Pakistan’s government has established many initiatives and programs to protect the environment. Through the Ministry of Environment and the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency, the republic knows the value of conservation.

But how can individuals help to protect the environment on a daily basis? The truth is that the opportunities are endless. From recycling to supporting renewable energy sources, everyday Pakistanis have more power to conserve than they think.

For this reason, Pakistan’s best real estate website has created a list of five simple ways to renovate your home that help to protect the environment.

  1. Buy the right appliances

This one is a no brainer: if you are overhauling your kitchen and are in the market for new appliances, check the energy rating first. Buying a new fridge or other appliance with a good rating may seem to cost more in the short term, but it will save you a lot in the long run.

  1. Use eco-friendly paint

You know that overwhelmingly chemical smell you get when you walk into a freshly painted room? That is due to volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that are found in most conventional paints.  While released at a low level, these toxins can cause both damage to the environment and to human health. As an alternative, a variety of low- and non-VOC paints, often made from clay or other more natural ingredients, are now readily available.

  1. Add insulation

If you live in an area that’s prone to harsh winters, having good insulation will help keep you warm in the cooler months – without having to turn the heaters on full blast. But insulation is not only beneficial for those living in cooler climates. It works both ways by also helping to keep your home cool when summer hits, which means a well-insulated house uses less energy year round.

  1. Choose recycled materials

When selecting materials for your renovation, consider using recycled materials to make the process more sustainable. For example, track down reclaimed wood from factories or warehouses, which will give your ‘new’ flooring, cabinets and doors a vintage look. You can also save both money and the environment by recycling elements of your old home that you still love, such as the beautiful vintage stove top that could be incorporated into your new modern kitchen.

  1. Update your lighting

Most lighting operates on line voltage, the 120-current found in homes. Lower voltage systems operate on about a tenth of that – about 12 volts of electricity. Install low-voltage lighting fixtures indoors and as an addition to outdoor landscaping; this will use less energy, save on household electricity costs and ultimately help the environment.