Many developers build modern homes with the expectation that the owner will use utilities provided by outside entities. They expect the homeowner to use power from the local utility company, water from the city, and sewer services from the town or county. But there is no reason why you can’t have all of those things at your fingertips on a smaller scale in your backyard (or garage).
You can achieve this by using solar power, composting, using gray water for toilets, collecting rainwater, growing your food, or using Earthship techniques to build a sustainable home on less than one acre of land (about half an acre is ideal).
Of course, not everyone can be in such a position. However, that doesn’t mean that sustainable living is out of reach for many city-dwellers.
Why Bother Living Sustainably?
Sustainable living is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce the harm on the planet. But it is more than just being green: it means not spending a lot of money too and having an easy life! It is also important to note that an eco-friendly home will save you money in the long run when you build it using sustainable materials and techniques like reclaimed or recycled building materials and energy-efficient appliances/furniture etc.
The bottom line: There are substantial cost savings in using alternative energy sources such as solar power over traditional electricity and gas, especially if you live in an area that has high electricity costs. And the best way to achieve this—and not just in electricity but a more eco-friendly and less big utility-reliant living—is through creating a self-sustaining home.
Simple Steps to a Sustainable House
The journey toward sustainable living starts with your home, and these simple steps can take you an inch closer toward sustainability:
Know What You Use
Learn what items are essential in your own space and how they can make you more independent. For a house to be truly self-sufficient, you need several things to function as a complete unit. First, you’ll need to start with the water system and end with air conditioning, part of the air supply system. Keep in mind, a self-sufficient home uses resources daily, including the time required to do laundry or cook dinner (both tasks that use up valuable indoor water). Other important aspects include having a sufficient amount of insulation and filtering all the dirty air that gets sucked inside.
Invest in Alternative Energy Sources
With all these resources, you’ll need electricity to power them. A small solar power system at home can save you a significant amount of money on electric utilities. Through a simple system of solar cells, solar power banks, and other alternative energy systems, you can reduce reliance on grid power and start your way towards a self-sufficient life.
The initial investment might be high but will quickly pay for itself over time with zero cost on your energy bills and much more environment-friendly energy supply choices as an alternative to traditional electricity sources like coal and natural gas. Alternative energy sources are also beneficial when the standard electrical power gets too expensive, such as throughout grand summer season seasons or maybe during unusually heavy summer season weekends.
Use Passive Lighting to Light Up Your House
Other than renewable sources of energy, you can also use natural sunlight as a light source throughout the day. Other than providing some light inside your home, research has shown some health benefits of sunlight to people.
The amount of sunlight depends on the location of your home. If your house is well-placed to catch the direct rays from the sun, then you will have plenty of sunshine coming through the windows and into your home during the day. If your home faces north to the sun during wintertime, this means that you will have direct sunlight all day long. This reduces reliance on electricity and uses the natural light you already get.
Look for Alternative Water Sources
Most people enjoy the convenience of modern water management and supply. But even in this area, there are sustainable techniques and tricks. The alternative is using one of the many rainwater harvesting systems available for purchase at any large hardware store or online marketplace. They will have different designs and pricing options ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousand depending on how much water you need and where you want to place them within your home. Keep in mind your state’s laws regarding rainwater collection.
You can also choose to have it installed by a professional plumbing contractor for some additional cost to get everything set up the right way and ensure your family’s safety when using these devices. Still, the results should be just the same, if not better, than what you can get by DIY installation.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to break the bank to start sustainable living. Some investments to get your foot in the door might seem daunting at first. But when you add up everything, including doing your part in saving the environment, you’ll live easier.