“Save the Environment!” — That’s the urgent call in our day and age. Unfortunately, it means changing the way we live and the things we use. Even so, more and more people are adopting Eco-friendly ways because it makes sense in more ways than one.
When it comes to home improvement, you can also be Eco-friendly. Not only will you do your bit for mother earth but you’ll be doing yourself a favor too. Eco-friendly products and materials can lower some of your ongoing costs.
4 Tips for Eco-Friendly Home Improvements
Let’s not forget that i’s a healthier solution too. Here are some ideas on how to make Eco-friendly home improvements:
Renovating The Bathroom
Change your toilet to a dual flush model. There are two knobs on these toilets. Each knob uses different amounts of water to flush your waste. You can select if you need “more” or “less” water to get the job done. This way you can conserve water. There’s also pressure assisted toilets. It uses compressed air to make flushing more efficient. Unfortunately, it is loud and noisy.
Change to a low flow, Eco-friendly shower head. A conventional shower head uses about 6 gallons per minute. The Eco-friendly one uses 1.5 – 2.0 gallons per minute. You can reduce water usage drastically with this change. Don’t worry, the new shower head models don’t compromise your water flow. You can still enjoy strong water flow. Some even come with different streams for you to choose from.
Improve Energy Consumption
Harness the power of solar energy. Looking to replace your water heater? Choose a model that is solar powered. There are many other solar powered gadgets that you can use in your home. You can also install solar panels. Getting them may be expensive but they will save you money in the long run.
Change your incandescent light bulbs to LEDs. They are highly efficient and last a long time (around 100,000 hours). With it, you can lower your energy consumption by 80-90%. Some people may suggest CFLs but they contain mercury. Disposing of it is not very environmentally friendly. LEDs are mercury free.
How about replacing your windows with energy-efficient ones? They can help reduce the cost to heat, cool and light your home. During the winter months, double paned windows work better to prevent heat loss than single-paned windows.
Thus, they provide natural insulation. Even the type of window frame you use can make a difference. Wood, vinyl, and fiberglass are fantastic insulators. Have you heard of Low-E glass (low-emissivity glass)? It’s a special surface coating that will help keep your house warmer during winter and cooler during hot days.
Change Your Flooring
Cork flooring is ideal for those looking for a natural type of material. It is durable and uses non-toxic adhesives. When you walk on it, you’ll feel comfortable. It comes in many colors and designs making it a stylish alternative.
Carpets can be a health hazard as they harbor dust mites and dust. But there’s a green option for you: carpet tiles. They are made from recyclable materials. Installing and cleaning are easy. It doesn’t use harmful adhesives so it doesn’t emit toxins into your home. There’s a wide variety of styles for you to choose from. These type of carpets are gaining in popularity.
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Put On a Fresh Coat of Paint
Brighten your home with a new coat of paint. It’s the simplest way to change the look of your house. When you go paint shopping, look out for brands that use low-VOC or zero-VOC. Check that it doesn’t contain formaldehyde, ammonia, or acetone. Unfortunately, these Eco-friendly paints can be quite pricey.
That’s why some D.I.Y. people have opted to make their own natural paint. Yes, there are recipes out there that show you how to make your own paint. There’s another natural alternative which is milk paint (also known as casein paint). It is safe and durable. It is said to have its own character.
Meaning, it’s finishing may be different from what you expected. You can make it yourself or buy it. If you plan on buying it, make sure it’s real milk paint. It should be in a powder form and will spoil in a few days after you’ve mixed it.
I’ll be honest with you, some of the time when you choose to go Eco-friendly, it will cost you more upfront. However, you have to think about long-term benefits. Yes, you may have to pay more now, but the renovations you make will save you money in the long run.
Many of these home improvement suggestions are Eco-friendly solutions because they save on natural resources such as energy, and water. For others, like tips 3 & 4 the benefits and savings may not be so easily quantified, but they will make a difference to your health and well-being.
It really is a win-win-win situation: save the earth and save your pocket and your health.