Sustainability is not a concept, it’s a way of living. Many often misinterpret the word and relate it only to energy consumption. But a holistic approach is required to be truly eco-friendly. The idea of a sustainable lifestyle applies to living in a way that supports a healthy body and mind, says Meetu Akali, Founder, Studio Momo.
Below, she suggests five simple ways to transform your abode into an eco-friendly haven:
Planning and designing homes: It’s extremely vital to ensure that there is maximum usage of natural light and natural ventilation. Whenever one is planning or redesigning homes, you can introduce elements like a courtyard, terrace gardens, roof gardens, vertical green walls, and water bodies. This way one can reduce the internal temperature of the house by at least two to three degrees and create the effect of a micro-climate. These sustainable practices go a long way in reducing carbon footprints and the usage of electronics.
Natural cleaning products: Using harmful chemicals to clean is equally bad for the environment as for us. While washing them away you are simply putting them back into the water supply. That means the water needs to undergo the purification process before it is safe to use again. Sometimes, these chemicals get washed into the water bodies too making it unpotable and unsafe for animals. Conventional cleaning products pose risks such as chemical burns to the skin and eyes. Green cleaners aren’t corrosive and meet strict standards regarding inhalation toxicity, combustibility, and skin absorption.
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Make your compost: Overuse of chemical fertilisers can lead to leaf scorch, where vegetation withers and dies prematurely. It also results in the acidification of soil, rendering it inorganic and mineral deficient. Such chemical effluents contaminate the groundwater reserves and give rise to severe illnesses in humankind as well as animals. If we can all cultivate non-toxic, fresh greens in our gardens by using natural compost as fertiliser, we have already taken a big step towards sustainable living. Fertiliser made of compost improves the quality of soil by restoring moisture, air, and nutrients — it also reduces the amount of water required for gardening, thereby helping conserve the precious resource. Comprising dry leaves, cut grass, and organic kitchen waste, compost minimises the release of methane gas in the environment and replenishes the nutrients in the soil, which is essential for the optimal growth of plants. Further, you can use this compost in creating your kitchen garden by growing vegetables and more.
Use recycled products: Recycling helps to reduce energy usage, reduce consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce air pollution and water pollution (from landfilling) by reducing the need for conventional waste disposal, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Not just recycling, you can also upcycle home furniture by refurbishing it. One can repolish, change the color, and create an entirely new look. So next time you can need to give your house a fresh look, consider upcycling furniture rather than giving it away. A fresh coat of paint or polish can go a long way.
Rainwater harvesting: Rainwater harvesting is the storing of rainwater during the monsoon season to use it during periods of water scarcity. For individual homes, rooftop rainwater harvesting, or a rain barrel/cistern can help collect it. This is an essential feature of sustainable homes. However, please bear in mind that the rainwater should never be used without being treated.
Install solar panels: Solar panels are a vital feature for any eco-home. Solar panels not only provide you with completely clean electricity but also help cut electricity bills and save money. This certainly makes them a long-term investment with low maintenance costs and allows you to be eco-friendly.