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Questions tagged [home]

A home is a dwelling-place used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence for an individual, family, household or several families in a tribe.

62
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10answers
12k views

What is an energy efficient way to get fresh air indoors during winter?

Letting some fresh air inside is always a good idea, but during the winter it seems a bit wasteful to fling open the window and let the fresh air in at the expense of all that hot air going out, and ...
24
votes
6answers
3k views

Alternative for electrical washing machine

I don't by any means live an electricity-free life, yet, but more than any other household item, I think I would miss the washing machine the most. Sweeping with a good broom is a good alternative to ...
22
votes
19answers
63k views

Prevent concrete roof from absorbing too much heat during summer

I live in India where most of the building roofs are made of concrete. In summer during night, the roof emits too much of heat that were absorbed during day time. I was aware of the options like ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

Do USB outlets waste energy just like conventional wall warts?

It is widely known that most AC-DC converters (aka "wall warts") continually use electricity, even when no devices are plugged in to them. That wasted energy is often called "phantom electricity" or "...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the typical energy usage of automatic light switches?

A good way to cope with forgetting to turn of the lights is automatic light switches. But they must be using some energy to do their job. What's the rate of energy use for a typical automatic/sensor ...
17
votes
5answers
784 views

What is worse: Wasting water or energy?

I am currently trying to buy a dish washer and just got a washing machine lately and I am really confused whether it is better to buy a machine which uses less water or one which uses less energy. ...
17
votes
3answers
269 views

Filtering indoor air with plants?

I have a daughter that has bad allergies. To help keep her allergies in check I use an electrical air purifier to keep the air in my house clean and filtered. I heard that houseplants could in ...
15
votes
2answers
12k views

Switching to Toilet/Sink Combo

As part of my ongoing downsizing, my new house's bathroom will be smaller, so I'm looking at installing a toilet/sink combo to save space, reduce construction costs by making the bathroom as small as ...
14
votes
5answers
11k views

How can I determine the U-value (or R-value) of my existing double glazing system?

Is there an easy way to determine the U-value (or R-value) of an existing fitted double glazing system? Two options spring to mind, looking up the value in some kind of database (sadly I have no idea ...
14
votes
1answer
249 views

Reusable vs. disposable diapers: which is better?

My wife and I have been using reusable diapers for our two kids. We've made them from old curtains, old bedsheets, etc., pretty much all "recycled" materials. They've been working perfectly fine, but ...
14
votes
2answers
69 views

Is there a recipe for sustainable dishwasher soap that brings out the shine?

We currently use a recipe that involves lemon and salt (the particulars of which are known only to my wife) and though it works and cleans the plates we don't get that beautiful shine that you get ...
13
votes
2answers
93 views

When to buy new, when to keep the old?

How can I calculate if it makes sense from a resource-conservation perspective to purchase a new, more energy efficient appliance, and when it makes sense to use an old appliance until it is beyond ...
13
votes
1answer
69 views

What is the most sustainable way to professionally clean my carpets?

I recently had my carpets professionally cleaned, and spent a little while researching the cost and effectiveness of various methods. But now I'm wondering about the environmental impact as well. ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the most sustainable way of making coffee?

Which method of brewing coffee is the most sustainable? The criteria being: minimal waste, minimal energy (no matter where it's produced) I guess for the optimal solution it would be necessary to......
12
votes
3answers
454 views

Sustainable Roofing Materials

I want to re-roof my home, but want to use a sustainable option. Is there a resource where I can compare different sustainable options and find the best choice for my budget and situation? I'm trying ...
12
votes
1answer
139 views

Environmentally friendly alternative to salt for de-icing walkways?

Salt has been the go-to for de-icing walkways and roads here in the northeastern U.S. It is terrible for vegetation and is substantially corrosive on other surfaces. I'm looking for a good residential ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is an electric shaver more sustainable than water-based shaving ? And how to determine so for one's context?

I have tried both, a low-cost electric shaver and a medium-cost regular razor for water-based shaving. Water and Electricity, are both, equally important factors to be considered for sustainable ...
11
votes
4answers
160 views

What are effective ways to make a home significantly more sustainable when renting?

People might not be able to buy their own home, or might even decide to rent their whole life for good reasons (it sometimes makes sense in an economical way; other people might not be able to stay at ...
11
votes
5answers
418 views

Yeasts - Home production for alcoholic beverages / Baking / etc

Yeasts are used to produce "alcoholic beverages" / beer / wine, to bake, yogurt/cheese, etc.... Going to a shop and buy some baker's yeast is easy but not a long term solution, at least the ones I ...
11
votes
1answer
118 views

What are the sustainability issues in moving house?

We are moving house from one side of the UK to the other. The financial costs of doing so have raised the facetious question would it not be cheaper to sell everything here and buy it again, there? ...
10
votes
6answers
220 views

Reusable alternatives to plastic wrap?

I have been reducing use of one-time-use items in the house, and have drastically reduced the use of plastic wrap by putting food items in tupperwares. However, there remains a few uses for plastic ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Should I worry about the minimum mark on our kettle?

Our electric kettle for boiling water for tea or coffee has what looks like a minimum mark at 0.8 litres (though on closer inspection it says “mini” rather than “min”!). I try to save energy by ...
10
votes
2answers
228 views

Planning to build zero energy earth house

I'm playing with the idea of building my own home. I have not picked the location yet but I think I will be good with 1 acre of land. I follow Cody Lundin and like the idea of a earth house. I'm also ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

Does orange essential oil create formaldehyde when exposed to ozone?

I recently found this article by EWG, putting limonene-containing cleaners on the bad list of toxic household cleaners: http://www.ewg.org/cleaners/hallofshame/ The claim is that limonene reacts ...
10
votes
1answer
730 views

Is opening windows wide or opening them slightly more efficient for exchanging air in a room on a cold day?

For those who wish to replace the air in a room during a cold day with active heating: Given that the purpose of opening the windows is to exchange as much of the air in the room as possible with the ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How much of my flat heating is going to heat my neighbours flats?

I live in a block of flats with neighbours on 5 sides and only one side open to the outside. I understand that conduction is likely to be the main way I lose or gain heat to or from the neighbours on ...
10
votes
1answer
281 views

Organic aphid control on houseplants

What is the best option that's going to be safe for children/pets and require the least amount of reapplication? I'm looking for something that has little to no phytotoxicity between plant species.
10
votes
1answer
77 views

Are there any 'home-grown' substances that can be used to clean carpet stains?

I've heard of using walnuts to remove scratches on wooden furniture. Are there any plants that can be grown or foraged that have the ability to remove dirt/stains from carpets?
9
votes
8answers
349 views

How do I set myself up to not have to mow the lawn?

In the next few years, I will likely be getting my first home, and I don't want to mow the lawn. I see this as a large waste of time, as well as a source of waste in buying a lawnmower, fertilizer, ...
9
votes
4answers
226 views

Investing in Solar Panels in the UK

I am based in the UK (in England) and am thinking about installing solar panels on my roof. The problem I am having is actually finding some resources which I can use to get some objective ...
9
votes
4answers
169 views

Retrofitting insulation in a 4-storey home. Top down or bottom up?

I'm faced with the prospect of wanting to improve the insulation of a 4-storey Victorian (c1890) house in the UK that has solid stone walls and a top floor that is within the non-insulated roof space. ...
9
votes
2answers
999 views

What countries favour people who want to live a sustainable lifestyle?

I want to pursue an independent lifestyle growing my own food, using solar panels etc. but I live in Spain and the legislation here doesn't favour this, buying terrain in a rural area and being ...
9
votes
3answers
146 views

Most sustainable way to freshen air?

Looking for some alternatives for air fresheners. I have been looking at various alternatives such as coffee grounds (possibly in a muslin bag), and the like. What works here? I would rather get ...
9
votes
2answers
143 views

Does it make any difference to charge my electronic devices using an USB port?

I work with a computer and I was wondering if using its USB ports to charge the devices that I use the most (mostly my phone and my e-reader) while working as opposed to charging them using a normal ...
9
votes
4answers
285 views

Why should we bother to recycle household waste if it's only a small portion of all waste that is generated?

For the past two months, I have been investing some attention and effort in taking care of setting aside all my dry waste in my room's bin. I wish to separate the recyclable ones and the unrecyclable ...
9
votes
1answer
136 views

Tissues or cloth to clean a baby - what's more sustainable?

We have a baby and use tissues often to wipe him after feeding, cleaning his nose etc. The alternative would be to use cloth and wash it on a regular basis. My gut feeling is that cloth is more ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

Domestic flywheel energy storage: how close are we?

I've done some web searches, but I don't see anything very current on how close we are to having a home energy storage flywheel system that's comparable in price and performance to a battery system. ...
9
votes
1answer
59 views

Are LEEDs certifications available for homes?

I've seen various levels of LEEDs certifications on public buildings but never for a private home. Are such certifications available for a home and if so, how would I go about finding a building who ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the sustainable house insulation suitable for a very hot climate?

In my country the maximum temperature reaches to 50 degree Celsius. Normally it is a dry weather but only for two months, July and August very humid. On the other hand, in winter it is very cold for ...
8
votes
2answers
224 views

What's the best way of getting an eco-friendly off-grid house?

My partner and I have been considering what the different options are for buying properties in the UK. We are interested in at least 1 acre of land, plus a house of 50-70 square meters minimum. We ...
8
votes
4answers
391 views

How to reduce humidity in the home?

During the winter, I often get high humidity in the home. Especially with multiple people living here, and cooking, or having showers etc. This leads to condensation on the windows, and moisture on ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

Alternatives to garbage plastic bags

I currently use plastic garbage bags in the kitchen. I would like (if possible) to use something plastic free, as hygienic as the usual plastic bag and easily obtainable in Europe. Is there any ...
8
votes
3answers
478 views

Open Source DIY Architecture Alternatives?

After watching this video I felt really inspired and started thinking that it would be a great idea if we could research the same idea more and develop a way to make it easy enough for anyone to build ...
8
votes
3answers
435 views

How can a rocket mass heater be combined with a tight modern construction?

I currently have a house under construction. The overall design is for a tight, well-insulated building with a balanced active air exchange system (an ERV: a unit with two blowers, one in and one out,...
8
votes
1answer
157 views

What can a smart thermostats and meters tell me about how to reduce my home energy consumption?

I'm considering a smart thermostat for my step-dad as a birthday gift. Here are some characteristics of the home: 3000 sq ft living with two people climate is arid with highs into the 100s (deg F) ...
8
votes
1answer
136 views

How to set up optimal Air humidity in passive house?

I have a passive house with air ventilation and heating in the floor. In the question of the temperature of the air and the floor I have found the optimum, but I'm absolute without any knowledge, how ...
7
votes
7answers
646 views

Mismatched socks? What to do with hundreds of them?

I may be unique here but over the years I have collected perhaps hundreds of mismatched socks of various sizes and colors. Some are good cotton and others are like new. Since I have a large family and ...
7
votes
2answers
169 views

How much could the US reduce its electricity demand if people moved from Texas back to Ohio?

I have a theory that I am trying to develop empirical support for. I believe that the migration of people from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt has caused an increase in overall electricity usage and ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is secondary triple glazing a practical way to reduce energy costs?

I have been considering installing secondary double glazing units in my home in an attempt to turn my double glazed windows into triple glazed windows. I understand the law of diminishing returns, ...
7
votes
2answers
302 views

How can people afford to be self-sufficient and sustainable?

One thing I constantly battle with is money and affording to be more self-sufficient. Don't get me wrong – I earn good money, I have managed finances and a few debts but this post isn't really about ...