Do you plan to renovate your home in the nearest future because you need something different around you? Or maybe everything is so old that you feel like it may fall apart at any time? If that’s the case, it’s a perfect moment to think about another issue, apart from the looks and functionality – have you maybe considered making your home eco-friendly? You definitely should. Environmentally-friendly houses are becoming more and more popular these days due to raising environmental awareness. What can you improve in your home to help our planet?
- Eco-friendly bathroom
You should start by fixing all the leaky faucets in your house – you have no idea how much water you’re wasting yearly with these little drops. Then, there are low-flow toilets available that can help to reduce water usage and save you a lot of money spent on utility bills. Consider also other eco-friendly bathroom fixtures, e.g. low-flow showerheads or energy-efficient water heater.
- Recycled materials
It’s very easy to acquire windows made of bio-glass that look just like regular glass but are 100% eco-friendly. You can also reduce or eliminate waste and the use of fossil fuels by using salvaged wood and metal as a replacement for all needed materials. Don’t worry – discarded metal can be as durable and good-looking as the fresh one. It can help give your house a little rustic, unique touch – very fashionable.
- Eco-friendly paints
Regular paints may contain VOC (volatile organic compounds) which are harmful to you and the environment. Why should you take any risks, when there are VOC-free paints available? Thanks to them, you won’t have to worry about what you and your family are breathing in. Do some research to discover where else you can find VOC – you’ll be surprised to see it in flooring or building materials.
- Solar panels
A lot of people decide to go solar these days and it’s the right thing to do, both environmentally and economically speaking. It may seem like a lot to spend at the very beginning during the installation (it’s getting cheaper, though, due to increasing popularity), but it will all pay off in the future – you will see a significant decrease in your electricity bills.
- Energy-efficient appliances
It’s possible to buy eco-friendly versions of all kinds of appliances you may need in your home – air-conditioners, refrigerators, heaters, dishwashers, and more. You will not only do something good for nature, but it will help you save money, as energy-efficient goods last long and make your bills less expensive. They work perfectly fine and you won’t even tell the difference – they’re just smarter and they know when and how much energy they need exactly.
- Renovating instead of replacing
Are you bored with your wardrobe? Well, instead of buying a new one, you can try painting the old one. And it applies to all your pieces of furniture that aren’t totally used – you can repair, paint and change coverings however you like. When you really need something new, consider visiting an antique shop, a salvage yard, or a local market selling second-hand items – it’s zero waste so eco-friendly, money-saving and a little inspiring if you think about all that history. And don’t throw away what you no longer need – sell or donate it.
- Sustainable flooring
It is affordable and low-maintenance, it doesn’t absorb any moisture, and it’s more eco-friendly because bamboo grows faster than other trees, it takes much fewer pesticides while growing, and, when you harvest it, you don’t have to take out its roots, so it can grow back again. And to be honest – it looks really good. For kitchens and bathrooms, use ceramic. It can last ages, it’s germs-free and very easy to clean. What’s more, both bamboo flooring and ceramic you can install on your own, as it is quite simple. However, if your eyes are set on hardwood, make sure you use a reclaimed one. And if you’re looking for something softer, try cork flooring – one cork oak can be harvested for as long as 200 years, which makes it one of the most sustainable materials available. And it’s better than a soft carpet because it’s waterproof.
Most of the houses, especially the old ones, are normally insulated with fiberglass which can affect your well-being – it irritates your eyes, throat and skin. Fortunately, there are more natural materials, like wool, cotton and denim, that can work just as well and are 100% sustainable. Additionally, if you insulate your house properly, you will save lots of money on heating and cooling.
These are not all possible ways of making your home environmentally-friendly, but it surely is a good start. After all, we all live in this world together and we should take care of it for us and the next generations – while saving some money right here, right now as well.
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