Your home should be a safe place, somewhere you look forward to spending time every day. At times, this requires you to create an inviting ambiance and homely feel. A way to do this is by keeping up with your maintenance and doing renovations periodically.
If you’ve been looking for ways to improve your environmental practices, it’s a good idea to factor this into your home renovations. While there are more expensive eco-friendly renovations and repairs, some can be affordable and even cost-effective. Knowing that your home is contributing to making the planet better as opposed to hurting it can be a rewarding feeling. Continue reading to find out how you can engage in eco-friendly home renovation and repair ideas.
Update Your Appliances
The first tip to consider for eco-conscious home renovation and repair ideas is to update your appliances. Below are a couple of everyday ones to invest in replacing.
- Lighting: A simple change that could make a difference in your carbon footprint is changing your light bulbs to ones that are energy efficient. This is a way to reduce energy costs and help the environment simultaneously. Installing lighting dimmers, sensors, or timers is another option to explore. It will help control your lighting so that they aren’t on when nobody is in the room.
- Air Conditioner: If you can afford to, replacing your air conditioner is a way to be eco-friendlier. Samsung is an eco-friendly brand to try as their air conditioners now use digital inverter technology. It helps you save energy by maintaining the temperature you want over longer periods without you having to turn it on and off.
- Washing Machine: There will always be a pile of clothes in need of washing, so a washing machine is an essential home appliance. The average American family is said to wash over 300 loads every year. Get an ENERGY STAR certified washer as they use around 25% less energy and 33% less water. Using these types of washers could save you up to $380 over the lifetime of the machine which is a noticeable amount.
Consider Renewable Energy
Renewable energy isn’t a new development but it’s gaining far more attention nowadays. If you want to change the way you consume energy, then installing it at home could make a significant difference. When natural gas is burned for electricity, it releases between 0.6 and 2 pounds of carbon, whereas solar burns between 0.07 to 0.2. The government is encouraging the use of such green renovations by offering energy-efficient tax credits to those who want to go green. For instance, you may be eligible for the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit if you convert to solar energy, geothermal heat, or small wind energy.
Make Eco-Friendly Repairs
When you’re doing home repairs, it’s an opportunity for you to choose eco-friendly options too. For instance, if you’re having flooring issues and want to change the material you’re using, switch over to bamboo. It’s considered sustainable plywood and is more durable as well as cost-effective than hardwood. An added bonus is that it’s easy to install so it’s a DIY challenge you could take up.
In similar regard, when cleaning the house, embrace the use of natural cleaning products that don’t contain hazardous chemicals. A good example is to use baking soda to clean kitchen surfaces or get rid of mildew. Distilled white vinegar is another excellent disinfecting agent that can be used when cleaning up after DIY jobs at home or on a regular day.
Try Smart Home System
Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular and it’s understandable why. Aside from how exciting automated window blinds or sensor lights can be, they are a great way to save energy. If you ask most people, they would jump at the idea of being able to cut down their energy bills. A smart home system is a way to ease the process because you can connect to (IoT). As a result, things like your thermostat, lighting, and entertainment system can be automated. Even more useful is the fact that it’s possible to operate these things remotely.
If you’re a beginner when it comes to smart homes, transitioning your home might seem like a financially exhausting and overwhelming task. It doesn’t have to be and you can start with what you can afford. To begin, think about what aspects of your home could benefit from automation. If you’re big on home security, start with a smart home security system so that you can monitor your home and control your devices remotely. Another suggestion would be to get a Nest or Ecobee thermostat to adjust your temperature and avoid wasted energy. If entertainment is a big part of your daily life, then consider getting Alexa so you can do voice commands alongside a smart remote that controls all products connected to your TV.
When it comes to home renovations, don’t forget about the outside too. This is another opportunity to help the environment, especially if you have a garden. Create a compost pile so that you can dispose of food waste in an environmentally friendly way. Planting your own fruits and vegetables could be a nice addition to the outdoors of your home too. It would mean fewer trips to the grocery store to buy those items as you can pick them from your garden.
Extend your outdoor renovations to the curb by improving your curb appeal. It’s a way to make the outdoors look more appealing and alive. So that you’re inclined to spend more time outdoors, use sustainable materials such as reclaimed wood to upgrade or build a patio. A vibrant and green outdoor area can purify the air around you and inspire you to connect with nature more if the weather permits.
Although recycling isn’t the only way to be eco-friendly, it can make a difference. Be sure you have a separate trash can for recyclable items. So that you don’t forget the basics of recycling, consider including an image of recyclable and non-recyclable items. Remember that one wrong or food-filled item could spoil trashcan full of recyclable things.
Choose Eco-Friendly Interior
Every so often, you may want to give your home a facelift and revamp the interior. This can also be done in an eco-friendly way if you pay attention to details. For example, eco-friendly paint can be used if you decide to change your color palette. In the event that you were redesigning your kitchen or bathroom, choose faucets and water fixtures that have a low flow rate so you save water. Another eco-friendly interior design idea is to choose long-lasting furniture. Aim to get recycled or recyclable pieces as a way of being sustainable.
You could also upgrade your windows to ones that are more efficient or get coated glass so they’re better insulated. To accompany your new windows, consider eco-friendly coverings like roman shades, solar shades which are heat absorbent or cellular shades that help with insulation. If and when you decide to sell your home, such changes will make eco-friendly home staging easier. A potential buyer could be impressed by the fact that you’ve invested in an environmentally friendly interior.
Although one person can’t save the planet, the collective effort of many can set a fire ablaze. By making some of the eco-conscious home renovation and repair ideas above, you’re doing your part and encouraging others to do theirs too.
Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. She is frequently lost in a mystery podcast or on the hunt for the best mac n cheese in town. You can follow her on Twitter @AinsleyLawrenc3