October inflation at 14-year high…that’s the title of a local article that economists explain with numbers. We all know that behind those numbers are what we all experience daily as we are faced with increases in food, beverage, rent, energy prices, and so on. The news tells us many reasons for the challenges we are faced today, from rising oil prices, disruption of supply chains, typhoons, stringent Covid containment strategies by the world’s manufacturing powerhouse China, etc., etc., etc.
Right now in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, COP 27 is taking place. It is this year’s United Nations climate summit where world leaders meet to discuss urgent climate issues.
Climate change—that thing that affects us all. Island and low-lying nations implored countries to act more urgently to limit the rise of global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius, cut emissions to achieve zero by 2050, accelerate the delivery of climate pledges from wealthy nations to help third world countries cope with the impacts of global warming…
Honestly, I balk at the magnitude of the subject. Sometimes a news detox is needed to be able to face daily life with equanimity. So allow me to focus instead on a subject we all can do something about—how to create a sustainable home.
Definition of a Sustainable Home
A sustainable home is one that is built with low-impact, high-performance materials, preferably recycled, upcycled, or newly innovated to address climate issues. It’s a home that is created and constructed with passive design in mind.
Passive design is a technique that mainly considers three elements—heat, air, and light—to build structures that comply with ecological sustainability. It is also called green design.
There are 4 ways to consider in incorporating passive design in your home: 1) natural ventilation, 2) building orientation, 3) natural lighting, and 4) insulation.
Read this link to find out more about passive design and why it is good for the environment.
If you are planning to build your home, this is very useful to know. There may be an initial investment but this will pay off in the long run. The most important thing is that it will be a healthy environment for you and your family to be in. It would also be a home that will produce a smaller carbon footprint, which means it will reduce its impact on the environment.
An Existing Home
An existing home, whether it’s a rental or not, can be sustainable too. Here are some of the ways that you can plan for:
- invest in / change to energy-efficient appliances like inverter A/Cs, washing machine, refrigerator, stove, etc.
- utilize recycled building materials like the wall in the feature image
- refurbish furniture instead of buying new ones
- if you have to get additional furniture, then go for antiques, vintage, or retro
- utilize solar-photovoltaic systems to generate energy and passive solar-thermal systems to heat water
- have plants in the house to help cool it
- change to LED lighting
- choose home accessories that are made of natural materials and not plastic, unless these are made of recycled plastic materials
- paint your roof with the heat-reflecting Boysen Cool Shades that can keep your home cool
- paint exterior walls with the air-cleaning Boysen KNOxOUT
Be Mindful of the Environment
We made this video for Earth Day 5 years ago. It’s as relevant now as it was then.
Embrace an eco-friendly mindset because it’s not only building sustainable homes that can help the environment. How we live, the choices we make, our attitude towards the environment, our habits—these can all be tweaked to reduce our impact on Mother Earth.
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