Your living room usually is the area of your house where you spend the most time in apart from sleeping. Due to that, people often spend large amounts of money on their furniture and decoration for the living room.
However, many people are not aware on how easy they actually can improve their ecological footprint by changing small things in their living room.
It is crucial that we as humanity make every room of our home more environmentally-friendly in order to solve our global environmental issues and to ensure a livable future for the next generations.
In this article, several ways how you can make your living room more eco-friendly are examined.
Many people still use conventional light bulbs instead of LEDs. If you are one of those persons, you should urgently switch to LEDs since they are much more energy-efficient. Over the long run, you will save plenty of energy by using LEDs instead of conventional lights, which not only will improve your ecological footprint, but will also reduce your electricity bill.
There is literally no advantage from conventional light bulbs compared to LEDs anymore, but people, for some reason, often stick to their old things instead of changing stuff. This article also aims to push people in the direction of actually taking actions instead of just considering to change things. Thus, now its your turn, get your LEDs today! 😉
People also often push things to the extreme. When it is cold outside, people often use excessive levels of heating. When it is warm outside, people tend to exaggerate the use of their air conditioning.
In order to reduce our total energy demand, it is crucial that we avoid those two extremes and instead use heating and cooling devices in a moderate manner.
By doing so, you can save electricity and maybe also fossil fuels, depending on your heating system, which will increase your eco-footprint and will also save you plenty of money over the long term!
To help you keeping your room temperature at an optimal level without excessive heating or cooling, you can use smart energy devices for your home to regulate the temperature for you automatically. With these devices, you just have to set the optimal air temperature for yourself.
Everything else will be regulated by your smart energy system. This means that you not even have to get up from your couch in order to optimize the room temperature since there are also remotes for those systems. How cool (or hot) is that?! 😉
If you still use old energy-inefficient windows, it might be a good idea to replace them with energy-efficient ones. By doing so, you can significantly decrease your energy demand since new windows isolate much better and can keep the heat inside much better.
Thus, you need less heating and can save money by reducing your overall spending on heating in winter.
In some countries, there are even tax credits for replacing your old windows by new ones in order to make your home more energy-efficient. Check out your local tax laws to find out if there are also subsidies in your country!
Most of our new TVs are quite energy-efficient. However, there are still old models which consume plenty of energy.
Make sure that you currently use a TV with low energy demand. LCD TV’s are usually more energy efficient compared to Plasma TV’s and also have a longer lifespan.
Thus, when it comes to buying a new TV, make sure that you choose one that is energy-efficient and also has a long lifespan in order to save our natural resources.
Depending of the material used for the production of a couch, it can be either eco-friendly or also quite harmful for our environment. It is therefore crucial to be aware on what materials to avoid when it comes to buying a new sofa.
In general, you should avoid buying a couch that has been made of mainly synthetic components. This includes artificial leather and some other synthetic materials.
Moreover, you may also want to avoid buying a sofa made out of natural leather, since many animals are killed for producing this leather every day.
Instead, you might look for a sofa that is made out of natural fabric. By relying on natural fabrics, you will not only protect our animals, but you will also avoid plastic waste.
When it comes to buying decisions regarding a new furniture, you should make sure that you use recycled or at least sustainable materials instead of plastic or other synthetic materials. Plastic pollution is a big environmental problem which we have to fight at all costs.
Thus, look out for chairs, tables or cupboards that are made out of sustainable woods like bamboo. Bamboo is a great material since it grows quite fast and is also considered to be entirely organic.
By using bamboo, you not only contribute to a more sustainable consumption behavior, you also can increase your health level since natural materials are usually healthier compared to synthetics.
Some companies are also specialized on making furniture from recycled materials. By buying this kind of furniture, you could improve your ecological footprint even further since you can save precious natural resources.
Instead of buying your furniture, you could also look out for getting used furniture for a quite low price or even for free. There are plenty of sites where you can find plenty of free furniture. The most famous is probably Craigslist. Check out if there is free stuff listed near your home.
You would be surprised on how much furniture that actually still looks pretty nice is offered for free! However, keep in mind that this kind of furniture may not fit into the current fashion trend.
If you are fine with that, free furniture can be a great way to make your living room more eco friendly and you can also save significant amounts of money.
If you are technically gifted, you could even try to make your own furniture. This may take a little bit of practice if you haven’t tried it before.
However, the experience and the end results are often worth the effort. Imagine you made your table, chairs and other furniture completely by yourself. How cool would that be?!
In order to get a little head start, you should rely on a guide on how to make your home more sustainable. In such guides, you get a step-by-step approach which will significantly help you to get started, especially at the beginning.
Crafting your own furniture is not only pretty cool for yourself, but could also be a nice activity if you work together with your kids. By doing so, not only will you improve your technical skills, but your kids will also learn a lot which will be quite helpful once they grow up.
Instead of buying expensive and environmentally-unfriendly decoration made of plastic, you should use plants instead. There are myriads of different plants out there and I bet you will find some which match your taste.
The good thing about plants is that they will not only make your home nicer, they also produce oxygen inside your home which can increase your mental ability.
They are usually quite cheap, which makes it even more preferable to avoid plastic decoration and use natural plants instead.
Also for your carpets, you should rely on natural materials rather than on synthetic ones. However, make sure that you don’t buy carpets made out of animal skin in order to protect our animals from endangerment or even extinction. Instead, there are many nice carpets made out of cotton in various forms and colors.
When it comes to buying one of those, please also make sure that it has been produced under fair labor conditions. By doing so, you can make sure that the people in third world countries get a fair wage and can work under acceptable working conditions.
If you want to change your curtains from time to time, make sure to substitute your old ones with curtains made out of natural materials like cotton or silk. These materials are sustainable and also biodegradable, which makes them perfect in order to make your sitting room more environmentally-friendly.
Curtains made from natural materials are also usually not much more expensive or sometimes even cheaper compared to synthetic ones. Thus, it should be an easy decision to buy curtains made out of natural materials instead of plastic ones.
For cleaning your living room, you probably used purifier which contain plenty of harmful chemicals. However, the use of those cleaning products implies significant levels of water pollution.
Moreover, in higher concentrations, these chemical cleaning products might also lead to skin irritations. You should therefore consider to switch from conventional chemical cleaning products to more eco-friendly alternatives.
Some cleaning products which are much more eco-friendly than others. A few companies even specialized on environmentally-friendly cleaning products. You should watch out for those kind of purifiers since the use of those will further improve your ecological footprint.
From time to time, it is also necessary to replace your flooring. If you are currently using synthetic materials like laminate for your flooring, consider to switch to organic materials like parquet.
Please make sure that the wood used for the parquet comes from sustainable sources. By using natural materials for your flooring, you could reduce plastic waste and therefore further improve your environmental footprint.
In order to make your living room nicer, you might also consider to paint your walls. However, there are also pitfalls when it comes to an eco-friendly paint.
Many paints contain harmful compounds like VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which can be quite harmful to human health and also to the environment as they contribute to ozone layer depletion and several sorts of pollution.
Thus, it is important to switch from those conventional eco-harmful paints to more eco-friendly ones. There are some companies which specialized on the production of paints made which only use low amounts of VOCs.
Supporting those companies by buying their products increases the pressure on other companies and may therefore lead to a more eco-friendly behavior of the whole paint industry.
There are plenty of ways how you can make your living room more eco-friendly. Many of them are quite easy to implement, others take a little bit more time, effort and money.
However, in the long run, you should be aware how important your contribution to saving our planet really is.
We as humanity, especially in our Western world, have great power but also great responsibility, since we are the ones with the ability to protect or destroy our planet.
Thus, everyone of us has the moral obligation to behave in a more eco-friendly manner.
You can further increase your positive ecological effect by convincing your families and friends about the importance of a greener lifestyle.
People sometimes need a little push in the right direction in order to take actions, just don’t give up if it is not working out yet. Keep your efforts and you will be rewarded!
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master's degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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