Transitioning to greener living

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Giving our planet a fighting chance, while never compromising on aesthetics The very idea of transitioning to greener living often seems daunting and too much hassle than it’s worth. Not to mention the extra expenses you would incur while undertaking this mammoth task. Right?


A green home is a type of house designed to be environmentally sustainable. Green homes focus on the efficient use of energy, water, and building materials and may use sustainably sourced, environmentally friendly, and/or recycled building materials.

It may include sustainable energy sources such as solar or geothermal, and be sited to take maximum advantage of natural features such as sunlight and tree cover to improve energy efficiency.

Ms Astrid Arens, founder of DIEPSH and the Golden Planet Award foundations is a champion of living  environmentally friendly and sustainable living and helps guide us through living well, while doing the least amount of damage to the environment.

The easiest and quickest way to make a difference is to save energy in everyday life.

For example, make sure to always turn off the lights in rooms that are not in use. Washing at lower temperatures when washing dishes also saves a lot of energy, we are schooled.

The classic solar panel on the roof and the conversion to a heat pump is simple and highly effective to make constructive changes on the inside of a home.

Moving outside, we asked Ms Arens how one would go about creating a sustainable garden and/or green space at home.

“Here, the most important thing to pay attention to is diversity,” she says. “The creation of a flower meadow in accordance with the regional conditions promotes not only the biodiversity of the plants, but also of the insects that are attracted to them.

This can also be achieved very well on a balcony via tubs and flower boxes. When planting trees, it is important to take into account their ability to bind CO2.”

Textile bode coverings made of raw materials such as wool or sisal are preferable. Carpets and carpet tiles made from recycled materials can also be recommended for decor.

Waste generation for families at home can first be reduced by mindful purchasing of everyday products.

The products themselves should be made of natural materials that are biodegradable. Waste separation, where it makes sense, is the best way to responsibly manage waste. Composting organic waste and reusing it in your own garden as compost is a great thing to do.

The right air humidity is extremely important to improve indoor air quality and reduce harmful pollutants in the home. This can be regulated very well with plants such as Cyprus grass, papyrus plants and green lily.

If the components of air cleaners and filters are manufactured from natural products, they are effective in removing particulate matter from the air in your home.

Consumption planning is the name of the game when it comes to reducing food waste.

Donating excess food to neighbors not only promotes ubuntu, but is a very sustainable and well-meaning way to avoid food waste.
When shopping, look for local produce, locally grown fruit and vegetables, organic products, and short supply chains.

The main issue remains packaging!

Avoiding plastic as much as possible is a humongous contribution, and not only to creating an environmentally friendly kitchen.

We asked Ms Arens her opinion on how smart home technology can be used to improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

“Smart thermostats, for example, can optimise room temperature based on your preferences and habits. Automatic control of lighting and other electrical devices also helps save energy”, she advises.

“According to the head of the industry association Smart Home Initiative Deutschland, these devices can save about 20 to 30 percent of heating energy. The cost of smart technology usually pays for itself after two years.”

One thing is clear and everyone should be aware of it by now, renewable energies are the key and the way to a sustainable future – to preserve our planet.

Measurability in one’s own, personal private environment is probably most likely to occur through the feeling of making one’s own personal contribution in the conviction that changing previous behaviors is important in terms of protecting the environment.

The playful introduction of ecologically valuable measures in the household is a recommended way to achieve more sustainability.

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For example, making homemade soaps as a family can be really fun and shape the feeling of pulling together in terms of environmental protection.

Lead by example and imitate is the motto!

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