Living an ethical and sustainable lifestyle is rated as important or very important to at least 71% of Europeans, according to a recent survey. This is a substantial jump when compared to the figures of just five years ago. Efforts by global summits, government initiatives, and awareness groups have drilled down the importance of living a sustainable life. One of the biggest contributors to a high carbon footprint, is heating. Discover ways to lower this with compromising on comfort or style.
Using The Earth’s Own Heating System
While the air outside changes at a moment’s notice, the earth remains fairly constant and warmer than above ground. Geothermal heating is one of the most energy-efficient ways to heat a house as it delves deep into the earth to harness that heat. It uses small amounts of electricity and water to transport that heat back up. Although pricey, this system has proven to be a gamechanger on the utility bill which means it pays for itself over a period of time, roughly estimated to be eight years. With a 300 to 600 percent efficiency rating, it’s definitely worth the consideration.
Biofuels Are The Future
Although manufacturers have done much to reduce the electricity usage of many appliances through the energy-efficient program, products such as heaters still take up a large chunk of the utility bill during those colder months. A fireplace may seem like a good alternative, but households will need to consider the amount of wood required to fuel it, not to mention the cost of installation. A good compromise that still allows the aesthetic appeal of the fireplace, with a small impact on the environment, is a wall-mounted fireplace that makes use of biofuels. These are easy to install and cost a fraction of what a typical fireplace would have, and it causes far less waste.
Carbon Neutral Housing Is Possible
Natural fibers are not only a great way to build a sustainable house, but also happen to be effective insulators which are great for both heating and cooling. Strawbale houses and even those made of hemp and bamboo are known for their ability to provide comfortable interiors throughout summer and winter. Other ways to improve insulation and increase warmth in a property without making use of any appliances, include carpets, thicker curtains, double-glazed windows, and the ability to cordon off certain areas to reduce drafts.
It’s important to ensure that future generations have a place to call home and the journey to sustainability starts now, with heating at the core. Staying warm this winter doesn’t have to put strain on the environment.
Writer: Sally Keys is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible.