Few of us have the budget to renovate our homes to the standard in which we want. Often times we choose to spend our dollars on where we will get the most enjoyment and “wow factor”, such as the apron sink and quartz countertops rather than choices that increase energy efficiency and lower energy budgets. If you have a chance though to consider all your options you really can do a lot to make your home a greener place to be and it doesn’t have to be overly complicated and expensive, especially if you take it step by step.
This means you may not decide to go with solar panels right off the bat due to expense and work involved but there oh so many other ways to increase the green factor and your home’s efficiency.
For instance, why not try to to take advantage of passive solar in your home? The sun has amazing capabilities to warm our house when temperatures drop. Ideally, you’ll have an abundance of natural light on the side of your home facing the south. Fitting double glazed windows is a good start if you want to take advantage of the sun’s solar rays in the fall and winter. When the weather is warm, invest in come good blackout curtains to block the sun strong rays and you are good to go.
A coat of paint can do wonders to make over a space. Change the color of your walls, trim, or even kitchen cabinets. Use low VOC or VOC free paints. These are paints that have little or no toxic emissions. Lowering your exposure to these chemicals will not only help your health, it’ll also help the environment. They are not hard to find anymore and they are not very expensive when you consider what you get.
Replace an old thermostat with a programmable smart thermostat and lower your utility bills, while at the same time making your life a bit easier. Programmable thermostats enable you to set it and forget about it and I love that many can be controlled via wifi so you can turn on heat or AC before you even get home or turn them off if you haven’t yet programmed it. There is no sense in wasting energy to make your home cozy when no one is there.
Replace carpet with sustainable flooring like bamboo or cork. These are both environmentally sound flooring choices that are totally gorgeous at the same time. They’re also economical and easy to maintain. Carpet has all kinds of nasty things in it and it collects nasty things for years to come.. dirt, allergens, mold, etc. Whenever possible get rid of it!
Compost your kitchen scraps and eliminate these items from landfill waste. Then turn them into black gold in your backyard with a compost bin. It’s really very easy to do and improving soil and your backyard ecosystem is a huge green step.
Once you tackle your home’s infrastructure, take a look at how modern your appliances are. Everything from your washer/dryer unit to your dishwasher should be up to the industry energy standard.
Pretty is important but so is sustainability. Be sure to look for greener options whenever you are renovating or revamping your home. Enjoy!