Today, many homeowners make decisions to try to reduce their environmental impact. From determining which house they buy in the first place to guiding home improvement projects, this desire is changing how many people view homeownership.
Deciding to go green with your home can be accomplished in many ways. It could be as simple as reducing your energy bills. However, if you feel deeply passionate about protecting the environment, it is possible to become 100% self-sufficient. Most people will fall somewhere along that spectrum.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to upgrade or add features to your home to live a greener lifestyle. Here are a couple of changes that you could make that are both big and small to produce a smaller effect on the environment.
Energy is the name of the game when it comes to owning a home. To run all the appliances and lights in the home, you need something to provide power. There are a few ways to power your home with renewable energy that will reduce the impact on the environment. You could install solar panels on the roof to cut down on your electricity usage from exterior providers. If you have the land, a private windmill could also generate electricity for your home and cut down on your reliance on another provider. Pellet stoves or wood-burning stoves can provide heat to your home as an alternative to natural gas or electric heaters. Using alternative energy can reduce your carbon footprint and cut down on energy bills.
Grow Your Food
While most people do not have the land, resources, and knowledge to produce all of their own food, it is rather simple to grow some food for you and your family. The most common way is with a vegetable garden. Depending on where you live and the soil quality of your land, a vegetable garden could provide your family with produce like tomatoes, green beans, peppers, carrots, or other foods. If you can dedicate some care and time to a garden project, you could start a small orchard for apples, cherries, pears, peaches, or other fruits, as long as you live in regions that can foster growth for these foods. Even a simple herbal garden in a kitchen window can provide you with the ingredients needed for cooking, saving you money and reducing your impact on the environment.
An energy-efficient home is all about reducing unwanted heat transfer. During the cold months, you want to keep the cool air outside and the warm air inside. In the summer, you don’t want that air conditioned air to leak out too quickly, making your appliances work harder to keep the home comfortable. A major source of unwanted heat transfer is a window. Newer models of windows allow you to sustain the right temperatures with less effort from your cooling or heating systems, which cuts down on expenses and energy usage. Additionally, the right coverings like roller shades by Hunter Douglas can protect your family from harmful UV rays from sunlight while still letting in natural light and helping maintain temperatures. Make sure the windows in your home are not increasing your energy bills for a more sustainable home.
Switch Out Old Appliances
Energy efficiency is at the top of the priority list for many home appliance manufacturers. As one of the keys to making a more sustainable home, switching out your home appliances for newer models that have high energy star ratings can reduce your energy usage dramatically. Machines that consume a lot of water like dishwashers or washing machines can be upgraded to low-flow models that use much less water to function. As technology advances, smaller motors are capable of powering large appliances, allowing them to use less electricity to run. By updating your appliances, you can reduce your need for energy, thereby benefitting the environment.
While the shift toward more energy-efficient lightbulbs has been happening for years, there are still many homes that use older bulbs to light their interiors and exteriors. If this describes your house, then it is time to make the change. LED lightbulbs use far less energy and can last a long time. This cuts down on the number of bulbs that have to be thrown out, many of which are not properly recycled to protect the environment. These greener bulbs also require less electricity so you can save on your utility bill.
Greener Homes Are More Sustainable and Self-Sufficient
Even if your motivation is not to protect the environment, there are still financial benefits to creating a greener home. Self-sufficiency cuts down on your reliance on the grid, which is sometimes susceptible to issues. The less energy your home uses, the more money you can save each month. All it takes is some investment upfront to upgrade your home with more environmentally-friendly choices.
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