We really can’t deny it anymore— climate change is real. We’ve been feeling its effects over the past few years, from water shortages to rising sea levels, to even more intense weather changes in all parts of the world. It’s nonwonder that the Doomsday clock moved to 90 seconds to midnight this 2023, signifying that we’re a bit closer to doomsday than we initially thought of.
It’s because of the rampant effects of climate change that many companies and individuals have been going green. You might often hear the word sustainable living from many businesses and influencers lately, and these are distinct efforts to battle climate change one step at a time.
Image Credit: Brian Babb | Unsplash.com
However, did you know that you can also make your home more sustainable? These home improvements can help you conserve energy and resources, making a positive impact on the environment. Plus, sustainable home improvements can increase the value of your house even if it’s aging!
Ready to decrease your home’s carbon footprint? Here are six sustainable home improvement ideas you can easily do to your home.
Switch to LED
If you’re going sustainable, switching to LED light bulbs can be your first step.
LED light bulbs use up to 90% less energy than regular light bulbs. This means that you can conserve energy at home and reduce your electricity bill! So, the next time your light bulbs go out, replace them with LED bulbs and watch your bill go down.
In addition to your switch to LED bulbs, you can also use natural light to become more energy-efficient. For example, you can design your home in a way that enhances natural light. You can achieve this by strategically placing mirrors in your home or by choosing light-colored curtains or paint for your walls.
Upgrade your windows
Did you know that your home’s heating and cooling system uses a lot of energy all year round? And your windows can be contributors to your high energy demands.This is because the hot (or cool) air slips out through drafty and old windows, making your energy consumption go higher.
The good thing is, you can prevent this from happening. You can upgrade your windows to dual-paned ones, and properly seal them. Although new windows may be costly at first, you can ensure that your bill will decrease as seasons change.
Invest in energy-efficient appliances
Let’s face it— we can’t live without appliances. We use it to cook and store food, wash clothes and dishes, and even entertain ourselves. However, as you use more and more appliances at home, your energy consumption also goes up. That’s not a sustainable way of living, right?
This is why you should invest in energy-efficient appliances at home. Newer models of home appliances are made to consume less energy and provide less negative impacts to the environment. For example, older models of fridges use CFCs as refrigerants, which is a common greenhouse gas that depletes the ozone layer in the atmosphere.
So, how can you ensure you’re using an energy-efficient appliance? Simple. Look for the Energy Star certification. Appliances that are Energy Star-certified have passed the US Department of Energy’s strict criteria for energy efficiency.
However, if you aren’t ready yet to make the change, you can always go green by using less of your appliances. For example, use smaller appliances such as toasters instead of the oven. You can also wash dishes with your hands instead of the dishwasher to save water and electricity!
Use green flooring
Floors take up the majority of the space in your home, and the materials you use for flooring have a great impact on the environment.
Most houses use wood flooring. However, there are cases where the timber used for flooring aren’t responsibly sourced, causing deforestation in many parts of the world.
On the other hand, other houses use vinyl floors as an alternative to other materials. But, before you go for vinyl, you should think twice! Vinyl isn’t recyclable and has a high carbon footprint. If you’re planning to go eco-friendly, vinyl is a sure no-no!
Instead, you should opt for more eco-friendly materials for your floor. Some of these include the following.
- Reclaimed wood
- Stained concrete
- Recycled tile
Other than the above, you can also use Accoya wood for your floors. These are sustainable, rot-resistant, and stable regardless of the climate you have. Plus, these are insect- and pest-resistant, so you can kiss termites goodbye from your home!
Color with eco-friendly paint
Paint adds color to your home, but it can also pose a threat to your health and the environment.
It’s because most paints have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are emitted into the air as gasses and contain harmful chemicals. You can also find VOCs in other everyday items such as fridges, aerosol sprays, air fresheners, and cleansers and disinfectants.
So, the next time you’re planning to repaint your home, make sure to choose paint that doesn’t contain these harmful compounds!
Plant a garden
One of the most impactful steps towards fighting climate change is by planting more trees and plants in your surroundings. Trees and plants provide shade from the sun, which can lower the temperature outside. It can also improve the air quality in your surroundings. Plus, plants can easily beautify your home!
Instead of simply having a grassy lawn, you can try planting plants and shrubs in your space. Now, you don’t have to go all out at first. You can start with perennial plants that bloom all-year long such as shasta daisies, peonies, and daylilies. Then, when you’re getting the hang of gardening, add seasonal plants to your garden or even roses if you’re feeling fancy!
Nevertheless, having a garden at home can add color to your space and reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
Going green doesn’t have to be expensive. There are simple ways that you can do to make your home more sustainable without breaking your bank. After all, even the smallest steps to sustainability can make the biggest positive impact to the environment.
However, sustainable living doesn’t end with home improvements. You can be more sustainable at home by supporting eco-friendly businesses and even integrate it to your lifestyle! Who knows, maybe the Doomsday Clock will fall back in the coming years with the help of your efforts!