The benefits of making your home more sustainable are many. Firstly, you can reduce the negative impact you leave on this planet, and help improve the environmental issues everyone is dealing with these days. Secondly, you can improve your health. Making sustainable sources ensures you’ve got fewer toxins and other health hazards, and overall improves the quality of life. Environmental practices help protect natural resources but can also decrease your bills and help you save. Today you’ll learn how to make your living space more environmentally friendly – there are 6 sustainable upgrades for your home and garden.
What makes a home sustainable?
Sustainable living can become your lifestyle if you know the main features of an eco-friendly home. The main focus is on material or fabric, rather than looks. This minimizes the use of toxins and ensures a healthier environment. The next focal point is energy efficiency. Pick appliances and similar items that spend less energy to get the job done. You’ll save money and still choose what’s better for your environment. Finally, we have repurposing and recycling – make sure you avoid waste at all costs and be mindful of using food, water, heat, clothes, materials, and other things in your home. Now, let’s proceed to the home upgrades you can do this year to make your home more sustainable.
1. Upgrade windows and doors
Making sure your windows and doors are sealed well and made of good materials will help you regulate the temperature better, and also save on heating/electricity bills. A large portion of home energy goes away through windows in the winter season. The reason for that is loose windows and drafty doors that let the cool air inside and release the heat. Here you can have two options. The first one would be the replacement of problematic (or all) windows and doors with ones made of sustainable materials such as wood, glass, and vinyl. It’s even better if you can find local sourcing for these, and make this an ultimate sustainable upgrade for your home. The second option is less expensive and mess-free. You can reseal the windows or doors with caulk, glaze, weather stripping, and similar materials. You can also add window treatments such as curtains or blinds, or even window glazing that will not let the heat out that easily and help you save energy.
2. Heat insulation
Windows and doors are not the only things that can help you save energy and keep the heat inside the house. Controlling the heat flow will ensure it doesn’t leave the house that easily so you don’t need to spend more energy to reheat it. You can do this by using different insulation techniques and materials such as aerogel, sheep wool, polystyrene, cork, and more. These are eco-friendly options that will surely reduce the carbon footprint of your household.
3. Make a green roof
One more way to insulate your home and make it more sustainable – green roofs are becoming more and more popular among homeowners. A green roof is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a membrane. This increases the lifespan of the roof, provides thermal mass for insulation, helps the drainage system, and improves the air quality around the house. Finally, a green roof will make your home look a lot better and very attractive to potential buyers in case you decide to sell and move to a new home.
Another roof improvement you can do is install solar panels. Using renewable energy sources will help you save money long term and make your household more environmentally friendly. They also require little maintenance – you need to clean them once in a while and make sure it’s in peak condition and well protected from birds and other hazards.
4. Save on a new kitchen
Upgrading your kitchen is surely one of the most expensive home improvements. At the same time, it’s a project that brings the most value. Luckily there are ways to save on getting a new kitchen and pick a more sustainable option. You can purchase a second-hand or ex-display kitchen and pay a lot less for this project. But if your kitchen is in rather good condition, use eco-friendly paint to refresh the cabinets and have a new kitchen for less. And if you’re getting new appliances, don’t forget Energy Star ones as they spend a lot less energy for the same efficiency. There are plenty of options in the stores, just be sure to pay attention to labels.
5. Collect rainwater
If your area enjoys high precipitation over the year, you can easily start collecting rainwater. You can add barrels with filters that will help your collect water that’s free from chemicals. Turf-cleaning professionals at peakservices.com advise you to use this clean water to water your grass, potted plants, and other vegetation around your home. This is one of the most cost-efficient sustainable upgrades for your home and garden as you collect free water to use in your household for different purposes, help the planet and save on water bills.
6. Choose LED lighting
The market is filled with energy-efficient light options, and it would be a shame not to use this opportunity. Consider how many light bulbs are there in your home, both indoors and outdoors, and you’ll be amazed at how much energy and money you can save by replacing them with LED lights. Such lights use significantly less energy (up to 90%) which means you can save hundreds of dollars each year.
Making sustainable living your lifestyle takes time and dedication. And these sustainable upgrades for your home and garden can be a great start. Healthier life takes time to create, so don’t give up after a project or two. Try to improve your cooking, spending, and cleaning habits, to really make a difference. Paying attention to labels doesn’t take away much time, but can help you create a healthier home the whole family can enjoy.