Eco-Living Magazine

Sustainable Homes – 10 Easy Steps to More Efficient and Sustainable Homemaking

Posted on the 27 November 2011 by I Prefer Organic @ipreferorganic

sustainable homesEfficient and sustainable homes – how can we achieve this? I bet you think it’s expensive and difficult to do. We all like this green living talk, but when it comes to actions – it’s another story…Actually, it’s neither expensive, nor difficult. It’s just having our mindset tuned to do the right things for us and those that we love.

If you don’t know it by now you have at least somehow felt it that all the decisions we take about our homes – how they look like, how much light is getting inside, what is the furniture, what the decoration is or the cleaning products we use – everything influences our health, energy and self-esteem. Here are 10 easy ways to boost them by also being planet-friendly.

1. Let more light get into your home

If you are buying a new house or building another floor, plan the positions of the windows in a way that more natural light goes inside. Thus, you will use less your expensive energy saving light bulbs. If you already have a house, then pull away your curtains or window blinds and the let the light in.

2. Choose long-lasting furniture

Don’t buy furniture that you know you have to change in a year or two. Sustainable homes have quality furniture usually from a local manufacturer. If you can’t buy it first-hand, buy it second-hand. The best is if it is done from sustainable or recycled wood, recyclable metal, plastic or bamboo. The Greenguard Environmental Institute offers a free resource to help people find healthier home products.

3. Give new life to your grandma’s furniture

I love old furniture. It has charm and it may be a great accent in your modern home. We have a 100 year old suitcase in our living room. It looks more like a chest and is unique. All our quests go first to see it. Can’t tell you about the endless stories told around it.

4. Take off your shoes before going inside

Here is one very easy step towards more sustainable homes – just take your shoes off. With shoes on we take inside not only the dirt, but all the toxic chemicals that have stuck on our soles. For years the vacuum cleaner will not be able to clean these poisonous particles.

5. Don’t clean with anti-bacterial products

It is exactly these products that make the bacteria even more resistant. On the other hand, anti-bacterial products kill not only the bad, but the good bacteria too.

6. Use natural disinfectants

Sustainable homes use natural means for cleaning and maintenance. Here is an easy natural disinfectant: put 4 – 5 drops of lavender oil, tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil in an essential oil diffuser. This will clean the air from all the microscopic “enemies”.  Don’t forget to air all the rooms you stay regularly too.

An easy natural homemade recipe to clean your tiles with shining results


1) 1 cup of baking soda; 2) 1/4 cup of borax; 3) 1/8 cup of salt; 4) 15 drops of tea tree oil


Mix all the ingredients and gloss your sinks, tub, counter-top and toilet.

7. Avoid dry cleaning

Try to buy clothes , covers, curtains and etc. that can be laundry washed. The oily stains on the carpet can be cleaned with corn starch that will absorb the oil. After 30 minutes pass with a vacuum cleaner.

8. Start composting

In a few words, composting is converting your kitchen food waste into soil. This is a great step into sustainable homes’ making and very easy if you have a backyard or a place to store the compost.

9. Sustainable homes save energy and water

Do you know that lighting is about 11% of all the electricity you use at home? Switching to energy saving light bulbs can decrease your energy costs with at least $50 per year, if you give up 15 traditional light bulbs. Beginning 2012 the Energy Independence and Security Act will come into effect and will require the light bulbs in use to be 25 – 30% more efficient than the current incandescent light bulbs. We will use the so called halogen incandescent, which will last 3 times longer than the traditional one.
There are many tips and tricks on how to conserve water that are easy to implement. Neither money, nor time investment, nor special preparations are needed.

10. We sleep better when it’s cooler

Don’t overheat your home. We sleep better when it’s cooler and we save on energy too. We also significantly decrease our carbon footprint.

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