It’s really nice to say that we live in an age with more environmentally conscious people who care about the size of their carbon footprint. And the first step to minimizing it is all about transforming our homes into greener and more sustainable places. Of course, there are different levels when it comes to such a project. You may choose to simply lead a more energy-efficient life with less toxic waste and low-flow showerheads or take things up a notch and do some renovation work that will actually make your entire home more sustainable. You don’t have to splurge on solar panels or green roofs unless you really want to and have the means for these, but there are still rather effective projects for this purpose.
Use double or triple-pane windows
If your windows let the draft in, they won’t do you or the environment much good. Essentially, if the windows don’t provide proper insulation, you’ll have to use more energy to cool the interior in the summer and warm it up in the winter. However, investing in double- or triple-pane windows will effectively deal with this issue. These may be a bit costlier but they’ll soon pay themselves off through your reduced electricity bills. And if you’re looking for new eco-friendly frames, definitely consider fiberglass.
Use low VOC paint for both your interior and exterior
VOCs are volatile organic compounds, which are basically toxins that can be found in paint. Once the paint dries, there’s a toxic gas that’s filled with these VOCs which can affect your health and the environment. What’s more, the gasses can linger for years. In that respect, it would be best to switch to low VOC paint and give your home a nice painting makeover, just to be on the safe side. Keep this in mind when you’re using lacquers and sealers as well.
Insulate your home properly
As mentioned, double and triple-pane windows are great insulators, but you might want to up your game in this case. After all, your energy savings will be much bigger when your entire home is properly insulated – and you’ll be much more comfortable. Still, it’s true that thorough insulation is not a simple process and you need to consider all of your options and needs beforehand. Talk to professionals to learn the best insulating solution for your particular needs. You may also need to rent some equipment and hire scaffolding services in order to get the job done as efficiently as possible.
Use sustainably-sourced materials
If you want to update your kitchen elements, replace the flooring or do any kind of renovation work that requires the use of new materials, make sure to opt for sustainably-sourced materials. This means that you won’t contribute to the natural resources getting damaged or fleeting. As mentioned earlier, fiberglass is one of the sustainably-sourced materials. Bamboo, vinyl and concrete are also considered to be eco-friendly. If you’re keen on wood, you should opt for responsibly-sourced wood and products.
Switch to smart appliances
Home appliances can waste a ton of energy if they’re not made with energy-efficiency in mind. Luckily, there are plenty of Energy Star-rated appliances on the market nowadays. You don’t have to replace all your appliances at once but still make this a long-term project.
What’s more, you can install a smart thermostat that can be connected to most electronic devices today. This will allow you to regulate their use even when you’re not at home. Not to mention that modern smart thermostats usually have the feature to control devices on their own. Also, consider installing dimmer switches for your lighting. That way, you’ll be able to adjust the level of brightness properly so that it feels pleasant on the eyes and doesn’t waste energy at the same time.
Change cannot happen overnight. If you’re willing to invest in renovations that will lead to a more sustainable and greener home, make sure to create a proper plan and address your budget. After all, it’s better to take things slowly and stay consistent than to try to do everything at once only to fail. Also, don’t forget that your own actions affect the environment as well. If you’re prepared to invest in remodelling, be prepared to change your old ways, too.