Seven green home improvement ideas you can do on your own.
Contrary to popular belief, minimizing your carbon footprint at home could actually help you reduce energy bills and save thousands of dollars each year.
All you need to do to cut back on your waste is make a few adjustments to your lifestyle and add some upgrades around your property. As the year’s pass, you’ll be pleased to find how these little changes can create a large impact on the environment.
While there are a number of green solutions that are straightforward and easy to do, there are some which require a lot more work and major upheaval.Consider the financial aspect of diving into a big change in your home.
Address key options first, saving the more complex and expensive projects for later. With that said, here are the top seven green home improvement ideas you can perform on your own:
Adopt sustainable sensibility
The word “green” has become so overused in the present day and age that many people don’t take it seriously. Sustainability has now become a major factor in the way we build and renovate our homes. Instead of going green just to follow the latest trends, acquaint yourself with the practical reasons behind the cause. Think about the health benefits of cleaner air from paints with zero VOC (volatile organic compounds), money saved through using low-energy lighting, and turning your waste into fertilizer. All these actions are simple ways of living a sensibly sustainable lifestyle.
Use energy star certified products
When picking out appliances for your home, be sure to use models that are energy-efficient, particularly those which are energy star certified. Visit home appliance stores near you and check if they are selling these appliances. Through incorporating advanced technologies, energy star certified appliances use 10 to 50 percent less energy than the standard ones in the market. When you use these products, you’re doing your part in helping minimize greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions at the source.
Use recycled roof tiles
Most roofs may be designed to last for 15 years or longer, but older roofs are rather inefficient. Not only do they allow heat inside your home, the older shingles are no longer as durable as they used to be. Maybe it’s time to upgrade your roof. When you do, consider using reclaimed clay or stone tiles, or slates. These tend to be much more affordable and will aid you in your quest to create a green home.
Select FSC-certified products
Using wood for your doors and windows is a much greener option than using UPVC or aluminum. Wood also lasts just as long if it is maintained properly. When buying wood products such as furniture and materials, make sure to check if they have the Forest Stewardship Council’s stamp of approval. A certified label from the FSC ensures that the wood used was harvested responsibly from a forest maintained to guarantee future growth.
Get a non-toxic carpet
Not all carpets are the same. If you’re thinking of installing or replacing one, it’s best if you first acquaint yourself with the different types available on the market. VOCs are present in many new carpets and their adhesives. Not only do these chemicals pose a threat to the environment, they are also dangerous to breathe in, resulting in symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Nevertheless, you can still choose from a wide range of non-toxic and eco-friendly carpets. Compared to using wood or laminate floors, carpet is cheaper, offers comfort, noise dampening, and energy conservation. Having a carpeted floor is also an efficient way of keeping warmth inside your home during the cold months without the need to turn up your heater.
Use solar energy
The sun is and always has been an excellent source of energy. Now that you’re convinced about the wonders it can do, it’s time to get solar panels installed on your roof or terrace. You can use the power to heat up your bath water. If you want to go green all the way, consider making the switch to using solar-powered batteries, vehicles, and even lights. The differences you see in your power consumption bill will be astounding.
Curb appeal: native plants, rain gardens, alternative lawns, and more
We all know that nothing gives a home greater curb appeal and a higher resale value than a charming front lawn. With the variety of eco-solutions now available, you can have both a beautiful and eco-friendly lawn. When picking out plants, make sure to include those that grow naturally around your area. Since they’re used to the climate, they will not require as much water, and they are more resistant to local pests and diseases. Select native flowers to fill your flower beds with and add some pops of color to your lawn. Also, try adding a rain garden into the mix to help reduce water consumption and minimize soil erosion.
Going green at home requires proper planning and design. Start small and work your way up the ladder to create the sustainable home you’ve always dreamed of. The rewards will pay off in full much sooner than you think.
Alyssa Winters, is the author of this article.
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