Being green is more than a fad, it is absolutely necessary and we can all help. If every single person on the planet lived like the average American or European, we would need six more planet Earths to have sufficient resources for our consumption. That figure is shocking, but it is a simple fact that we all must make changes in our lifestyles to improve the planet, be green-friendly and leave it better for future generations. Some of these changes sound difficult, but that is not always the case. Here are six easy home improvements we can do to help improve our homes and make them more eco-friendly.
1. Install a ceiling fan
Using a fan to circulate air is a much more energy-efficient way to cool down than to have the air conditioning constantly running. Make sure that the fan you buy is energy-efficient and high quality. Investing in the best fan you can will minimize your carbon footprint, while circulating air and reducing heat.
2. Functional window coverings
You can reduce energy consumption with shutters. By shuttering up windows that have sun shining on them, you can significantly reduce energy consumption. This works by preventing heat from sunlight entering and increasing the power output of your air conditioning or cooling system. Alternately, in the winter, you can open the shutters to have more sunlight come in and warm the house.
3. Kitchen remodeling
When remodeling your kitchen, go for ecologically friendly materials. Instead of installing granite counter tops, which must be mined for, try bamboo. For your kitchen floor, cork is wonderful. You may often find that ecologically friendly materials are also more friendly on your wallet.
4. Green appliances
Ecologically friendly appliances are those that use less power and less water. Water is a precious natural resource that many people in the developed world take for granted. By installing dishwashers, washing machines, and toilets that use less water, you can significantly decrease the amount of water that your household uses. This will also reduce your water bill and save you money.
5. Install solar power
While this option is initially expensive, it can also save a lot of money in the long run. Providing that you live in an area with abundant sunshine, you can run your household on virtually free energy. Other sustainable energy options include wind and geothermal power.
6. Use non-toxic paint.
This is something few people think about, but paints are often laced with toxic chemicals. Next time you paint in your home, be sure to buy paint that is marked as non-VOC paint. This is better not only for the planet, but for you and your family’s health as well.
Taking charge of our household and its energy expenses is the responsible thing to do. While these steps may seem small, becoming aware of our impact on the planet and how we can lessen our carbon footprint is a vital skill. Starting with these six home improvements, you will be well on your way to making a positive difference.
Article and insights provided by Marlena Stoddard.