With rising sea levels, increased temperatures and a new extinct animal every day, it’s hard to argue against going green and doing your part in helping the environment. However, it can be difficult to figure out the best way to make a difference. If you want to limit your environmental impact, here are 11 ways to remodel your home and make it more eco-friendly.
A great way to start on your path to becoming greener is to install solar panels on your home. Solar panels not only will make a huge difference on your utility bill, but can actually make you an energy exporter instead of an energy drain. If you are worried about the cost of solar panels, check with your local regulations. You can often get a subsidy for installing them on your home. If solar looks like the right idea for you, take a look at Ygrene for a trusted source of solar panel financing.
Replacing an inefficient toilet with a low-flow toilet saves an average of 20 to 60 % of water per flush. If you want to not only cut your water bill but also the amount of water used and wasted by your household, then consider investing in low-flow toilets.
Be vigilant about turning off your lights and appliances. Unplug your smaller appliances like microwaves and toasters when not in use. Shut down your computer instead of putting it in sleep mode. Unplug unused chargers. Each of these small steps can make a difference in the amount of electricity your household uses.
In the winter your windows are huge sources of heat loss, especially if they are poorly sealed. To reduce your heating bill and your energy consumption, consider installing a seal for the winter. This can be done by using removable caulk, a foam liner, shrink wrap or by even taping bubble wrap to your windows. Every little bit can help prevent heat loss and reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
Are any of the appliances not Energy Star certified? Your fridges, dishwashers and washing machines could be wasting electricity in your household. Energy Star appliances are on average 20% more efficient than non-certified appliances and go a long way to reducing the overall energy waste in your home.
Another great way to lower your heating bill and the environmental impact of your home is to simply lower your thermostat. Even a few degrees lower can make a difference. If you find yourself too cold, wear a couple more layers around the house. You could also install a smart thermostat to regulate your home’s temperature for you.
In the same vein, you can also adjust the heat of your water heater to reduce your gas usage in your house. Professionals recommend that a heater only needs to be set to 120 degrees.
If you are still using old incandescent light bulbs consider switching to LED lights. Not only are they more efficient, but they also last much longer. You won’t have to worry about throwing away and replacing your lightbulbs as often.
Consider landscaping your yard. Plant trees and shrubs around your house to increase the shade your house gets. A well designed yard can drastically reduce the amount of energy it takes to cool down your house when it gets too hot, and they can even help insulate it when it gets too cold.
Think about the type of plants you plant in your garden. Try next season try and plant flowers which are bee and pollinator friendly. You can help prevent bee deaths while also promoting a healthier neighborhood.
The first step to becoming a more environmentally conscious individual is to research it. The next step is to begin to implement it. These tips will put you on the right path towards lowering the impact your house has on the environment, but it is up to you to follow through. By doing even one of these you can start to make a difference.