All of us are becoming more aware of the need to encompass sustainable living into the future. Gone are the wasteful days of using electricity as though there was no tomorrow and the utter waste of fuel in all its forms has been nothing less than disgraceful. But we all protest, ‘we didn’t know the damage we were doing.‘ Even though we can not use ignorance as an excuse any more, there are many of us who are hesitant to change our ways because our neighbour is still getting away with running his eight cylinder gas guzzling car and leaves every light in the house on at night. ‘If he can do it why can’t I,’ they might now exclaim.
Despite cynicism in many quarters there is a solid body of thought that is serious about doing its part in improving things for the coming generations. These people, who embrace this thought, are serious about making a difference, and as a result the world is starting to embrace a feeling of responsibility, at last. This is being shown by the interest in sustainable living that is growing solidly throughout the world.
We can all do our bit to Make the World a Cleaner and Better Place for the Generations Following
If we all do our bit by improving the way we go about our daily lives, by embracing the thought of sustainable living in our homes, we will go a long way towards making the world a cleaner and healthier place to live in for all of us, not just now but especially for those who are to follow. What we do in this area today will determine the type of lifestyle future generations will be able to enjoy. If we fail in our responsibilities now we will be condemning them to a hardship they need not have to endure.
If you are serious in your attempts to keep your home sustainable into the future, here are five tips you might find of value:
- Most countries in the world are facing a future of water shortages. Where water is plentiful populations are growing and where water is in limited supplies starvation and famine already exists. It has been predicted that water shortage will one day be the catalyst that will start wars between nations. Water conservation is one way we can all make a marked difference and it is so easy to do. We should only use water efficient appliances, three stars or more. All sustainable homes must install water tanks for watering gardens, use in toilets and laundries where possible. Shorter showers with water saving shower heads are also a must.
- After water, the next most important thing to do to make your home sustainable for the future, is to attend to its warming and cooling. It is much better if you are able to position your home in the proper position for natural comfort as you go about building, rather than try to alter an older home that is positioned facing the wrong direction. If you live in the southern hemisphere you should build your home facing north. In this way it catches the full impact of the winter sun from morning through to the late afternoon. The large double glazed windows at the front of the house can be shaded by the use of shade cloth during the summer. The back of the home can be opened up for outdoor living during the summer months also. During the winter the home can be warmed by the sun through the front windows and cooled by the shaded windows and open back area during the summer. It doesn’t matter whether your home is old or new it will need insulation and a good ventilation system. This can often be achieved through opening the appropriate windows and doors to create a draught.
- Energy is probably the most important factor as far as money saving is concerned. A lot of waste and a lot of problems are caused with regards to climate change through the over use of energy. If your house is cold in the winter and hot in the summer you will need to do something about it. If you don’t you will continue to use excessive energy in both seasons trying to live in some manner of comfort. You can now solve your hot water problems by installing solar panels. If this is not practical due to your location you will get better results from natural gas or an electric heat pump. Position skylights throughout the house for maximum lighting and when night time falls only have lights on that are necessary. All it needs is to flick on a switch and a light will be there. There is no need to leave the light burning after you leave the room. Don’t use appliances that use excessive power, for instance you can use the grill in the gas stove to make toast rather than use the electric toaster.
- Insulation is effective in both warm and cold seasons. Without insulation most of the heat you produce in the house is lost through the ceiling where only the possums get to enjoy the full benefit. In the summer the sun beating down on your iron roof all day, all but cooks you in the process. These extremes can be avoided with the use of straw. Straw is both cheap and available throughout the world and it has been successfully used for insulation purposes for centuries. Plain straw is probably the most cost effective way of insulating your home.
- To be fully sustainable you must also be able to grow at least some of your own food. The outside of your home should work for you as much as you expect the indoors to do. One way of doing this is to grow hydroponic vegetables and herbs. You can grow a lot in small areas by using the hydroponic system or try your hand at aquaponics.