A 2021 study found that 24% of American homeowners have plans to remodel their houses. Even if you don’t plan on making changes to your whole house, it’s common for homeowners to want to change things like paint colors or update outdated items – especially when you’ve lived in the same place for a long time!
However, in today’s eco-friendly society, where sustainability is becoming more important than ever, you might want to consider making home updates that are good for the environment.
As a bonus, most eco-friendly home updates are also good for you, your family, and your wallet! Some upgrades can improve the air quality in your home, helping any family members who might have respiratory issues. Investing in energy-efficient appliances and reducing your water and energy waste will also lower your utility bills. So, even if the initial updates feel like a bit of an investment, you’ll end up saving money, in the long run.
Not sure where to get started? Whether you want to remodel your entire house or make a few simple updates, it’s easy to do so with the environment in mind. Let’s cover a few updates that can make a big difference.
Updates That Will Cut Back on Energy Usage
The best way to live more sustainably at home is to make it easier for yourself to use less energy. A few simple home upgrades can make that happen. Some of the best updates that will help you cut down on energy usage include
- Installing solar panels
- Switching to LED lightbulbs
- Checking for LEED or Energy Star certifications in whatever you buy
- Switching to energy-efficient appliances
It’s estimated that about 4% of American homes are currently powered by solar energy, and it’s a practice that is becoming more popular as electric bills are rising across the country. However, even if you don’t have the budget for solar panels right now, consider making some of the other changes and updates listed above, especially if you have a large family. You might not realize just how much energy you’re currently wasting at home, but you will the first time you receive your utility bill after making these updates.
Switching to Green Construction Supplies
If you’re considering remodeling a room, making an addition to your home, or even changing the paint color of your bedroom, are there ways to do it more sustainably? Not all construction materials are created equally. Some can do more harm to the environment.
One of the best things you can do if you’re trying to update your home without constructing anything new is to repurpose or reuse old items. Give new life to old pieces of furniture, or break pieces down to use the wood for something completely new and different. If you can’t find a use for certain materials, find out how you can recycle them to offset any new construction you might need.
Even the paint you choose to spruce up a room can be better for the environment if you’re willing to do a little bit of research. Some compounds in traditional interior and exterior paint can be harmful to the planet, including Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Searching for eco-friendly paint will help you avoid these compounds and may even be better for your family’s health if anyone has respiratory problems or allergies.
Don’t Forget Your Home Exterior
Most people tend to focus on the interior of their home when they’re remodeling or making updates. However, the outside of your home is just as important. Whether you want to boost curb appeal or just want a beautiful “greeting” whenever you pull into the driveway, investing some time and energy into your home exterior is a great way to make the most of your remodeling efforts.
Some of the most common outdoor home improvement updates include
- Power cleaning the deck
- Scrubbing the siding
- Inspecting the roof
- Cleaning the gutters
You can take your maintenance one step further by making some eco-friendly changes to your home exterior. Consider changing the entire look of your home with sustainable exterior paint. Seal any cracks in your windows and doors to stop air leaks.
Don’t be afraid to have fun with your updates, too. Putting together a beautiful outdoor garden or investing time into your landscaping can make your home exterior beautiful, and it might also become your new favorite hobby! Gardens are pretty “green” as it is, but you can be more sustainable with your landscaping efforts by choosing native plants, using organic products, and managing your water use.
It’s easier than you might think to “go green” when you’re trying to update your home. Even investing in newer items that reduce energy waste will make a big difference in the value of your property while allowing you to live more comfortably.
Whether you’re considering a major remodel or just want to spruce things up, keep these ideas in mind to make your home more eco-friendly. A greener home can encourage sustainable habits that will benefit you and the environment.