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Think Home, Think Green

Saturday, April 28, 2018
By Nilesh Ghadge

You must often have heard of sustainable living. It refers to a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources. Find out more

When you think about green living, what comes to mind? Living off the land? Recycling everything you touch? If you’re not living the lifestyle, it’s easy to have misconceptions about it. So what exactly is “green” or “sustainable” living? Sustainable living refers to a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources.

You might not be able to single-handedly save the planet, but you can help it by making your home a little greener. You don’t need to spend a fortune just to make your home eco-friendly. Small steps can make a huge difference. You may not have the advantage of owning a flat in a 'green' certified project, but this does not mean that you can't avail of the green advantage. It is possible to increase the energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact with a  few basic measures that do not require the help of an expert or even a lot of expense. To begin with, consider every room in the home and how you can make it more green (we aren’t talking about wall colour here!).

Green-savvy products
Thanks to growing awareness about the need to conserve the resources of our planet, a number of ‘green’-savvy products are now on the market. Here’s some advice on how to put them – and your concern – to good use.

If you consider your home, you can roughly identify these areas to focus on – plumbing, electric lighting and wall paint. We all know that conserving water is important. You can do your bit by upgrading your water dispending facilities. First, install a low-flow toilet. You will save approximately 10 litres of water with every flush.

Next, have an aerator fitted on all your water taps. These attachments can be screwed onto most modern water taps. Tap aerators basically create a non-splashing stream of water mixed with air, and are a great water-conserving method that will save your up to half of the typically used amount of water. If your existing taps are not suitable for the fitting of aerators, change them - this small expense will go a long way in water savings.

Smart lighting
The next area to focus on in your home is lighting. More than 80% of the energy generated by most normal light bulbs is heat rather than light. This is a huge waste of electricity, since the heat is of no use to you and in fact increases the temperature in your home, which means increased use of fans or air conditioners. You can overcome this limitation by using compact, energy-efficient LED bulbs. These not only last a lot longer but can also save you as much as two-thirds of the electricity you normally use for lighting your home.

Green living is all about reducing, reusing and recycling, So don’t rush out to buy all new furniture. You can make your old furniture new again by refurbishing or covering it. If you decide to go with all new furniture, make sure you select items that are made of non-toxic and organic materials.

Did you know that the paint on your walls has much to do with how environmentally friendly your home really is? Traditional household paints contain a number of chemicals. They also contain VOCs (volatile organic compound) like benzene and formaldehyde. These VOCs can cause short and long-term health problems like dizziness or allergies. When you buy paint, look for natural, non-toxic or zero VOC paint. You don’t have to worry about colour options. These paints come in a wide variety of colours, so your choices shouldn’t be limited.

If you turn a 'green' eye on the home you live in, you will find many more areas that can be improved and optimised for environmental friendliness and sustainable living.

More tips for environmental friendliness
You can install better insulation on your window frames to cut down on heat seepage into the flat and the amount of air conditioned air that escapes. Likewise, you can change your synthetic curtains to ones made of natural fibre, again reducing the amount of toxicity as well as radiant heat in your home.

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