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Sunday, 4 December 2016

How To Make Your Home Eco-friendly!

Climate change is and will affect all of us. Temperatures are rising, ice is melting, sea levels are rising and weather conditions are becoming unpredictable. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and doing our very best to conserve energy and water is going to make a huge difference to the future of the planet. Therefore, in the face of this critical issue, adapting to this change is inevitable and our homes and lifestyles need to reflect this change as well. Our guest contributor, Tom Rutherford, the Head of Marketing at LEDified shares a few smart tips on how we can adopt sustainable practices in our homes and lifestyle.If you sit down in your lounge at home and watch the clock tick, it will mirror the countdown that the Earth’s environment is facing. Scientists have been alerting the media and the world’s citizens for years about the environmental threats caused by the consumption and waste practices of humans from all around the world. As most of us are not affected by the environmental threats immediately, we can be prone to easily ignoring the impending issue. Unfortunately, if this attitude continues, future generations will be forced to clean-up the mess from yesteryears and even by then, it might be too late!

Environmental threats such as pollution and global warming will affect the climatic conditions, health and wellbeing for all of us around the world. Over the past few years, there’s been a surge in the amount of extreme weather conditions, which have wiped out communities and forced people to flee to other habitable areas. However, to make a change, we can start by improving consumption and waste habits within our very homes.

Here are a few suggestions that we can all adopt.

Use less electricity
The biggest contributor to carbon emissions and global warming comes from the excessive use of electricity. In 2015, over 190 countries signed the Paris Agreement to help curb the amount of carbon emissions that a country produces in an effort to combat climate change. But as energy demand continues to rise, the only solution is for governments to start rolling out alternate and renewable energy solutions urgently and get their citizens to adopt sustainable and green practices.

Energy-efficient technology is the easiest way to get people to adopt sustainable practices in their lifestyle. For example, upgrading to LED lightbulbs from incandescent lightbulbs in our homes can reduce the energy consumption within a household by 60%. If this technology is rolled out globally, it will be a big step towards combating climate change.

Additionally, educating, raising awareness and incentive schemes to use solar energy for lighting and heating will help further reduce overall energy consumption. In Europe, window-glazing technology has already reduced reliance on internal heating in the winter due to implementation of good design and smart technology that retains solar heat.

Minimise the amount of waste that goes to landfill
We are quick to dispose of household items without even thinking about the impact that it will have on the environment. Unfortunately, there are thousands of manufactured items that take hundreds or thousands of years to degrade, and are designed to only be used once.

We need to change our habits and recycle or reuse or repurpose as many items as possible. Even when a product comes to the end of its life-cycle, we need to get creative and find a way to avoid sending the product to become landfill.

For instance, home office products such as used ink cartridges and e-waste present a huge problem when they are sent to landfill. There are many elements within the used products that can be recycled and reused, however when they are disposed in landfill, the chemicals from the products contaminate the soil and waterways, thus destroying the ecosystem.

We can easily minimise the risk of these items ending up in landfill by participating in recycling schemes.

Protect our waterways
Don’t just discard used water or liquids in places where it will turn into sewerage. First world countries are fortunate to have water treatment plants that can process sewerage and turn it into recycled water that can be used for irrigation. However, many countries don’t have this technology and the sewerage becomes toxic to their local ecosystem and in turn impacts the residents. In the Chinese city of Guiyu, the waterways are so contaminated from waste and sewerage that water needs to be brought in from neighbouring towns for residents to survive.

We can all practice mindfulness and dispose used water, home cleaning products, chemicals and liquids in the proper way.

As an individual, you can make the choice to make the world a better place by sustainable practices in your home. The world needs you just as much as you need the world. If you haven’t started implementing environmentally friendly habits in your lifestyle and in your home, then make the change today.

Till next time...go green!

About the Author
Tom Rutherford is the Head of Marketing at LEDified, Australia’s largest full-service LED business. He has been involved in sustainable technology initiatives since 2009.
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