. So pack your door shelves full of all the drinks and condiments. With a clever leftover system on the top shelf, you can avoid both food and energy waste. Apply a similar decluttering strategy to your pantry cupboard, to avoid wasting opened packs, buying the same items twice, and missing on the expiry date.

(Related post: How to Organize Your Fridge)

Alternative options to save costs and resources

With a little of DIY attention, you can create significant sustainable savings. For instance, if you’ve never considered growing your vegetables, it’s time to start now. With the right approach, you can save on your grocery shopping and keep your family healthy. Additionally, growing your vegs reduces the impact of product transport on the environment, so it’s a win-win for you and the planet! DIY can go a long way for your wallet and the environment, as you can also upcycle unused pieces of furniture or even make your clothes.

So what’s stopping you from creating your sustainable household?

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