Living Sustainably: 3 Ways to Create a More Sustainable Home

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With the possibility of a global climate crisis on the horizon, more people are adopting ecologically friendly lifestyles than ever before.

This is partially because the pandemic gave people space to re-prioritize the things that are important to them. It gave people who were previously too busy or burnt out an opportunity to consider the severity of the incoming threat.

More likely, however, the changes brought about to people’s environments because of climate change have had a more significant impact. 

With temperatures steadily rising around the globe and climate behaving more unpredictably than usual, the formerly abstract concept of climate change is beginning to have real impacts on families and communities.


The First Signs of the Coming Crisis

According to a study conducted in 2019, global temperatures have been the highest they’ve been across five and ten-year periods than they’ve been in decades.

Crises like Flint, Michigan’s water crisis have highlighted the importance of conserving and maintaining the quality of our resources on a national scale, while more severe storms and life-altering droughts have only displayed the beginnings of what we can come to expect.

And that’s just where we are, with global temperatures having risen by 1.5% worldwide: even a .5% increase, which we could very well hit based on the damage being currently done to the environment, could have these catastrophic effects:

  • Killing another 25% of coral reefs, bringing them to the point of extinction.
  • The occasional ice-less summer in the Arctic.
  • 10 million more affected by rising sea levels.
  • Doubling the chances of vital pollinators losing half their habitats.


What Can You Do?

living sustainably

When reading statistics like that, there seems to be very little that we can do to avoid the coming crisis. Truthfully, unless we see large-scale changes implemented at the state and federal levels, most of the damage will be difficult to mitigate. 

However, the fight isn’t hopeless. 78% of consumers keep environmental friendliness when purchasing products. Furthermore, our culture’s awareness of environmental issues is steadily growing.

If enough of us adopt measures to mitigate the damage we ourselves do to the environment, we can collectively have a significant impact on the state of our world.

As such, the options below are steps you can take to create a sustainable home. Feel free to invest in any of the options. Also, look into other habits and practices you can adopt to ensure you’re conserving as many resources as possible.

Let’s jump right in.


1. Invest in Energy-Star Rated Appliances

All of the environmentally-healthy habits you adopt don’t mean a thing if the appliances that allow you to perform essential functions (such as keeping food cool, washing clothes, etc.) are using and wasting more resources than necessary.

Standard issue models of appliances like refrigerators, laundry machines, dishwashers, and even your lighting can all act as constant energy vampires, draining more energy than necessary.

When in use, these inefficient appliances waste an inordinate amount of energy while driving up utility costs. They also increase your ecological footprint. 

On the other hand, energy-star appliances are optimized to use the least energy possible. They do the same job, while keeping utility costs down, and your impact on the environment low.

Their impact on both has been so pronounced that they have quickly been adopted into the mainstream. Even consumers with minimal knowledge of the climate crisis love them because they keep utility bills low.


2. Sustainably Sourced Furniture

The purchases we make also have an impact on the environment. Companies take their cues from their respective customer bases.

If consumers don’t care whether their furniture is sustainably sourced, companies continue using ineffective, environmentally damaging processes and materials. Why? Because there’s no customer demand for anything else.

As the old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Manufacturing companies are unlikely to know that something in their processes is broken unless customers let them know the old-fashioned way: with their wallets.

You might want to try investing in furniture that is sustainably sourced and Eco-friendly, such as Boho-style furniture. Most Boho-style pieces are composed of materials that are Eco-friendly. The processes used to make them may be time-consuming but do not further damage the environment. 


3. Smart Home Features

As it turns out, the Internet of Things is actually a fantastic asset for people looking to improve their resource management.

Devices like smart thermostats make it possible for your home to automatically and remotely calibrate your heating and cooling. This saves you money and lessens the resources wasted by continuously running systems.

Smart lighting is also a great way to conserve energy. Motion-activated lighting with energy-star certified bulbs turns the lights on when you need it, and turns them off when you don’t. They use minimal amount of energy while keeping your home brightly lit. 


Go Green

Creating a more sustainable home  is a lot more accessible nowadays than it has been in the past. We are slowly coming to the collective realization that what we do (or don’t do) in this time of turmoil matters.

Invest in the options as you research other habits you can adopt to minimize resource use in your home. It not only saves you money, it helps protect and preserve the planet.

  • Luke Rooks

    Luke is a passionate environmental advocate based in upstate New York. When he's not sharing tips on sustainability and wellness, you can find him hiking with his dog, Max.

5 thoughts on “Living Sustainably: 3 Ways to Create a More Sustainable Home”

  1. Thank you for sharing such relevant and important information.
    As for upgrading to Energy Star appliances, consider replacing those ones at first that are constantly used in your household. Like, for example, AC and furnace. Pay attention to air conditioners with a SEER rating and furnaces rated by the AFUE ratio. In both cases, the higher the rating, the lower the energy consumption.

  2. While switching to energy-efficient appliances can make a big difference, this alone is not enough. It’s also important to maintain them regularly. Especially when it comes to the HVAC system. Even such a thing as dirty filters can greatly reduce the system’s energy efficiency.

  3. Thank you for sharing these recommendations. Also, remember the home insulation. A properly insulated home is much more energy-efficient, which means it consumes less energy on heating and cooling.
    Caulk your door frames, electrical outlets, and other structural components to ensure your air stays right where it should be. Also, consider using spray foam to seal floors, walls, and ceilings against the inward and outward flow of air.


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