10 Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-friendly

We live in a world where environmental issues are becoming more and more of a hot topic. Every day we hear of the various problems that the world is facing due to climate change.

Although there are many large contributors to this ever-growing problem, such as industry and transportation, there is also an accumulated impact that comes from the general public. While the former is something we cannot do much about as individuals, we can certainly work on the latter, with just a little bit of awareness and mindfulness.

It’s all about changing our mindset and making small changes to the way we live. Something as simple as signing up for e-billing and paying your bills electronically for example, can have a big impact – due to the reduction of paper waste.

Here are a few more simple but effective ideas on how you can help contribute towards a better planet:


We have come a long way in recent years when it comes to energy efficient appliances. When shopping for household goods, it’s very easy to check their energy efficiency by looking at the sticker on the item or accompanying handbook.

Appliances are rated with the letters A to G, with A being the most energy efficient. If you have just bought your home and are looking to buy new appliances, look out for ones with an A rating – these will not only help save the planet, but they will also help save you money in energy consumption.

Another thing that is often overlooked is the usage of these goods. We’re all guilty of leaving appliances plugged in or on standby when not in use. If you have finished watching TV, consider switching it off fully instead of leaving it on standby.

If you have finished charging your phone or tablet, unplug the charger from the mains. These small steps all make a big difference when combined.

When using a dishwasher or washing machine, make sure you fill them fully before running them. This will make better use of the water and energy being used for that cycle.

Also, most new dishwashers and washing machines these days have a time delay button. In using this button, you can set your dishwasher or washing machine to run in the middle of the night, thus reducing the peak energy demand on the grid and maybe even saving you some money (depending on your tariff and energy provider).

While doing this with a dishwasher won’t present you with many problems in terms of noise pollution, be mindful in the case of the washing machine if you live in an apartment.

LED light bulbs

LED stands for light-emitting diode. Although to most of us these light bulbs seem to be a relatively new emergence, they have actually been around for 60 years. Circa 2008, the LED light bulb started to become quite popular in schools and other government buildings around the world.

In the last three years, they have become ever more popular in households, with regular light bulbs being slowly phased out. And why is this? Well, not only are they 90% more efficient, they also have a life expectancy of 30,000-50,000 hours, versus the 8,000 to 10,000 hours of a traditional light bulb. In using less energy and lasting longer, the savings on your energy bills and replacement light bulbs over the years will soon add up.

If you want to take this saving one step further, something as simple as switching off your lights in rooms that are no longer in use can make a big difference.

To accommodate modern day living, where we are sometimes too busy to remember these little details, you can invest in sensors that will switch on and off your lights in low usage areas of your home, or smart lights which can be easily turned on or off with voice commands.

Line dry your clothes

If you live in a warm climate, line drying your clothes is a great alternative to using a dryer. Here in the Algarve we are fortunate enough to benefit from over 300 days of glorious sunshine every year. Therefore, line drying our clothes is a very easily achievable target in our fight against global warming.

Tumble dryers are one of the biggest energy consumers in a home and although they are convenient, they are not always the best option. If you have access to outdoor space, drying your clothes in this way will not only leave them smelling fresher, but will also help them last longer.


We all know how important recycling is, and if you organise your home with a dedicated recycling area, this should make the process a lot smoother and less of a chore. Many stores now sell different coloured bins with labels which help when it comes to sorting your recyclable waste into categories for easy disposal.


Recycling doesn’t only have to limit itself to packaging – you can also recycle your food waste very easily by investing in a compost bin or compost area.

Composting is the process of breaking down organic materials using natural decomposition to turn them into rich soil, which in turn reduces methane emissions from landfills.

If you have an outdoor area, you can invest in a compost bin or container, which will allow you to compost on a larger scale. However, composting is not just limited to people who have gardens or outdoor spaces – you can also invest in a small, designated bin for an indoor area, which will serve the same purpose.

Many people don’t realise how much of our food waste can actually be recycled into compost that can later be used. Not all food can be composted, such as meat or fish, but most of it can. A very simple act that can have a substantial positive environmental impact.

Reduce water waste

Many of us don’t realise how much water we use on a daily basis, or how small changes in our behaviour can make a great impact on the water shortage problems we are currently facing. Here are a few simple and easy to implement tips for water saving:

Invest in a low flow toilet;
Shorten your showers: don’t leave the shower running while you wash your hair and body – use the running water only when needed;
Don’t pre-rinse: scrape any leftover food into the compost bin, then put your dishes straight into the dishwasher;
If hand-washing the dishes, don’t use a running tap – use a bowl;
Water plants with used water (from food preparation for example);
Consider climate-appropriate landscaping: Dryer climates will require larger amounts of water and maintenance to care for your outdoor areas. Choose plants that require less water and for larger spaces, consider an artificial lawn or pebbles as an alternative;
Water collection buts to collect rainwater – good for watering plants and washing the car!

Now that we have looked at the eco-friendly solutions that are easily implemented at a relatively low cost, let’s look at structural improvements and home maintenance – as these can not only save you money over the years, but they can also have a huge ecological impact on our carbon footprint.

Double or Triple Glazed Windows

Nowadays, there are many options when it comes to windows for our homes. Choosing the right type of window can bring many added benefits and can make such a huge difference to your home environment.

Double and triple glazed windows work by keeping air and gas (usually argon gas) vacuum sealed between the panes, thus preventing heat loss in the winter. Aside from the temperature regulation, this option has the added benefits of providing noise reduction as well as added security.

If you already have this feature in your home, remember to replace the window seals every 5-10 years, as they expand and contract over time with the changing temperature, reducing their air-tight grip and compromising the energy efficiency.

Also, consider installing blinds or curtains as this helps save energy by keeping the heat in during the winter, and out during the summer.

Cavity wall & loft insulation

Insulating and sealing air leaks in the home can help save on your monthly heating and cooling costs. For older homes, it is worth checking if they have adequate insulation. So much heat can be lost due to poorly insulated walls and loft spaces. This can be easily remedied by having an expert come to your home to carry out cavity wall insulation.

If you have a loft space that is not insulated, this is something you can do yourself, with very little effort, by purchasing rolls of loft insulation blanket and laying this down in the loft area.

Solar panels

If you are looking for a more sustainable alternative power source, solar panels could be the solution for you. By installing solar panels, you will be able to produce your own energy to use in your home, and store for future use during the night hours.

Any energy that you produce that is not subsequently used or stored can be sold back to the grid. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to use the natural resource that is readily available to us, the sun, to produce cleaner and more environmentally friendly energy.

Although the initial investment can be quite high, the benefits that you reap can quickly outweigh this. There are of course many considerations to be made before entering into an investment such as this. So, it is worth looking into all of the pros and cons of solar energy before making a decision.

Fix leaks

A lot of the time we don’t even realise it’s happening or when we do, we tend to ignore it if it’s not too severe.

A dripping tap or a small leak in a pipe within an unseen area might seem quite irrelevant or unimportant. However, what many people don’t realise is that one drop per second can mean that you waste thousands of litres of water per year. Additionally, without realising, this long-term dripping may result in water damage or the formation of mould.

If ignored, the repair costs could soon escalate. Therefore, it is worth checking your home on a regular basis for any such leaks, to reduce water wastage and save on repair costs further down the line.

So, there you have it! You are potentially only 10 steps away from making your home an eco-friendly one. If you haven’t bought a property in the Algarve yet, and are looking for a new eco-friendly home, do get in touch with our team who can talk you through all the eco-friendly options we have available within our portfolio. You’d be surprised at how many properties for sale in the Algarve already have so many of these features!

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