All over the world, conversations are being had about the environment. Wasteful living has led to climate change. As people discuss ways to reverse these ill effects, more and more turn to sustainable living techniques to cut down on personal carbon footprints. One way to do this is to have a workshop at home where you can create your own products or even upcycle items that would otherwise get wasted. If the goal is to reduce the carbon footprint, however, it’s important to create a sustainable workshop from the get-go. This list shows the top 5 easiest ways to design a sustainable home workshop.
1.) Buy an air compressor
Air compressors take one of our natural resources–air–and compress it into potential energy which can then be unleashed to power tools. Air compressors can also be used to pump your car and bike tires, which can save you on trips to the gas station over time. An air compressor is one item you may not immediately think of when designing your workshop, but it’s the one that can really put you over the edge when it comes to living in an environmentally friendly way. Check here for more information about air compressors and what they can do for you.
2.) Create an upcycle station
Upycycling, or creative reuse, is the act of taking items that might otherwise be wasted and repurposing them for something new. In a workshop you may have lots of scrap wood or metal, or even extra odds and ends. Instead of discarding these items, create an area where you can purposefully store them. Then, when you’re looking for inspiration for a new project, you can revisit this station and find new purposes for these old objects.
Of course, upcycling doesn’t just refer to finding new and inventive uses for trash. TV shows like Flea Market Flip show upcycling on a grander scale as people find creative uses for old furniture that otherwise may not have found a home. By refinishing the furniture and giving it a new purpose, it’s possible to save it from the scrap heap.
3.) Consider a green building design
If you’re building your workshop from the ground up, rather than repurposing a room in your house to become a workshop, consider green building design. Items like solar panels and locally sourced, non-toxic materials can improve the friendliness of your design. Even if you’re not starting from the ground up, you may find these energy efficient upgrades to be cost-effective over time, and may even be able to write them off in your taxes.
When designing a green building, consider not just how the material is made but how it will hold up over time. For example, although insulation costs money and materials in the short term, proper insulation prevents heat loss in your building and saves on fuel over time. In general, make sure you do not compromise long-term sustainability for short-term benefits.
4.) Pay attention to where your materials come from
Living a more green lifestyle doesn’t just entail what you are doing in your space, but also what you are requiring other people to do. Instead of just buying materials, think about what has to happen for the materials to get to you. The further materials have to travel before getting to you, the more waste used in their production. Buying local materials can prevent the environmental costs of shipping. This is another reason upcycling can be so helpful. When you reuse materials you already have on hand, you are decreasing the fuel demand associated with shipping items across the country, or even overseas. Buying locally also gives a boost to your local economy. The more people demand local goods, the more goods we’ll be able to produce locally over time.
5.) Use energy-efficient lighting
Buying different light bulbs seems like a small contribution to the environment, but over time it can really help. This article gets in-depth on the exact environmental cost of lightbulb production and the cost of using lightbulbs after they are produced. Although LED light bulbs can be more expensive at the outset, they actually tend to be more cost-effective over time. This is because they use less energy to produce the same amount of light, and they also last a lot longer than other types of light bulbs, meaning you won’t have to change them out as often.
Using these top 5 ways to design a sustainable home workshop can ensure a reduced carbon footprint and provide an excellent space to unleash creativity. Many of these tips can be taken outside of the workshop and brought into your home as well. The more you can reduce the energy you use, reuse items that you already have, and recycle items you no longer have a use for, the more you’ll contribute to providing a better future for your posterity.