As a homeowner, you’re uniquely positioned to go green. Since you have control over the building, it’s easier to make eco-friendly upgrades and modifications. With a combination of small and large changes, you can cut costs and create a low-impact lifestyle.
Make Environmentally Friendly Home Improvements
Repairs, renovations, and replacements are a great opportunity to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Some environmentally friendly upgrades are:
- Block drafts in window or door trim
- Install thermal window treatments
- Switch to low-flow toilets and showerheads
- Insulate your attic and basement
- Install efficient appliances
Green home renovations can help you save on monthly utility costs. They can also increase the value of your house by an average of 14%. Any time you make an upgrade, document the changes with photos. It’s also wise to save invoices and track the subsequent changes in your energy bills.
If you’re working from home, you can reduce your environmental impact by closing window blinds during the summer and turning off lights and devices in your office when they aren’t being used.
Install Smart Thermostats
Control your home temperature from a smartphone app with a smart thermostat that connects to your Wi-Fi network. With a few taps, you can lower the heat or AC to save energy while you’re away or sleeping. Some models also help you monitor energy usage and detect HVAC problems. If you have an unpredictable schedule, smart thermostats offer more flexibility than traditional programmable models.
Buy Fewer New Items
Each day, the average person in the U.S. produces an average of 5.91 pounds of waste. You can reduce your contribution to landfills and waste incinerators by:
- Buying products secondhand
- Trading or bartering
- Hosting clothing swaps
- Investing in quality pieces rather than cheap, disposable items
- Shopping for bulk items at zero-waste stores
- Switching to reusable shopping bags instead of single-use plastic
Step Up Your Recycling
Another way to reduce household waste is to increase your recycling efforts. This includes recycling:
- Metal food tins and cans
- Aerosol cans
Change to LED Lightbulbs
LED bulbs are an easy way to reduce energy use, save money, and reduce household waste. In comparison to incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs last 25 to 30 times longer. They also use about 75% less energy. What’s more, since LED bulbs give off little to no heat, they’re less of a fire risk than CFL and incandescent lights.
Eliminate Phantom Power
Many electronic devices continue to use power when they’re turned off — a phenomenon called phantom power. In an average home, this unused electricity adds to each monthly bill. Save energy by unplugging devices when they’re not in use. Alternatively, use a smart outlet or smart power strip that automatically cuts the flow of electricity when a device isn’t turned on.
Buy an Eco-Friendly Home
When it’s time to buy a new home, look for eco-friendly models to enjoy lower costs, reduced emissions, and a better future resale value. Some of the features to look for include:
- Eco-friendly building materials
- Solar power
- Passive solar design
- Leak-free walls and roofs
- High-quality doors
- Adequate insulation
- Efficient HVAC
- Dual-pane windows
- Sustainable landscaping
Become a Green Homeowner
As a homeowner, increasing energy efficiency and reducing household waste are two of the best ways to go green. Reduce your environmental impact today!
Blog Post Author: Alice Robertson, founder of “Tidy Home”, a place where she shares cleaning and organizing advice. Alice loves helping others, and she knows having a clean, organized home can do wonders for stress and mental health.