Do your part for the planet by creating a greener home for your family.
As the world’s population rises, we consume more and more non-renewable resources, draining the planet that your children and your children’s children will have to live in. Making a commitment to the green movement starts at home, but solar panels aren’t the only way practise eco-friendliness. Today, the average homeowner can live a green lifestyle with a few simple yet effective home improvements and a little help from nature.
Be conscious of your consumption
You may not know it, but even when turned off, your TV, computers and other appliances are quietly draining electricity all day and night just by being on standby mode. An easy way to cut back on usage is to switch off the main power to your electronics. Singapore Power estimates that this drainage can account for up to 10% of your energy usage.
Kick your energy-saving game up a notch by installing light controls for your home. These controls, such as dimmers can have a big impact on energy saving. The reduced level of energy used also increases the life of lightbulbs significantly. Even better, you can equip your home with sensors that automatically adjusts the lighting according to the amount of natural light in a room. This may require additional cash upfront, but the amount you save will very quickly cover the cost. According to Lutron, a company specialising in intelligent lighting systems, dimming the lights by 25% can save up to 20% of your electrical consumption.
The biggest culprit of energy consumption is none other than air-conditioning. The energy used by a single unit can power about 32 fans. You can cut your usage by 5-15% by simply raising the temperature by one degree. Keeping it at 25 degrees is enough to keep your environment and energy bill at a comfortable level. When shopping for an air-conditioner, look for one with inverter technology. This enables air-conditioners to cool the room a few degrees below the set temperature and maintain the room at a cool, comfortable temperature without having to overwork the compressor. As with all upgrades, systems with inverters are more expensive, but it will eventually pay for itself with the amount of energy you save.
While air-conditioners are boon for our humid climate, prolonged exposure to it can cause adverse health issues. Not only does the cold air dry out skin and exacerbate irritations, it also transmits respiratory diseases that will affect children and their weaker immune systems. If you find your children falling sick often, try weaning them off the air-conditioner. Start by turning off the air-conditioner after an hour or two, and continue to keep the room cool by circulating the cold air with a fan.
Bring nature into your home
here’s no better way to go green than filling your home with greenery.
A trend that seems set to stay is vertical gardening. Designed for small places, vertical gardens are a wonderful addition to Singaporean flats. With these, you will no longer need an air-purifier since most plants act as a natural air filter by absorbing toxic compounds in the air before releasing them as a harmless byproduct. Their leaves also trap dust which you can remove by gently cleaning the leave with a damp cloth. Plants also keep your house cool through the natural process of transpiration, in which plants release excess water into the air when their surrounding temperature heats up.
If you’re generally pressed for time, look for a plant that don’t require meticulous care. From succulents to cacti to ferns, there are many varieties of low maintenance indoor plants that your home will be happy to have.