15 Ideas to Make a More Eco-Friendly Home
Living a sustainable lifestyle isn’t as challenging as it may feel sometimes. Although you might have to consider new habits, your carbon footprint will shrink with a bit of time and effort. Anyone can improve their green values by using these 15 ideas to make a more eco-friendly home. Whether you have a tight budget or want to do a larger renovation, the next big step towards a sustainable future is possible.
1. Use a Rain Barrel
People take their access to water for granted, but it’s a limited resource. Turning the faucet on every time you water your plants, or using a hose for your sprinkler system, is a waste. A rain barrel will collect water for your yard care use and save money on your monthly utility bill.
2. Switch Your Light Bulbs
Traditional compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs consume more energy than you might think. Switching to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs helps your home consume less electricity, even if you need to use your lights more often. It’s all based on how LED technology needs less energy to produce the same amount of light, while lasting longer.
3. Find a Smart Thermostat
Old thermostats stay at one setting no matter how the weather changes or what happens inside your home. Smart thermostats take weather patterns and indoor heat fluctuations into account while maintaining your preferred temperature. Your home won’t need as much electricity because your HVAC unit won’t turn on when it’s not necessary.
4. Add Extra Insulation
Households lose valuable heat in the winter if they have old insulation in their walls. It’s easy to add an extra layer of insulation on a budget. The single afternoon of work will give you another decade in a comfortable home without wasting electricity on constant heating or cooling.
5. Find a Recycling Center
If you’re new to your neighborhood, you may throw everything in the garbage because you don’t know where to recycle trash. Find a recycling center close to your home and make a monthly trip with separated glass, plastic, and cardboard materials. You’ll keep waste out of landfills and help transform unneeded goods into new products.
6. Build a Sunroom
Looking to expand your home? Consider adding a lovely indoor porch with floor-to-ceiling glass walls or windows. People who have sunrooms use less electricity because they use so much natural lighting from all sides of the room. Your home can become even more eco-friendly with a three-season sunroom, which doesn’t require an auxiliary heat source hooked up to your electric system.
7. Start a Compost Bin
Anyone looking for another alternative to throwing trash in landfills should start a compost bin. It’s a place for materials like eggshells, newspaper, and coffee grounds to break down into organic waste for all-natural fertilizer. Instead of clogging a landfill, most of your household trash could make your landscaping more beautiful without chemical fertilizers.
8. Buy Locally Made Decor
Ordering something online might be exciting, but trucks, aircraft, and ships have to burn fossil fuels to get it to your front door. You’ll make a more eco-friendly home by buying locally made decor whenever you want to redesign your space. Connect with nearby artists to discover creative household additions you wouldn’t otherwise find in stores.
9. Pick Water-Based Paint
If you want to repaint a room in your home, be careful which type of paint you buy. Most solvent-based paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contribute to indoor air pollution even after the final coat dries.
Pick a water-based paint for your next redecorating project. It works just as well as solvent-based alternatives, but it won’t add chemicals to your air. You’ll also prevent the same pollution from occurring at whichever landfill eventually gets whatever paint remains in the can after the project finishes.
10. Swap Your Cleaning Supplies
Every time you clean your shower or kitchen sink, the chemical-based cleaning sprays wash down the drain. They often end up in water systems, polluting the ecosystem for local plants and wildlife. Search for biodegradable cleaning supplies during your next trip to the store (or make your own). You won’t have to worry about how your household products affect the environment after their one-time use.
11. Apply a Window Glaze
Homes with high electricity bills may need more insulation than what’s in their walls or attic. You could also apply a glaze to every window pane. After application, it locks in cold or hot air without disrupting your view. The glaze provides double protection from outdoor temperatures seeping through the glass, so it’s an excellent investment for such a quick project.
12. Support Local Farmers
Your home is full of your favorite foods and drinks, but where were those groceries processed or packaged? They likely needed national or international shipping to reach your grocery store. Local farmers don’t need to burn nearly as much fossil fuels to supply their neighbors with delicious goods. See when nearby farms host sales during harvest seasons and check out weekly farmers markets to minimize your home’s carbon footprint.
13. Skip Traditional Stores
Decorating your home might mean getting new furniture. Many brands create their products overseas and ship them to customers worldwide. The thrift store down the road from your house doesn’t have the same environmental impact. Whenever you need to replace your couch or kitchen table, see what others recently donated to upcycle your furniture.
14. Schedule HVAC Inspections
HVAC units require yearly inspections, but scheduling them more often could make your house a more eco-friendly home. Exposure to the elements causes natural buildup and grime inside the machinery, then dust clogs the ventilation system. Biannual cleanings will help it run at optimal speeds so it doesn’t have to use more energy to work overtime and keep your home comfortable.
15. Close Your Blinds
One instant fix for costly electricity bills is closing your blinds. They’ll block summer heat and winter air from entering your home. Blinds could become another level of insulation for homeowners fighting extreme weather patterns on a budget.
Make a More Eco-Friendly Home
Anyone can use these 15 ideas to make a more eco-friendly home. Think about what would help your lifestyle the most to get started. Adding a rain barrel to your property, creating a sunroom, or buying different light bulbs will all make a difference in your carbon footprint.