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Building a Sustainable Home

Sustainable - I’m sure we’ve all heard this word numerous times but what does it actually mean? Sustainability is the ability to maintain something at a particular level. In the context of the environment, this means to manage our day to day needs to a level where the impact on the planet is minimal. It is not easy to live a completely sustainable life given the lifestyle and products we have gotten used to over time however, we can make small changes and be more conscious of our choices. Savings on energy, water and better use of electrical appliances can all help reduce monthly costs as well. Sustainable homes are more efficient as they optimise resources.

It may seem like a daunting task to make one’s home sustainable but it is in fact quite the opposite. There are small changes we can make with day to day things that will go a long way. The first example being lightbulbs. We all change our light bulbs every so often and if we can replace fluorescent bulbs with LED ones, we get several benefits. They last longer so don’t need to be replaced as often and are much more energy efficient which helps save money as they use less electricity.

Energy consumption in households tends to be large as we run many electrical appliances especially in Asia where the climate means we use fridges, air conditioners and fans more frequently. This leads to higher monthly electricity costs as well. Fridges, ovens, water heaters and air conditioners are some appliances that consume a lot of electricity. Therefore, taking into account the energy efficiency of an electrical product the next time we buy one could really help us save over time.

Implementing the 3R’s - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle - is also an easy way to make ourselves more conscious of our choices and do our part for the planet. When we run busy households, we end up throwing away things that may still have life left in them for the sake of convenience or to reduce clutter which is not a bad idea at all. However, if we could start replacing some of these items with their reusable alternatives, we may be able to reduce our waste output.

Rechargeable batteries for example work out to be cheaper over time and are a lot more environmentally friendly. Another great switch to make is from paper to cloth, using more cloth rags for cleaning rather than tissue paper reduces a lot of waste. Reuse items like plastic bags where you can. Setting up separate dustbins at home, one for food waste and one for recyclable items will make it easier for everyone including your children to get into the habit of recycling.  All these are simple but effective methods towards building a more sustainable home.

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