A number of states in India are facing a severe water crisis, pollution levels are going through the roof in Delhi, and the availability of clean water and energy is reducing with each passing day. But, what can an individual do about this?
Well, we can’t solve these problems single-handedly, but we definitely can make the decision to start with our homes. From minimising use of electricity, to conserving water, to just using eco-friendly materials, one thing’s for sure – every bit counts.
Let the Sun into the House
While constructing the house, make sure you utilise daylight to the maximum. Not only will this save electricity, but your eyes will also thank you! Try to create skylights, opening with shade, and capture the light from the north. You can also opt for full-length glass panels for doors and windows which have a solar control property. This means they will reflect more heat and keep the interiors insulated, reducing cooling and heating loads.
Skip the Vitrified Tiles
If you want your floors to look good, while also going green, you have a lot of great options to choose from. While wooden flooring is popular, a more sustainable and popular option is bamboo flooring, which is a rapidly recyclable material. Of course, there are also other materials, like cork, recycled rubber, and linoleum that’ll brighten up the house without increasing your carbon footprint.
Go Green with the Walls
No, we’re not being literal here. Though, if you choose, you can paint your walls green – or any other colour of your choice – by using low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint. And how about going paintless with wallpaper? There are tons of different designs and patterns that you can go in for, and many of them are made from rapidly renewable sources and natural fibre!
Choose the Furniture with Care
You need to be especially careful when you move into a new home because when you move into a newly furnished home, your eyes can start to burn due to the excessive use of urea formaldehyde in the plywood. So try to ensure that your furniture is 100% recyclable and contains low VOC content.
Alternatively, you can use cane and bamboo furniture which is not only eco-friendly, but will also give your home a unique look. And when you’re picking the fabrics to go, just make sure that they’re all-natural and you’ll be set!
Use Energy Efficient Lighting
Just using LED lights can make a whole lot of difference, and when you couple them with home automation (sensor lights), just think about how much you can save on your electricity bill! Of course, an even better option is to go in for solar lighting, if possible, and completely reduce your dependency on electricity.
Use Water Efficient Faucets
One major way to go green involves conserving water, and what better place to start than your loos?! Try using water efficient faucets that will prevent wastage. Also try replacing your flush tanks of EWCs with a 2/4 ltr flush instead of 3/6 ltr, and you’ll end up saving a considerable amount of water.
Also, another option is to reuse grey water, i.e. the water that washes down your kitchen or sink. Even if it has traces of dirt, you can always use it to water your garden or lawn. And, if you don’t have a lawn you can at least decorate the house with plants just to give it that green touch!
The authors are interior designers at UrbanClap. The views expressed herein are personal