Easy DIYs to Make Your Home Sustainable
It's hard to ignore the overwhelming concern about the environment. Luckily, there are ways we can all contribute to a sustainable future. One of those ways is by making eco-friendly choices in our homes. For those of us who rent, it can be challenging to make significant changes without the risk of violating rental agreements or spending too much money. Fortunately, many rental-friendly DIY projects can help make your home more sustainable without breaking the bank or violating rental agreements.
Renter-Friendly DIY Projects for More Sustainable Homes
One of the most significant sources of energy consumption in homes is lighting. Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy usage. These bulbs consume less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs. Additionally, adding dimmer switches or motion sensors can help reduce energy usage and costs even further.
Using natural instead of artificial light is another way to reduce energy consumption. You can install solar shades or curtains that allow sunlight to enter the room while providing privacy. Window tints are another easy way to keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, which will help save on energy costs.
Saving and Reusing Water:
Reducing water usage is a central part of sustainability. One way to reduce water usage is to install a low-flow showerhead. This installation can save up to 2,700 gallons of water per year. Fixing leaky faucets and toilets is another overlooked but effective way to reduce water waste. Leaks can waste thousands of gallons of water each year and cause higher water bills. Most leaks only need a washer replacement or a pipe tightening to fix them.
Collecting and reusing greywater is another rental-friendly DIY project that can help reduce water usage. Greywater is wastewater from washing machines, showers, and sinks. It can be collected and used for irrigation or flushing toilets. Collecting greywater can be done using a simple system of buckets or by using a more advanced method that connects to the plumbing system.
New Decor From Thrifted Items:
Using thrifted materials for your DIY projects is a sustainable and budget-friendly way to decorate your home while reducing waste at the same time. Thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales are all great places to find unique and affordable materials for any project.
Upcycled furniture: Old furniture can be given new life with some creativity and DIY skills. For example, a thrifted dresser can be sanded and repainted to create a unique and stylish piece for your home. Adding new accents can also help give the item a fresh look.
DIY art: Thrifted materials such as old frames, fabric, and canvas can create unique DIY art. For example, a thrifted canvas can be painted or covered in fabric to create a one-of-a-kind piece of art for your home. Use repurposed old frames on a gallery wall or to frame prints or posters.
Lighting fixtures: You can use thrifted lampshades, light fixtures, and even old chandeliers to create unique lighting for your home. Paint a thrifted lamp shade or cover it in fabric to create a custom look. Old chandeliers can be painted and updated with new bulbs to create a stylish and unique lighting fixture.
DIY storage: Thrifted materials such as baskets, crates, and containers can make custom storage solutions for your home. For example, a thrifted basket can be a stylish and functional storage solution for blankets or magazines. Paint and stack old crates to create a unique storage solution for books or other items.
DIY decor: Thrifted materials such as vases, candle holders, and decorative accents make perfect custom DIY decor for your home. For example, a thrifted vase can be painted or covered in decorative paper to create a stylish centerpiece. Create decorative accents from old candle holders.
Another rental-friendly DIY project is creating a compost bin. Composting is an excellent way to reduce waste and can be done indoors or outdoors. For those with outdoor space, use materials such as wood pallets or chicken wire to create a compost bin. For those without outdoor space, indoor composting can be done using a worm bin or composting container. Not only does composting reduce waste, but it also creates nutrient-rich soil that can be used for gardening.
For those interested in gardening, creating a small herb garden or balcony garden is an excellent way to reduce food waste and promote sustainability. Growing herbs such as basil, cilantro, or parsley can provide fresh ingredients for cooking and reduce the need for store-bought herbs packaged in plastic. You can also propagate other fruits and veggies to grow right from the fridge. Check out this guide to apartment gardening for more information.
Make Your Own Cleaning Products:
Creating DIY cleaning products is an easy and cost-effective way to reduce the use of harsh chemicals and promote sustainability. Basic cleaning supplies such as vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils can be used to create all-purpose cleaners, window cleaners, and more. Here are some common cleaners that you can make with natural ingredients found in your pantry:
All-purpose cleaner: Combine one part white vinegar with one part water. Shake up with a lemon rind and some rosemary sprigs and let it infuse for about a week. This all-purpose cleaner is great to clean small smudges, water stains, and trash cans.
Glass cleaner: Mix two cups of water, a half cup of apple cider vinegar, a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol (70% concentration), and two drops of your favorite essential oil. Wipe this solution on windows and mirrors with a washable cloth.
Heavy-duty scrub: All you need for this recipe is half a lemon and half a cup of borax powder. This is perfect for tough-to-clean enamel or porcelain sinks and tubs. Just be sure not to use it on marble or granite surfaces.
Homemade polish: Combine table salt with some white wine vinegar or lemon juice to naturally polish non-lacquered faucets, cabinet pulls, and more.
Do It Yourself, Sustainably
Making sustainable choices in a rental home can be a challenge due to restrictions on major modifications, limited budget, and uncertainty about long-term living arrangements. However, many rental-friendly DIY projects can help renters reduce energy consumption, waste, and water usage.
Overall, making sustainable choices in a rental home may require a bit of creativity and effort, but it is possible to make a positive impact on the environment without violating rental agreements or spending too much money. By switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, creating a compost bin, starting an herb garden, installing low-flow showerheads, fixing leaks, and creating DIY cleaning products, renters can reduce energy consumption, waste, and water usage. These simple changes can make a big difference and contribute to a more sustainable future for all.
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