Posted by Kayla Cloate @ REMAX on 03 Nov 21
Unless the property has been recently built or renovated, most homes within South Africa are not as eco-efficient as they could be. It is largely up to the homeowner to make the shift towards living in a greener home. Trouble is that eco-friendly additions can become costly.
Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that it our social responsibility to do what we can to contribute towards more sustainable living. Changing our homes and lifestyles to become less wasteful and more energy efficient is something towards which we should all strive. Admittedly, items such as solar panels or boreholes can be costly, so these might be things homeowners save towards while making other small changes around the home, he suggests.
Below, RE/MAX of Southern Africa suggests a few small ways to make your home more eco-friendly:
1) Minimize waste
There are so many ways that households create unnecessary waste. How full is your municipal bin each week? If your answer is âfilled to the brimâ, then carefully consider how you can change this to create less waste. For example, most food waste can be used as compost for the garden instead of rotting at the bottom of a plastic bag. When doing your grocery shopping, try to select items that have less unnecessary packaging. Where you can, try to grow your own herbs, fruit and/or vegetables to minimize packaging waste. Similarly, if you have a local butcher, bring your own reusable and freezer-friendly containers and ask them to pack your meat into the containers instead of into plastic packaging.
2) Do eco-friendly swaps over time
Doing a complete eco-overhaul could be expensive. Instead, try to slowly swap out items for more sustainable options over time. For example, change old faucets to water saving outlets one by one. Then, replace old toilets with a water-saving dual flush toilet. Replace old light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs over time. Replace or install insulation and fix any drafty window or door frames so less additional heating and cooling solutions are required.
3) Save for the big projects
Understandably, some sustainable replacements are more expensive than others. But, installing big ticket items such as solar panels can end up saving homeowners a massive amount on electricity bills and will also add to the resale value of the home. To make these items more affordable, create a savings fund that you can contribute towards monthly. Putting a small amount aside each month will bring you one step closer to being able to afford the bigger sustainable features.
Becoming an eco-friendly household does not need to be an expensive exercise. Homeowners can start small and slowly make changes to contribute towards a more sustainable lifestyle. It is important to remember that every bit counts. If we all do our part, the world will be much better off for it, Goslett concludes.