Making a home more eco-friendly is no longer a “go for broke” proposition. Consider the opinion of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who created Sherlock Holmes, literature’s master of logic and deduction. He said, “The little things are infinitely the most important.” They also tend to be the most economical. For those who want to make their home “greener,” the ways to accomplish this are elementary, my dear Watson.
What This Means for You - A sustainable home respects not only the planet but also the homeowner’s pocketbook. If you’re ready to get started, read on.
10 Ways to Go Green at Home
Build or Buy a Brick Home
Brick is ultimate natural product. The clay is mined from the ground and then fired into its final form. It is virtually impossible to destroy, and, as such, it can withstand fire, wind, water, hail, and any other natural force. Brick from Acme Brick is available in a wide range of colors and sizes, and its appearance is timelessly elegant. Its patinas are vibrantly rich, and the colors never fade, even after centuries. This means there is virtually no maintenance, saving natural resources and money that might be required for wood and synthetic building materials.
Proper Insulation Pays Big Dividends
With current homebuilding engineering practices and remarkable product technology, there are few excuses for not properly insulating a home of any age. According to House Beautiful, “By making your home more efficient at trapping in the heat, you will cut your heating bills and use less fossil fuels. A draft excluder is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to keep your home warmer, and you can also think about insulating your home with thermal wallpaper along with loft or basement insulation. If you’re a renter, you can request these from your landlord, as they have a legal obligation to make the property energy efficient.”
Window Treatments Work
According to the experts at Biofriendly Planet, “The curtains and blinds are not just for keeping nosy neighbors away. They are also there to keep the heat and cool air outside. Despite keeping your windows closed, heat and cold air can still creep in. If you don’t have a big tree to protect your home from the sun during the summer months, your home can feel like an oven.
“Upgrading your curtains and blinds is definitely a great way to maintain the temperature and make your home more environmentally friendly. Using the AC all day every day is definitely not.”
Hot Water is a Waste
According to Energy Star, up to 90% of the energy used by a washing machine goes toward heating water. Many eco-experts suggest skipping the ”heat” and using your washing machine on the cold-water setting. This way, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced. This also keeps your clothes in top condition for longer, as hot water can deteriorate the fabric and make your colorful clothes less vibrant. This is a simple solution that has a big impact on energy use.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
This source points to the savings found in better thermostat technology. “Get green by installing a programmable thermostat to monitor your cooling and heating systems. A thermostat can reduce the cost of your utility bill and make your home more eco-friendly at the same time.” Once this is installed, reducing the temperature setting in the winter and increasing it in the summer will enable sustainable savings on gas and electricity.
Swap Regular Light Bulbs for LED Bulbs
How many times a day are light switches in a home turned on? Dozens and dozens of times! Biofriendly Planet advises, “Investing in the right energy-efficient light bulbs makes a huge difference. You will not only use less electricity, but you will also make your home more environmentally friendly. No matter how tempting incandescent bulbs are, LED bulbs are a better alternative. They last longer, are eco-friendly, and they help you save money in the long run.” Many also produce a warm glow that’s a near-exact match for the soft white incandescent bulbs we grew up with. Win/Win!
Synthetic Turf Saves Water and Energy
Aside from the destruction of natural lawns by the blistering sun and a dearth of adequate rainfall, there are many reasons for the rise in the popularity of synthetic turf. Ultimately, it comes down to two words: economic sustainability. Traditional lawns that must be planted, cultivated, fertilized, watered, and constantly trimmed no longer make economic sense and most likely have not been viable for many years. Plus, rates for water, the cost of fuel for maintenance, and labor expenses are at all-time highs. When these factors are compared to the up-front investment in synthetic turf, the ROI on a product like GrassTex, available from Acme Brick, is realized sooner than ever before.
Clean and Green
“Natural cleaning products are just as effective as the regular ones,” according to Biofriendly Planet. “But they don’t contain any harmful chemicals that are bad for the environment and your health. Granted, natural cleaning products are more expensive, and not all people can afford them. Nevertheless, you can make your own cleaning products using items like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.”
Replace Old, Inefficient Appliances
Almost all the recent advances in home appliance technology have been geared toward making them more energy efficient. This means that a kitchen stove, refrigerator, clothes washer/dryer, or dishwasher that is 10 years old or older is most likely costing more in utility expenses than they are worth.
Energy Star, the US government’s official energy-saving office, has a comprehensive list of all home appliances that meet its rigorous standards for efficiency. Click here for the complete list.
Deploy the Plant Patrol
Decorating a house with plants is one of the easiest ways to make it green. Biofriendly Planet notes, “Potted plants are effective for indoor air cleaning. Not only that, but they are also nice, and they make your home more welcoming. Sure, it takes a bit of responsibility to take care of plants, but it’s surely worth it.”
If some of those plants are herbs, your meals will be enhanced, too.
Want to find great ways to boost the sustainability of your home? Click here for hundreds of home improvement products from Acme.