How do you go green? Tips for a sustainable home
What can we do to live sustainably at home? And above all, where do we start? You certainly know the feeling: once you have started to think about sustainability, you see the problems everywhere, but at the same time also ways for improvement. That is why we were delighted when we came across Arhaus and were able to develop some tips for a sustainable home together. The result is this infographic showing six simple tips that will help you to make your home sustainable step by step.
Let there be light!
Switching to LED lights is one way to organize your home more sustainably: in contrast to energy saving lamps they do not contain mercury. Another advantage: they shine at full brightness as soon as they are switched on. Many hotels such as the Le Pavillon in Paris have been relying on LEDs in combination with timers and motion detectors for a long time, saving a lot of energy this way. And at home you ought to remember: always turn off the lights when you leave a room :-).
Being surrounded by furnishing made of natural materials simply makes you feel more comfortable. The hotel Leitlhof sets an example and relies on pure nature: the walls are plastered with clay, guests sleep in pure cotton bedclothes and the furniture is made from local wood. For example, the regional wood of the Swiss pine is considered to have a calming effect and to promote sleep. In the Lifestyle Hotel SAND at Timmendorfer Strand you sleep especially well in the natural beds by Coco-Mat, that are handcrafted from renewable raw materials such as cotton, algae, wool and wood from Greece. You can find top quality furniture from natural and partly recycled materials in the American Shop Arhaus, for example. An important aspect of Arhaus’s corporate philosophy is never to use wood from endangered rainforests – which is the basis for the cooperation with American Forests.
Renovation and restoration
Renovating or even restoring old buildings and furniture saves resources and thus significantly reduces the carbon emissions in comparison to always buying and building new. What is especially nice about that: The old materials tell countless stories, that are decades and sometimes even centuries old, and create a very special atmosphere. One example for this is the Coconut Lagoon by CGH Earth in southern India: the once dilapidated, 150 year old manor houses were rebuilt and restored piece by piece and with great attention to detail. The building of the Josephus in Schnalstal in South Tyrol is also quite old. It was built in 1912 and rebuilt and restored at a late stage by the present owners Doris and Alexander Rainer – using wood of larch trees and Swiss pine, some of which they had found in the former barn.
Not just clean, but pure – without using chemicals!
The list of natural cleaning products in supermarkets and drugstores is constantly growing longer, which makes it easy to manage without chemistry even for the average person. Moreover, you can do most of the house cleaning using only a few household remedies such as vinegar essence, sodium bicarbonate, soda and citric acid. While some enterprises conduct research on cleaning with pure water, the Tongsai Bay on Koh Samui simply produces their own detergents using fruit peel and effective microorganisms (EM).
Most of us don’t want to do without the warm shower – especially in winter. Thereby we accept that we use huge quantities of water just to enjoy it on our skin one minute longer. That is why the Creativhotel Luise relies on the showers by Orbital Systems, which the Swedish enterprise originally developed for NASA. Meanwhile, these showers are not only to be found in the Creativhotel Luise, but you can also buy them for your home. Due to a special technology the water is purified in a closed loop and continually reused while you are showering. Thereby you do not only save 90 % of water and energy, but you can also take your shower with a clear conscience.
A large part of our daily waste is produced in the kitchen due to the packaging of pre-prepared food as well as fresh ingredients. On the weekly markets in your city you can usually buy regional and above all seasonal ingredients without plastic packaging that you can directly put into your shopping bag. There is also a lot of food that you can grow at home. Just keep in mind: where there is a will there is way. For example, the Gili Lankanfushi on the Maldives managed to create an organic garden by means of a special composting system: that way, potatoes, carrots and much more grow in a place where before there has only been sand. So, if you do not have a garden, you can be creative in your kitchen using vertical indoor wall gardens, flower boxes for your windowsill or simply a few herbs in a pot.