Interior Design expert Shaynna Blaze shares five ways you can embrace sustainability in your home.
What I love about the sustainable house movement is that it doesn’t demand we make radical changes and spend bucket-loads of money to ‘join the club’ – it’s all about integrating sustainability into our current lifestyles to make our homes function better for our future.
Increasingly I find my clients ask me how they can introduce sustainable elements to their homes when they’re renovating and redesigning, but the good news is you don’t have to undertake a major rebuilding project to make your home work more sympathetically with the environment.
Here are five ways you can embrace sustainability in your home:
Slow your flow
Replace inefficient showerheads and tapware with low-flow options. The WELS (Water Efficiency Labeling and Standards) rating system provides an easy to understand comparison of products’ water efficiency and consumption. Choose products that use less than 9 litres of water per minute for showers and less than 7.5 litres of water per minute for taps.
Adapt your taps
If you don’t want to go to the expense of completely overhauling your bathroom fittings, Reece stocks a range of flow restrictors and tap accessories that you can use to adapt your current bathroom and kitchen fixtures and fittings to make them more water efficient. They have a very informative factsheet you can find here on their website.
The three Rs
If you’re undertaking a building project, don’t automatically head to your nearest home and hardware retail store... renew, recycle and reuse! There are so many ways you can source reclaimed building materials from bricks and pavers to timber, glass, insulation, cabinetry and concrete. Seek sustainable materials online on sites like eBay, Gumtree and Freecycle or visit specialist salvage yards like the ones listed on The Junk Map.
Be LED up the garden path
Opt for energy efficient LED lighting. An LED lightbulb can last up to 50,000 hours compared to 8,000 hours for a traditional florescent or tungsten filament bulb, and LEDs consume less energy and emit less heat. Directional fittings that use LEDs are for areas that require functional lighting like kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor floodlit areas. Invest in good quality LEDs from the outset – the market is flooded with inferior products and your investment will be worth it in the long run.
Green your windows
Replace existing curtains or blinds with ‘green’ options that prevent heat loss in the winter, therefore reducing the amount of energy you need to use to heat your home, and minimise solar heat gains in the summer, reducing energy expenditure used to cool your home. Fabric types, colours and weaves can all have an influence on home thermoregulation and most curtain and blind shops offer environmentally friendly window covering options.