The days of blissfully ignorant extravagance are gone. If you want to make a home which is good for you, where you can live with a peace of mind and in good health, you will have to make considerations for the environment around you. These considerations not only save the planet (bit by bit) but also save a lot of money. In the present context, with the papers and television channels blaring with the shakiness of our financial futures, there is no greater need of the hour than to save the planet and to save money.
That being said, it isn’t a herculean task to start making eco-friendly decisions in our homes. If you’re buying a new flat in Andheri or anywhere else, it would be beneficial for you to consider these steps.
Leaking Taps: Start using aerosol spray faucets. These days, you even get attachments which can be added to the tap you have installed. Aerosol spray faucets increase pressure while reducing the flow of water. If you do have old taps and they leak, well, get them fixed! Leaking taps not only waste a lot of water but sustained leakage can cause damage to paint and cement as well. Other improvements which can be made are low-flow shower heads and waterless urinals. A dual flush system should also be installed. Dual flush systems have the option of a full flush or a partial flush, depending upon the situation.
Cross-Ventilation: Natural cross ventilation is better than any cooling system you can install. Wherever there is scope for it, maximize the natural flow of air through your home. Naturally flowing air can reduce the accumulation of gases such as carbon monoxide while keeping the house cool at no cost.
Sunlight: Allowing sunlight to flood the rooms of your home is a great way to fight the growth of germs in the house. For people who’re buying flats and homes in places such as Andheri, it is advisable to get modifications and small constructions before they move into the place. Once you’ve settled in, you’ll probably not want to get up and do something about the fact that only a small portion of your home gets sunlight but complain. Sunlight also prevents moulds and fungus from growing on upholstery and curtains. These moulds can leave you and your family susceptible to lung diseases.
Buy Smart: Most appliances are now rated according to the amount of energy that they save. These ratings come in the form of EnergyStar ratings, BEE labels or any other accredited and certified rating agency. Most of the electricity used in a home is due to heating or cooling. Thus, use air conditioners and heating systems which are energy efficient. These appliances help bring down energy costs to a perceptible extent. Other improvements to make would be make sure that all windows which face east or west are adequately garbed with curtains or blinds. Another simple trick is to perform tasks such as using the dish washer, iron or washing machine in the evening in order to counteract the heat generated by these appliances.
There are plenty of other steps that one can take to move to a cleaner, cheaper and greener future. You could ask your housing society to switch to solar systems for heating water. Solar systems completely negate the cost of using an electrical geyser and the total price of installing the geyser can be recovered very quickly. Educating yourself and then your neighbors about the correct methods of dealing with waste is also important. Waste should be recycled and correctly segregated, with separate bins for organic and inorganic waste. In fact, why stop at home? Ask your office to take steps to reduce their energy consumption as well.
Ryan Donaldson is an energy expert who writes for various science and technology related magazines and publications. He has been travelling around the country delivering lectures and holding drive to promote cleaner and greener practices. His advice to those buying new flats in Andheri, Gurgaon or any other neighborhood is to start following green practices in order to make substantial savings by reducing therunning costs of their homes.