Everyday, the climate crisis grows more and more drastic. According to Impact Hub, the current heat waves, forest fires, and abnormal weather patterns we are experiencing today are just the tip of the iceberg. With this pattern, it’s only a matter of time before the planet caves in.
So what exactly can we do? Mitigating the effects of global warming certainly sounds like a daunting task, but change can start right at home—particularly, with how our housing units function. In fact, the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge reveals that it’s possible to achieve net zero operational carbon if Architects and the construction industry follow good practice.
Over the years, we’ve been seeing more large-scale developments in the UK going the green route and creating eco-friendly flats. In Leeds, for instance, Citu’s Climate Innovation District has units that run on 100% renewable energy, while using only sustainable supplies.
Meanwhile, Goldsmith Street in Norwich put up housing that matches the German Passivhaus standards, an area of 60 flats that make use of solar panels and ground source heat pumps for lower energy consumption. Around the world, such developments are proving that the future of housing can be good for humans and better for the earth.
Of course, moving into such districts isn’t the only way to live sustainably. Whichever place you currently call home, here are some ways to turn your flat into an eco-friendly one:
Insulate Your Home
A well-insulated home is key for sustainable living. Whether it’s for heating or cooling services, proper insulation in your walls will help conserve the energy usage of your flat while reducing the use of fossil fuels. During the cool weather, insulation effectively traps heat, which means your heating system won’t use much energy. Meanwhile, it safeguards cool air from leaving during the warmer weather so your cooling system utilises less energy. All in all, efficient insulation can ensure that you’re minimising your energy consumption all year long.
Properly Maintain Your Appliances
Poorly maintained, old appliances end up overworking and raising your home’s energy footprint. For cleaner energy in your flat, it’s essential to take the time to regularly maintain your heating, drainage, and electrical systems. Fortunately, it’s never been easier by using a smartphone. The HomeServe app demonstrates how there are now mobile-friendly solutions that help homeowners settle claims, have queries answered for them, and schedule repairs at a click of a button. Such apps also make a wealth of information accessible—from DIY solutions to contact info for professionals. It’s no surprise that the New York Times is reporting that home maintenance apps have started to gain traction across the world. As more people turn digital, the easier it will become to manage their homes and make them more sustainable.
Switch to LED Light Bulbs
While light bulbs may seem like a small part of your home, the type of light bulbs you have can make all the difference in your energy consumption. This is why the popular halogen light bulbs have been banned in Europe because they release 15m tonnes of carbon emissions a year. Plus, the HuffPost points out that LED bulbs last 25,000 hours longer than a halogen bulb. If your home’s light sources are traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, it’s important to make the sustainable switch to using LED bulbs. Not only will you lower your energy bill costs, but it’s also a simple yet effective way to reduce your carbon footprint.
As the above points show being eco-friendly doesn’t mean you have to start making drastic changes. Small changes can be made to make your flat and the planet more sustainable.