7 Easy Ways To Go Green At HomeLiving & Lifestyle
5 minutes read
Why a Green Home?
You may have heard of green homes and how they revolve around sustainability, energy efficiency and environmental conservation. But there are equally essential yet lesser discussed areas of green living that homeowners should bear in mind.
Green homes promote comfort, health, wellbeing as well as productivity and include benefits such as:
• Better Sleep: Exposure to natural daylight helps to regulate our body clocks, improving sleep quality at night for better rest.
• Better Decision-Making Abilities and Productivity: Green home elements can positively impact your mental prowess. In fact, a Harvard study revealed that those working in green, well-ventilated spaces scored 26 percent higher on tests of cognitive function.
• Better Breathing: If you use eco-certified materials and finishes, the negative effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on your health will be dramatically reduced. These effects include eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, and other health problems; without them, the air quality in your home will improve.
• Better Physical and Mental Health: Green design elements can improve your mental health and reduce stress levels. Certain green furnishings can also reduce environmental noise, which helps clear visual clutter and ease psychological distress.
So, What Makes a Green Home?Green homes typically utilise design elements that positively impact the environment, and have a direct bearing on the comfort and liveability of our spaces. Considering their benefits to one’s physical and mental well-being, they are becoming a pleasantly permanent and much-need fixture in our everyday lives. According to the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC), green homes have:
• Energy-efficient LED lighting
• Blinds or curtains to regulate both air flow and daylight penetration
• Good ventilation
• Water-saving sanitary fittings
• VOC-free building materials such as paint, laminates and adhesives
• Use of sustainable materials like wood and bamboo
• Use of recyclable materials or waste, like plastic, glass, paper, and leftover wood
• Use of locally-made materials to save costs and reduce carbon footprint
• Lots of houseplants to keep indoor air quality optimal
How To Go Green at Home?
You don’t have to live in a certified green building to live green and enjoy its benefits.
Whether you are moving into your new home soon or have lived in your current home for years, there are many ways to build green into your home - from making informed choices in renovation products, materials, and finishes for your home to changing your daily habits and behaviour to go green.
Here are seven easy, effortless, and affordable ways you can go green at home.
1. Switch To LED Lighting and Energy Efficient Appliances
LED lighting emits light differently compared to traditional bulbs, so they can save up to 90% of energy. Not only does that reduce energy consumption, but it can also help to lower your utility bills!
Other than switching to LED lighting, you can also invest in energy-saving home appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers. While those much-needed green ticks may cost a little more, they will save plenty of energy and costs in the long run.
2. Utilise Smart Home Technology
Using smart home automation acts as a network that connects all your systems and appliances into one platform, resulting in seamless, convenient use.
Use sensors and apps to control your system; no need to worry about leaving your lights on or appliances running. This helps to save on energy, reduce energy wastage and be more convenient for you.
3. Use Healthy Building Materials
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gaseous compounds that diminish air quality. Their extended presence in your home can result in health problems such as nasal and eye irritation, frequent migraines, loss of coordination, damage to internal organs, and even cancer.
To preserve the health of your household members and loved ones, opt for paints, flooring materials, finishes, and carpentry laminates to that little to no VOCs. Your body will thank you for doing so. Check out this list for low VOC products.
4. Double Glazing for Windows
Window screens and films add a layer of protection to your window, especially if your windows are facing the direction of the sun’s strongest rays.
Due to their translucency, such products will reduce the amount of UV rays entering your home while allowing sufficient light to brighten the place.
If the application of window screens and films sound tedious, you can also opt for curtains or blinds to control the amount of light entering your home.
5. Harvest Rainwater
You do not have to get water from your taps all the time. Got a garden to grow? A car to wash? Harvest rainwater via a collection system as an extra water reservoir to water your plants and wash your car.
You can also use water collected from washing rice and vegetables, thus saving on water usage and your utility bills.
6. Work from Home Near a Window
If working from home has become your norm, set up your workstation next to a window.
Windows give your home office maximum access to light and ventilation, so you do not have to leave your lights, fan, and air conditioner on all the time as your home office will be sufficiently lit and ventilated.
If you are worried about your important documents being blown out the window or bugs entering your home office, you can put up window netting as protection.
7. Grow Houseplants
Houseplants not only beautify your homes with a splash of green, but they also work to keep your home’s indoor air quality at optimal, healthy levels.
Hardy, low-maintenance plants like the peace lily and spider plant help to remove toxic substances such as benzene and formaldehyde from the air, while other species such as the snake plant continually produces oxygen throughout the day to improve general indoor air quality.
Check out this list for plants beneficial to indoor air quality.
Take Part, Take Action! Join Singapore’s Greenest Home Town Challenge!
Got some green elements in your home? Flaunt them! Show them off in this competition, and you can win vouchers and gift cards to spoil your green home even more!
Show us how you Go Smart, Go Healthy and Go Natural at home by sharing a photo of your green home efforts, and stand a chance to win eCapitaVouchers, Frasers Property Digital Gift Cards and other prizes!
SGBC recently introduced their ‘Green Means Go’ Campaign to educate and help homeowners and the general public understand the benefits of green homes, and how Singaporeans can work to weave green living into their homes.
As part of the campaign, a competition called ‘Singapore’s Greenest Home Town’ has been launched to encourage people to make greener choices for their homes. There are three main categories that this competition focuses on:
1) Go SmartEntries have used LED lighting and energy-efficient household appliances, or leveraged smart home technology such as smart home systems, sensors and applications to boost energy efficiency and bring green into their homes.
2) Go HealthyEntries have included features that are environmentally friendly and beneficial to one’s health. Such features include usage of low-VOC materials such as paints, flooring and carpentry laminates, or installing appliances such as dehumidifiers.
3) Go NaturalEntries have incorporated natural elements, such as plants, rainwater harvesting systems, and features to maximise natural lighting and ventilation in one’s home.
Visit greenbuildings.sg for more information on green homes and to upload your competition entries.The top voted entries will be awarded attractive prizes worth up to $1000 by SGBC including eCapitaVouchers, Frasers Property Digital Gift Cards and more!
After the competition, the SGBC will also award a town as ‘Singapore’s Greenest Town’.
The Singapore’s Greenest Home Town Challenge ends in Jan 2022.
About The Singapore Green Building Council
The Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC) enables sustainability across the building and construction value chain, championing capability development and innovative solutions that support industry transformation through our Membership, Certification and outreach programmes.
The repository of proven green building solutions helps to enable green procurement in the industry, profiling leading and innovative solutions that go towards building a greener, healthier built environment.
Together with a growing pool of industry-recognised Green Mark Accredited Professionals, SGBC addresses every touchpoint of the green building ecosystem.
Campaign Microsite: www.greenbuildings.sg
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