With the surging carbon emissions, energy wastage, water wastage, and pollution, it is essential to figure out how to protect and conserve our natural resources. A perfect way to protect our health and the planet is by embracing green living. A green lifestyle makes one more environmentally conscious. It keeps one committed to taking meaningful steps that can help reduce pollution, over-extraction of natural resources, and exploitation of natural habitats.
Homeowners are taking the green and energy-efficient routes when building, renovating, or remodeling their homes to minimize their carbon footprint. So, how do you make your home greener? Well, let’s find out.
Reclaim Building Materials
Instead of getting newly manufactured and refined building products, use reclaimed materials to remodel your home. It reduces the home remodeling cost and makes your home eco-friendly.
Use reclaimed wood to create floating shelves or fruit racks during a kitchen remodeling project. You can use reclaimed glass on your countertops or the island. Also, exposed recycled bricks on the wall can make a great wall feature. Resurface recycled wood and use them to make the kitchen floor cozier. Remember to use eco-friendly varnish to make the reclaimed wood newer and shinier.
Other rooms in your home can also benefit from the reclaimed building material. Turn used wood into a breathtaking wall accent. Turn the wood into thin planks and use them to cover a focal wall in your living room. You can also use reclaimed wood on your deck.
Use Locally-Sourced Building Materials
Locally-sourced materials minimize transportation costs and energy consumption. Also, transportation contributes to carbon and other toxic fumes emission into the atmosphere. So, the less the distance, the less the carbon emission and air pollution.
The shorter distance also means less fuel consumption. The shorter distances preserve oil reserves.
You’re not only protecting the environment but also contributing to the growth of the local economy.
No VOC Paints are Eco-Friendly
Using paints, cleaning, and finishing products that are low or free of volatile organic compounds (VOC) is a critical step to living green. No VOC paints also make your home a healthier space.
Most products we use in our homes, including new furniture or finished wooden floors, emit VOCs. Breathing these organic compounds may cause irritations, breathing difficulty, or lung or nervous system damage. VOCs also pile up pollutants in the ozone layer. Therefore, harming the environment.
Therefore, using low or free-VOC paints means a healthier you and a cleaner ozone layer. Look at the green labels, certifications, and ingredients when buying paint. ECOS Paint, AFM SafeCoat, Clare Paint, and Natura are good examples of free-VOC paint brands.
An insulated home makes your home greener. By insulating it, you prevent heat loss which prevents energy wastage.
You need insulation during the hot or cool seasons. It keeps your home cool during summers and warm during the cold seasons.
Insulation gives your home a good heat flow resistance preventing energy loss. It also seals air leaks, preventing cold or hot air from leaking into your home.
Therefore, you’ll use less energy to cool or heat your home. Less energy consumption results in less carbon emissions and reduced energy bills.
Use water filtration systems
Water filters can offer long-term advantages, including safeguarding your appliances in addition to saving the environment by eliminating the demand for single-use plastics. Dishwashers, freezers, hot water tanks, and washing machines are just a few examples of water-using equipment that can be damaged or slowed down by sediment if it isn't removed by water filters such as reverse osmosis systems. You can preserve an appliance's energy efficiency by minimizing particle accumulation. Unfiltered water buildup can slow down appliances and increase their energy consumption. Saving energy benefits your gas and electricity costs as well as the environment by lowering the pollutants associated with energy production.
Renewable energy makes your home extremely energy-efficient. It’s also good for your health since renewable energy doesn’t emit toxic substances like nitrogen oxide.
Instead of using furnaces or HVAC systems, turn to renewable heating sources. Use biomass boiler, air, or ground source heating pumps to keep your home warm.
Use solar panels, wind turbines, or hydroelectric systems to power your home. They are renewable and cheaper energy options in the long run.
Stop Using Old Appliance
This remodeling advice actually relies on your budget and how essential new appliances are to you because spending thousands of dollars on a new fridge might not be the most economical green remodeling strategy. In either case, it's critical to remember that older appliances weren't constructed with efficiency in mind. As a result, appliances like your refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, and washer/dryer can consume extra energy every minute. When the time comes to replace your outdated appliances, look for ones that are energy-efficient. Look for Energy Star-rated dishwashers and refrigerators. These tools aid in water conservation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Something else to consider is giving away items and devices that you do not use anymore. By donating your unwanted or no longer-needed products to charitable organizations, you are helping another person. Giving away such items can increase the space in your home and enable you to renovate it as necessary rather than choosing to utilize raw resources to create a new house.
Demolishing leads to more waste, remodeling costs, and pollution. When you knock down walls, all the waste goes to the already full landfills.
Rather than demolishing and throwing tiles, bricks, or any building material, salvage and deconstruct.
Creating a home that uses less energy, emits less poisonous organic compounds to the environment, and embraces recycling is easy. If you’re planning on remodeling your home, take the opportunity to make it greener and show your love for the environment. This way you protect yourself and the earth. Although it seems costly upfront, the upgrades will reduce your bills in the long run. Besides, the green upgrades are good for your health and the environment.