This year, the world already feels a bit grim—the ever-present effects of climate change are just one (albeit significant) factor in that equation.
But you can’t abandon hope just yet.
Structural and corporate overhaul may be necessary to battle climate change, but there are still impactful ways to make your own house a better friend to Mother Earth. Check out some remodeling tips to build a more sustainable home and future.
#1 Budget Smart
Not sure if you can financially take on an HGTV-level overhaul? In the spirit of sustainability, think of refreshing more than replacing. Start small with simple recycling and lighting changes.
And if you’re looking for financial assistance, consider a property assessment funder like PACE. Hold up, what is PACE? Property Assessed Clean Energy financing is a low-interest, fixed-rate supplement for supporting your green home remodels. Check out your eligibility to make the eco-friendly home of your dreams just a little bit more attainable.
#2 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Taking out a full trash bag every day? Your large-scale corporate office may have an excellent recycling program, but your home may not have the infrastructure for it—yet anyway.
Read on for some home recycling hacks:
- Compost bin – If a nasty odor is your primary reason for avoiding composting, you’ll have to think up another excuse. Many modern compost bins are both smell-proof and a much more sustainable way to dispose of your carrot tops and eggshells.
- Recycling programs – Go beyond your municipality’s regularly scheduled recycling pick-up by bringing your returnables—cans, wine bottles, milk jugs, glass jars—to a local recycling depot. If you’re feeling lazy or pressed for time, you can almost always find a troupe or team in your neighborhood doing a bottle drive. Donate your recyclables to them to kill two birds with one stone.
- Cleaning closet upgrade – Going through three paper towel rolls per week? Cleaning supplies can be a major source of waste. Switch over to reusable rags and green suppliers like PUR Home to keep things tidy and earth friendly.
#3 Hit the Lights
Lighting is like the gateway drug to sustainable living. It’s simple and relatively easy to adjust in your home, and the softer light choices are much more flattering, anyway.
To start off, use eco-friendly compact fluorescent lights in all applicable light fixtures. They use about 75% less energy, and their warm glow beats the harsh incandescent bulbs any day. Take things a step further by installing dimmers in overhead fixtures. You’ll achieve a mellow vibe and a lower monthly energy bill.
Want the ultimate budget-friendly light hack? Open the curtains and embrace the sunshine in your life. Even a fresh coat of lighter paint on a room can increase the power of natural light.
#4 Tame the Temperature
Ready to make a larger change? Upgrading your appliances to green models may seem expensive, but the lower energy costs may save you cash in the long run. Here are a few items to consider when remodeling for sustainability:
- Refrigerators – This is one of the biggest energy-suckers in your house (even more than a grumpy teen). Consider an EnergyStar-approved model like the Liebherr MRB.
- AC Units – For keeping it cool and green, look out for AC units with two-stage compressors and programmable thermostats. When possible, opt for a ceiling fan or, better yet, a natural breeze.
- Heating – This is a major overhaul and expense, but one that will definitely repay you down the line. Pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and even solar power are great eco-friendly ways to stay snuggly in the winter.
Small Steps for a Smaller Footprint
If remodeling your home takes a turn from overjoyed to overwhelmed, take a step back. You don’t have to be a superhero and save the icecaps all in one day. With these tips, you can make viable and sustainable choices for your home, big or small.