When we think about healthy homes we often focus on key elements like toxins, pollutants, and chemicals that can cause harm to the people we love. It’s also common to focus on cleaning products, natural remedies and eating healthy foods. But one of the important elements of a healthy home, one that’s often ignored or forgotten, is the practice of sustainability. A sustainable home, meaning a home that embraces environmentally-friendly practices, is a healthy home.

Energy Efficient

The more energy efficient your home is, the more sustainable it is. When you can keep the hot, or cold, air inside your home where you want it, you’ll run your heating and cooling system less often. This means reduced dependency on gas, electricity, coal or oil, depending on your system. There are energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and that’s a great place to invest your money.

However, simple things like regularly having your furnace and air conditioner serviced can also improve performance and extend the life of your system. Energy-efficient and insulated windows and doors also help keep the temperature the way you want it, and programmable thermostats help you raise and lower the temperature automatically so you’re not heating or cooling the home when you’re not there.

Let’s not forget about energy star appliances and LED light bulbs which can last more than twenty years and use much less electricity than traditional bulbs.

Sustainable Materials

Whenever you’re remodeling or replacing items in your home, look to use sustainable materials. For example, rather than replacing your floor with hardwood, consider bamboo, cork, or even cement flooring which is sustainable, durable, and beautiful. Countertops, carpet, and other building and design materials can also be found at recycling centers and second-hand building supply operations. It’s possible to get creative and enjoy quality design without spending tons of money on brand new materials.

Clean Water and Reduced Consumption

Consider creating systems where you reduce the amount of water you use. You might install a timer on your shower faucet and use reduced capacity toilets in your home. These help control how much water goes to waste. You can also place rain barrels in your yard to collect water for your garden. And consider how you throw water down the drain. For example, if you don’t finish a glass of water, do you dump it down the drain or do you use it to water a plant?

Environmentally-friendly practices support a healthy planet and a healthy home. Choose one priority or area to focus on and start making changes to your lifestyle. The impact on your home and your lifestyle will be a positive one.

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