6 Green Home Improvements for Sustainable LivingBy: Dakota Murphey
Eco home improvements don’t just make you feel better about the impact you’re making on the environment, but they can actually save you money over time too. One of the best things you can make when it comes to your property, your wallet and the planet is to make your home more energy efficient. Whether you want to give your home a fresh look or you just want to lower your carbon footprint, here are six green home improvements for sustainable living.
Insulating your home is a quick and relatively simple way of retaining heat inside your home and reducing your energy expenditure. Heat can quickly escape through walls, floors and your roof if you don’t have the right insulation in place. While modern homes are constructed with this insulation, homes built before the early 1990s likely have gaps or cavities in the structure which you can fill with insulation material to make your home warmer and more energy efficient.
Modern solar panels are far more efficient and aesthetically pleasing than the old-school versions and they also have the added benefit of boosting your home’s value if you decide to sell at a later date. Renewable energy such as solar power requires an upfront investment, but it’s a cost that pays for itself after just 2 or 3 years and could significantly reduce your electricity bills. An increasing number of homeowners are seeing the benefit of solar power to reduce their energy bills and lower their carbon footprint for a more sustainable solution to their energy needs.
Composting is an easy way of reducing the amount of waste going to landfill, and it can benefit your garden too. It doesn’t require a green thumb, contrary to popular belief, and there are several options depending on how much space you have. From worm bins, also known as vermicomposting, to Bokashi composting and outdoor tumblers or more traditional compost bins. Once you get to grips with the materials you can and can’t put in a composting bin, you’ll find it’s an easy way of reducing the amount of waste you’re sending off to landfill each week.
Energy-efficient windows are another home improvement which requires an upfront investment but that can save you significant money on your heating bills each year once they’re in place. Double glazing creates an insulating barrier which keeps heat inside your property, so you don’t have to spend money and valuable energy heating your home in the colder months. You can also enhance the benefits even further by using insulating blinds or curtains which will bring your energy expenses down by as much as 20%.
Smart thermostats are perfect for the unpredictable British weather, when you don’t know whether you need to put on the heating or a cooling fan. Contemporary thermostats take the guesswork out of each day, allowing you to control the temperature of your home at the click of a button. Smart thermostats have a range of high-tech features, from monitoring weather patterns to automatic temperature adjustments and determining if anyone’s home to assess whether the heating is needed. This way, you’re only using (and paying for) the energy you really need.
Renewable Flooring Options
Flooring is an area that we often turn to when making home improvements, as it can make a big difference to the overall look of a room. But there are greener choices you can make that are better for the planet and still look great. Reclaimed or salvaged wood is a great option that makes use of what already exists and would otherwise go to waste – it’s a resource that reduces the environmental impact of manufacturing new flooring. If you don’t have the option of using reclaimed lumber, there are certain hardwoods you can choose that are more sustainable such as white tigerwood or Brazilian cherry wood which are harvested from replanted forests. Likewise, bamboo is a sustainable wood that is grown easily and is a self-generating material.
Enjoy Your Green Home
The best way to save money on your home and help the planet is to make green improvements that are sustainable and, in many cases, more convenient for you and your family. Over time, these improvements can bring your energy expenditure and bills down, so you can save your money and the planet at the same time.