Here are simple ways to help you be more sustainable and save money in the long run.
14 June 2021
Text by Vanitha Pavapathi
Image source: Freepik
Harsh chemicals are detrimental to the environment and your skin. Opt for the many eco-friendly options available or make your own with staples such as vinegar, rubbing alcohol, baking soda and dish soap.
TRÅDFRI series from IKEA
If you’re still using compact fluorescent light, it’s time to migrate to LED light as it consumes less energy, has a longer lifetime, improved physical robustness and faster switching. But that doesn’t mean you can leave all the lights on. If you’re not using it, just turn it off.
Project by Rockin Spaces
Singapore is blessed with sunshine all year round. So, draw your blinds and curtains, and use as much natural light as possible before switching on your lights as a more sustainable practice. Also, minimise your carbon footprint by turning on the air conditioner less frequently. Open all windows and internal doors, turn on the fans, and give your house some good air circulation. The reason why your house feels warm is most likely because you didn’t encourage enough cross ventilation.
A PUB study on water consumption has shown that showering constitutes the highest water usage in a household. So how long should a shower take? As a general rule of thumb, five minutes is sufficient and not more than ten minutes. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting precious water and drying out your skin in the process. Better yet, invest in a water-efficient showerhead.
Project by Blank Canvas Architects
Is it necessary to change the bed sheets every few days, use new towels every day and launder lightly soiled clothes? Our over emphasis on hygiene has reduced our natural immune system resistance to diseases, which require exposure to bacteria to develop. Not to mention, the tremendous amounts of water usage. It’s okay to wash less but when you do, it’s better to tackle one large load instead of washing a small load of laundry or dishes everyday.
Project by Whispering Smith
No matter how small your outdoor space may be, it’s still possible to collect rainwater using some buckets that you have lying around the house. The rainwater can be used to water your houseplants, which is better than tap water as it’s not chlorinated. If you live in a landed property, it’s wise to build a rainwater harvesting system, so you can use the free water for irrigation, car wash, toilet flushing and even laundry.
CoolDrawer™ Multi-temperature Refrigerator from Fisher & Paykel
Replace your old, outdated electrical appliances with ones that have high ‘Energy Star’ rating, which help save energy without compromising on performance. This simple action will help you save hundreds of dollars on electricity over the years, and is the sustainable way to go.
Project by MONOCOT
More is more when it comes to houseplants. They absorb harmful pollutants and help purify the air. The most popular include areca palm, sansiviera, Boston fern and peace lily. So put them in every room if you like. Not to mention, they instantly beautify a space.
Project by Pipkorn Kilpatrick
With the hot and humid weather in Singapore, it’s absolutely okay to take cold baths and showers, and still not fall sick. But if you really need to take a hot one, consider lowering the temperature to 32°C from the usual 36°C. The little bit of dip in temperature can save significant energy in the long run. The same can be said for laundry – room temperature water is sufficient to clean clothes unless they are heavily soiled.
Project by wee studio
This may come across as controversial but if you truly want to adopt a more sustainable way of life, live in a right sized house, if not a smaller one. If there are only two of you, a five-room flat might seem excessive. Downsizing equates to spending less on lighting, furniture, furnishing and maintenance. The path to being debt-free is also more attainable, which is why the minimalist lifestyle and tiny house movement have been gaining traction.
This article first appeared in Lookbox Living issue 62, also available as a free digital magazine for download here
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