Tips for sustainable living

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 12:29

In the energy-concerned world today, many homeowners are turning to a more efficient and sustainable lifestyle that not only saves them money, but benefits the environment around them as well. Many methods for achieving this involve technological innovations such as radiant heaters that conserve costly natural resources, but others are as simple as shutting a running faucet off while brushing ones teeth.
Besides installing the best heating system in a house, people have many other options to reduce their reliance on external factors. Simple alterations in everyday procedures combined with upgrades to a house and yard can completely change homeowners' lives.
Keeping food on the table
While advancements in technology are providing people with ways to efficiently warm a house using radiant heat or keep the lights on with solar panels on the roof, there's one problem that machinery still can't solve - food supply. However, there are natural solutions for keeping food on the table. Communities could come together to maintain a food forest in their neighborhoods just as Seattle residents have done, according to Inhabitat.
In the 1970s the city of Seattle allowed the public to grow food on city land, and all these years later it's starting to pay off, reported the source. The Beacon Food Forest is in full bloom, as every level of the forest is cultivated for the sole purpose of providing nourishment to the residents around it. From the treetops to the forest floor, everything is edible. Whether it's the nuts hanging from the branches or the vines wrapped around the trunk, every species serves a beneficial purpose.
"A food forest is a gardening technique or land management system, which mimics a woodland ecosystem by substituting edible trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals," said Beacon Food Forest co-founder, Glen Herlihy according to Inhabitat.
Besides providing naturally grown fruits and vegetables to a community for free, the food forest is meant to also be a social gathering place for members of the neighborhood, stated the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.
Once the forest takes root, it becomes self-sustaining, requiring significantly less upkeep. The green garden doesn't need constant watering, weeding or fertilizing thanks to the chosen selection of plants within. When the food forest becomes independent, residents of the area can use the space to gather for events or to help each other in emergencies, becoming more reliant on one another for support.
The little things count as wellReplacing a forced air heating system and building a water cistern to collect rainwater are great ways to save money on energy and water bills. Little adjustments in life help too, as their benefits accumulate over time.
Some homeowners recycle all of their excess paper, but not everyone is taking part in the easy green habit. People can save a couple of trees by making an effort to remove their mailing addresses from the lists of junk mail senders, reported Apartment Therapy.
To save on their power bills, homeowners can switch all of their lights to energy-saving bulbs and connect power strips to all of their outlets to prevent a runoff of electricity, much like traditional heating systems with leaks in ventilation shafts. Replacing a toilet with a more water-efficient one and hanging wet clothes from a clothes line or rack instead of throwing them in the dryer are other ways resource conservatives can prevent excess waste.
As natural resources become more expensive and scarce, the demand for alternative solutions will increase. Some projects, like the food forest, takes years to see significant results, but installing equipment such as radiant heaters is as easy as making the appointment and reaping immediate rewards.