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8 Ways To Make Your Home More Environmentally Friendly

These include installing energy-efficient lighting, replacing outdated appliances with modern, more efficient options, reusing old office furniture, or moving paper jobs online. If you design your home to take advantage of the surrounding landscape from the outset, you’ll enjoy easier, less expensive lawn care for the life of your home. If your property slopes, plan your planting to take advantage of its natural characteristics, planting water-loving willows in low areas and conifers on higher ground. Try xeriscaping, a landscaping technique that uses native plants and rock to minimize water use. Developers can use green land development strategies that can save money and are environmentally-friendly. Additionally, some methods of construction have inherently sustainable and eco-friendly characteristics.

  • Avoid fast fashion, which contributes huge amounts of pollution and chemicals.
  • So you really don’t want that dining room chandelier in any other room.
  • Dual-flush toilets allow a user the choice of how much water to use.
  • And for more ways to start living a more responsible lifestyle, check out the40 Ways to Make Your 40s Your Healthiest Decade.

Instead of wasting energy on electronics, try entertaining yourself with these20 Genius Ways to Kill Time without a Smartphone. Take a page out of Macklemore’s book and head to the thrift store for your next shopping spree. AsRichard Robbins highlighted in his bookGlobal Problem and the Culture of Capitalism, consumerism and the production process have a detrimental environmental impact. “The simplest and most obvious way to eliminate power losses is to unplug products when not in use,” write the authors ofConsumer Guide to Home Energy Savings – 9th Edition. If you don’t feel like pulling every lamp and charger out of the outlet when you leave the house, use a power strip instead—it’ll leave you with just a single thing to unplug. Don’t dawdle in the shower just because the warm water feels nice on your skin. Shortening your shower by as little as one minute can save up to 150 gallons of water per month.

3 Light Up The House With Leds

You are making choices that help protect the environment and its natural resources. The apartment-friendly appliance will dry, grind, and cool natural food scraps, turning them into compost you can use for yourself, or drop off at a local composting center. Running a whole-home HVAC system all the time can waste a lot of electricity, but Google’s Nest Thermostat can help you use it more efficiently. Though using the dishwasher to wash your dishes can save water, drying them in the machine will only contribute to your energy bills.

How to make your home more environmentally friendly

Efficient in construction – Because these homes are pre-built on a large scale in a factory, they are usually more precise in their use of materials and generate less waste. Sustainable house design involves a certain amount of ‘outside the box’ thinking, and incorporating a living roof or wall into your plan is an example of just that. For even more tips, check our separate post on how to build an energy-efficient home on a budget. Your landscaping can also make your home more energy-efficient. Plant a deciduous tree in front of south facing windows to provide shade in summer but let light through in winter.

Instead, ditch the double wash and scrape any leftover food into the compost, then pop your dishes straight into the machine. The slow, excruciating drip of a leaky faucet is enough to drive anyone insane. Add to that the fact that one drip every second adds up to five gallons of wasted water per day, and you have no excuse not to call a plumber ASAP. Department of Energy, light-emitting diodes use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.

Every item on this page was hand-picked by a House Beautiful editor. Lastly, make sure you minimize food waste by learning how to meal plan, meal prep, and store food properly.

Donate Your Unwanted Items

One of the best ways to make your home more eco-friendly is to invest in energy-efficient light bulbs. Don’t waste your kitchen scraps and leftover food – turn them into compost. You would be surprised how much of the food that you currently throw away can be recycled and turned into compost. Simply place a compost bin in your garden and fill it with any food waste. Providing you with completely clean electricity they can sometimes even make enough energy to allow you to sell some back to the grid. Solar panels are certainly a long-term investment and it has been suggested that it will take around 20 years for you to break even depending on where you live. But remember this is not just a monetary investment – it’s an opportunity to be eco-friendly.

  • It’s easy to insulate your windows and keep your home cozy year-round.
  • This could be anything from a high performance A/V receiver in your home theater system, to an exercise bike.
  • If you live in an apartment or urban high-rise, it may more difficult to install and maintain a composting toilet.

Simplicity is popular in the eco world but if you have a little extra room in the budget you can get fancy with an impressive living wall that promotes all kinds of greenery indoors. Because it’s easily harvestable and doesn’t take a lot to produce sheep’s wool, meaning, sheep naturally reproduce their coat throughout the year, so it’s highly sustainable. It doesn’t deteriorate as quickly as other natural insulation materials, but it can be more expensive than some natural How to make your home more environmentally friendly options. For example, they can help to purify the air and reduce stress levels. And if you’re looking for a bit of privacy, certain plants can also help muffle sound. So if you’re looking to add a bit of life to your home office, consider adding a few plants; they just might make the space more enjoyable to work in. Not only does this type of lighting help to reduce your overall energy usage, but it also provides a bright, natural light that is perfect for working.

Install A Smart Meter

To make your home truly through and through green, look into furnishing it mostly with sustainable furniture. It’s going to be difficult, we won’t lie, but if it’s important to you we’re sure you’ll take the time to find the right furniture for your eco-friendly home. If you prefer your bedroom to be cooler put its window facing trees that will block the sunlight or have it face it north or south to avoid the rising and setting of the sun going east to west. If you want your kitchen and living room to get a lot of light, then definitely have those windows facing towards the rise and setting sun. If you want to minimize the horizontal footprint of your home take advantage of building vertically.

There are various methods you can use to collect and store rainwater for your bathroom, laundry, or even for drinking. From the layout of the house to the appliance you fill it with, there are many things you can do to make your home more eco-friendly. Solar panels need to be wired into your home’s existing electrical grid. Rather than buying new furniture, consider hitting up thrift shops and websites such as Craigslist and Freecycle.

One easy way to slash this number is by upgrading an older toilet model to an EPA-certified WaterSense model. Nationwide estimates that the eco-friendly models can save as much as 13,000 gallons of water per year, plus slash water bills by $90. And if you’re too lazy to physically turn off the light switch, you can always invest insmart lights that respond to audio commands. When you make your house more sustainable, you’re making a contribution to improving the environment. Home sustainability can lower the cost of running your home, saving energy, water and maintenance on systems and appliances.

Turn some of that CO2 into O2 just by potting a Ficus or Dracaena (and actually caring for it. Honestly, your bras and undies and crop tops will last longer if you let them air-dry anyway. Helps to have a good-looking drying rack, but a plain old clothesline works, too. Get a long, skinny brush like this one and use it to gently scrub loose any lint and scuzz from the coils under your fridge. Herbs such as mint, parsley, and basil grow easily on a balcony or windowsill. Purchasing produce that’s in season and locally sourced helps curb emissions by shortening the distance food has to travel. Choose fruits and veggies with minimal packaging, and bring your own reusable mesh bags when grocery shopping.

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Skylights and solar panels are known to keep energy costs down. They can be used to heat, or help heat a home, and often give enough power for small items like fountains to run. Solar panels on your roof will source clean, pure energy directly from the sun, thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels. Though it can take some time to realize savings after the cost of installation , solar power is one of the most proven ways to reduce household energy use.

Considering that the U.S. produces nearly 300 million tons of waste per year , finding a way to reduce, reuse or recycle this waste can have huge environmental impacts. We all want to be more environmentally friendly, but it can be hard to know where to start, especially when it comes to our homes. We’re very excited for you to continue your home design journey. Yes, eco homes are popularly made with very modern designs, but it’s not a requirement of having green eco houses.

They can also recycle many types of human waste into fertilizer that can be used in agriculture. While they are initially more expensive to install than traditional toilets, they are far more eco-friendly and will eventually pay for themselves. If you’re building a new construction home, try to work around existing trees. You could even incorporate them into your house design, such as building a deck under a huge shady oak. When the sun is shining, you can plug any electronic up to 300 watts into the outlets to receive power.

“Think about which rooms have the most sunlight and how you are utilizing them,” counsels New York designer Gala Magriñá. “Is there a better way to position your office or a breakfast nook so that they are in brighter light? Are your windows dirty, or are the window coverings broken so you don’t raise the shades? ” Addressing such seemingly cosmetic fixes can have a positive impact on your energy consumption.

Build With Eco

Efficient transportation – Additionally, all the parts are transported and delivered at the same time, minimizing the cost and environmental impacts of transportation. Most smart home systems also allow you to monitor the amount of energy you use, helping you to live more efficiently and use less electricity. Another way to keep your building materials eco-friendly is to source them locally as much as possible.

The Carbon Offsets to Alleviate Poverty Organization reports that an estimated 13 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States stem from the production and transportation of food. Opt for organic and locally-sourced products, especially those from farmers’ markets.

Incorporating Green Home Building Ideas

The electricity required to heat, cool, and power a tiny home would only generate around 2,000 pounds of CO2 if produced by a coal power plant. Durable – Contrary to what you may think, prefab homes can actually be more durable than traditional builds, because materials are reinforced for transport.

It takes less to cool and heat smaller homes, less materials to build, and lower costs to build and maintain. You can buy a variety of solar-powered outdoor lights, from high-powered driveway floodlights to small walkway lamps. If you live in an area that gets a lot of sun during the day, these are a great way to cut your energy consumption and still have the lights on. These environmental benefits apply to all LED bulbs, but we’re recommending a set of smart, Wi-Fi enabled light bulbs because you can set them to turn on and off on a schedule using your phone.

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