How do you imagine the house of your dreams?
If you are reading this, your vision likely goes beyond decoration, location, how many rooms it will have or whether it will be in the city or the countryside.
Your real desire is to make it as sustainable as possible. You are aware of the continuous expenses that are generated in terms of energy, water, food, security, maintenance, etc. You are looking for it to allow you to save energy, resources and be able to lead a conscious life that is kind on you and on the environment.
It is easier than you think and you can start today.
In this article, we reveal some of the benefits of having a sustainable home.
Improving the energy efficiency of your home is something that undoubtedly worries you. Reducing energy consumption without lowering comfort levels is possible. In addition, you will be actively contributing to the fight against the climate crisis that is slowly ending the planet.
It is a fact, energy saving has a positive impact on both the environment and your pocket.
What can you do?
Take the step. Bet on solar energy, we are sure that you will be hooked! We recommend you take a look at the different options for installing solar panels, options for financing, available grants in your area and the payback period.
If you do not see this modality viable because the negotiation with the administrative board of your building is unfeasible or for economic reasons, you can still change many other habits of your day to day, you will notice big reductions in your bills. You know, consistency is the key to success:
Turn heating down
Turning your heating down a notch can save a surprising amount on your bill, even just turning it down by 1º. 21ºc is a good daytime temperature for many. At night try switching it off altogether as studies have shown it to be unhealthy to sleep with the heating on.
Put weatherstripping on windows and doors
A very effective trick that can save 10 to 15% on energy bills is to put weatherstripping on windows and doors to block cold air intake.
Avoid blocking radiators
You can also prevent furniture like sofas and desks from blocking radiators when the heating is on.
Switch to LED bulbs
Surely you are already onboard. They consume between six and seven times less than a conventional bulb. You will be able to save up to 80% on the lighting of your home.
Avoid long hot showers
Did you know that after heating (and air conditioning), hot water is the biggest consumer of energy in the home.
Switch off or unplug devices not in use
Even if your gadgets and appliances are turned off some, like phone chargers, still consume electricity. TVs, gaming consoles and computers on standby suck up energy too as with any device with a display. This is known as “vampire power”. If they remain on standby or connected to the electrical current they can use up to 10% of the normal consumption in operation.
Wash at full load
This applies to washing machines and dishwashers. Use your common sense and you will reduce energy and water consumption each week.
We appreciate that some things mentioned here will depend on where you live, the type of building, the age of your home, whether you own or rent and the climate you live in. That said there are many things which are universal and can make a big impact.
Switch to renewable energy
Another change that is within everyone’s reach is to switch to renewable energy with your utility company. We recommend the EKOenergy label. This is global nonprofit ecolabel for renewable energy. It guarantees the origin and contributes a small part of your bill to develop renewable energy sources that combat energy poverty. In our case, when we made the switch we actually saved on our electricity bill!
Zero Waste Kitchen
As you know, this philosophy defends banishing plastics and single-use materials and avoiding food waste.
In most homes, the kitchen is the place where the most plastic is used and wasted.
It is time to act.
What can you do?
Plastic free shopping
The first step begins before going shopping. Take a look at your pantry. Do you see a lot of plastic? Something is wrong.
- Try to leave out products that are wrapped in this material. Avoid using disposable plastic bags by investing in a more sustainable option.
- Take your own cloth bag to the bakery. In our store you will find our Verdonce reusable bread bag is perfect to buy your fresh bread in a “zero waste” way. Made of 100% natural recycled cotton fabric.
- Luckily, more and more establishments are aware of this problem and allow you to bring your own jars and bags when shopping without plastic. If you are a newbie in the world of zero waste, here are some tips to start on this wonderful journey.
Buy in bulk
Bet on buying in bulk. Take your own glass jars, containers and reusable bags with you.
At Verdonce we want to help you make this change towards a more sustainable life. That is why we have created a dedicated Zero Waste Kitchen section in our online store where you will find different sizes of bags in two of our favourite materials: jute and recycled cotton, both completely biodegradable. We handcraft them in Spain from the best sustainable material with a full guarantee of decent working conditions.
Choose local and seasonal food
Local and seasonal food always. We know that you are fully aware. Eating fruits and vegetables in season contributes to lower energy and water expenditure in food production. Sure you love avocados, but you know that the vast majority come by boat from Latin America; or if you want to eat melon in February, it is most likely that it comes from the other side of the world.
Buying in your neighbourhood market and in traditional stores is undoubtedly a very good way to contribute to the reduction of waste. We are sure that this stroll will inspire you a lot in the kitchen, it happens to us. Go ahead and try one of our zero waste vegan recipes. Bet sure to let us know by tagging us on social networks if you prepare any.
Compost organic waste
Are you up for composting your organic waste? This requires time and space, as well as a composter (which you can also make yourself), but not everyone will have the facility to do so. Investigate, ask your neighbours, the municipal council of your neighbourhood or farmers in your area, maybe someone is already doing it and you can help with your waste!
Bath time can also be a time of respect and care for the environment. As in the rest of the rooms, you simply need to change certain habits that will help you feel good in knowing that you are making your little contribution.
What can you do?
Save water in 3 steps
Guess where we use the most water? Yes, in the shower. All actions make a difference.
- Take a shower instead of a bath,
- turn off the tap while applying soap, shaving or brushing your teeth,
- and don’t use the toilet as a waste bin.
Very simple, right? With a little attention and awareness it’s job done.
Install water efficient taps
If you are thinking of doing some renovations, change your bathtub for a shower, install a thermostat on your tap in the shower and fit water saving taps and toilets. The planet and your bill will notice the difference.
Use sustainable products
If you’ve been wanting to say goodbye to single-use plastic packaging, tubs, and containers that stick out of your bathroom shelves for a long time, you’re on the right track. As you know, beyond water consumption, this room presents a great environmental challenge: waste management.
This is our top 10 for making a big difference
- Use a bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic (or even, dare we say it, electric toothbrushes)
- Solid bars of soap instead of shower gel or liquid hand soap. Combine with a natural jute soap bag for added comfort
- Solid shampoo (and solid conditioner if you use this product) is a must. Try a few brands until you find one which suits your hair
- Ditch the disposable makeup remover pads. Use reusable facial wipes instead
- Switch to a menstrual cup and cloth pads or menstrual panties like the one by I LOVE CYCLO
- Try solid toothsoap like the one by Georganics or even have a go at making your own
- Go for bamboo cotton wool buds next time you need to stock up
- Change your disposable razor for a traditional D.E. razor. You’ll save big time money and plastic!
- Try solid mineral or crystal stick deodorant in eco-friendly packaging like the one by Biork
- Stop using disposable wet wipes and replace with a traditional cotton flannel
Our sustainable bathroom section at Verdonce offers a collection of eco, plastic-free accessories for your daily routine. They will help you make your bathroom a relaxing space for your personal care, healthier for your skin and with a lower impact on the environment. Within the collection you will find natural jute bath sponges for the body, exfoliating mittens, reusable cotton make-up remover pads or natural jute soap bags. All ethically made by Verdonce in Spain.
Clean without toxics
Perhaps it is one of the changes that takes the most effort, because of how accustomed you are to buying cleaning products in the supermarket. It’s normal, it has happened to all of us.
You can get down to work and make your own biodegradable products based on natural ingredients like cleaning vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and essential oils. If you don’t have time and want to try new brands, there are more on the market than you imagine. And the prices will surprise you for good.
Our recommendation? Home Healthy Home, a Spanish brand with a wide ecological range of natural cleaning products that are committed to the planet.
First of all, what is this capsule wardrobe and what is the goal?
We could summarize it as order and consciousness. The main objective of this system is to help you save on clothes, avoid consumerism and make you part of the radical change that the fashion industry needs.
We know you want to start at 3, 2, 1 … Pay attention!
What can you do?
- Don’t throw away half of your closet. Keep the most versatile garments and those that you usually use regularly. That wardrobe will make your days easier and save you a lot of time and money. For ideas and inspiration, check out Use Less Wardrobe by Signe Hansen Glud
- Adapt it to your needs. You are going to read that the capsule wardrobe has 33 garments, spoiler: it’s a lie. It has what you need. Maybe it’s 42 or 25, don’t be overwhelmed. Little by little you will discover the items with which you feel comfortable in and realize that you really do not need that much in your closet.
- Go for sustainable fashion. Buy less and better quality. That is the key. Trust small brands with values that respect workers’ rights and care about the protection of the environment.
- As you know, at Verdonce we are committed to responsible fashion. We have our slow living bags, sustainable bags with a minimalist and conscious style, very comfortable and versatile for your day to day. Currently there are four models in various colors. We invite you to take a look on our website ?
These are some of the tools to get you on your way and change the course of those daily actions damage the environment. Together we can build a better and fairer present without having to jeopardize the future.
If you put any of them into practice, we’d love to hear about it. You can let us know in the comments below or give us a shout on Instagram @verdonce_home