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A Guide To Environmentally Friendly Living At Home
These days we are all intensely aware of the impact our actions have on the planet. Emissions, plastics in the ocean, ozone layer holes—the news is all around us, and it's mostly negative. But the good news is that you can make a difference in the crusade towards saving the planet by implementing some small changes that will create an eco-friendlier home.
Here are some specific actions that you can implement around your home to improve your surroundings and planet.
Look at the products you use
Sometimes, we don't think about the eco-impact of a product as we pick-up another bottle of our favourite detergent or cleaning product. However, as soon as these products leave the bottle and enter the water supply, they impact the planet.
There are some easy switches you can make here—try opting for the eco-friendlier brands, naturally based products, or even make some of your products. Bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice or vinegar is a great compound used to scrub your spaces and clean off stains.
When it comes to personal hygiene, there are plenty of options that boast a more natural, eco-friendly product. Try natural oils, locally sourced skincare, organic toothpaste and rinses, reusable ear swabs, and more.
Switch to green plumbing
To keep your house as planet-friendly as possible, switching to green plumbing is a great idea. This doesn't have to be expensive either—items like low-flow toilets and showers, polymer-based plumbing materials, and eco-friendly taps that help reduce water wastage. Green plumbing is a superb option to make your house not only better for the planet but easier for your bills and everyday use. Read more about green plumbing and if it's right for you.
Optimise your laundry situation
By optimising the way you do your laundry, you can help the planet and save yourself some grief! Here are some great ways to revolutionise your washing.
- Wash your clothes in cold water: This not only relieves the energy needed to heat the water but also saves your clothes, some wear and tear. Between 75 and 90% of the energy involved in doing a load of laundry goes into heating the water alone, so reducing this energy will help your bills and the earth. Plus, washing clothes in cold water keeps the colours vibrant.
- Hang 'em out to dry: While you are saving money and energy from not using the dryer unit, you are also giving your laundry a break from the damage and roughness of a tumble in the heat. Line drying cuts energy expenditure and gives your clothes a fresh-and-breezy smell that dryer sheets can only hope to mimic.
Install energy saving devices
To make your abode even more earth-friendly, you can look at installing some easy devices that will also make your life simpler and more cost-effective.
- Rainwater Collection: You can easily install a rainwater collection system outside your home. These bucket and spout systems collect and store the rainwater from the outside of your house and allow you to use it later to water your yard and plants or even for washing your car.
- Composting: Turning your veggie waste into viable mulch for your outdoor spaces is a great way to keep your kitchen scraps eco-friendly. An easy compost system can go under your sink, at the back door, or even be a larger installation in the garden.
- Recycling: Possibly the most well-known way to keep your house eco-friendly, but an important one. Putting in a simple, easy-to-use recycling system is crucial to reducing the amount of plastic pollution, and you save the earth one container at a time!
Plants, plants, and more plants
Decorate your space with plants! This is a great way to spruce up a room while also letting the plants clean up your air. Keep them watered with reused water, like from rinsing off your veggies, and you have all the sustainable décor you could want.
Green features can increase the value of your home
Not only can you make your property more environmentally friendly help the planet, but it can increase the value of your home whilst also making it more desirable to potential buyers.
Darren Robertson of Northern Virginia Home Pro says that any homeowner planning to sell their home ultimately should keep an eye on green advancements and make any improvements in line with going green.
"Greater home efficiency has become more affordable and achievable than ever before, and making green upgrades to a home that assists buyers in getting more for their money is a sound investment to make."
In a survey published by the National Association of Realtors, more than 61% of potential home-buyers express an interest in homes with sustainable features. This includes smart features, lowered utility costs and lighting efficiency. Energy efficiency is one of the top 5 selling points for most home-buyers, particularly first-timers.
One of the most visible eco-friendly home improvements is the addition of solar panels. The environmental impact is obvious - the avoidance of utilising coal or natural gas-fueled energy from a local energy provider instead of storing energy from the sun to power your home. Solar panels don't tend to replace the need for consumption from energy providers fully, but depending upon the set-up's extent, they can go a long way.
It is a significant investment, though, with the potential need for a roof replacement before adding the panels. That being said, it may very well be an investment worth making. Properties that have solar power installed spend an average of 50% less time for sale, and the addition of solar panels can increase the value of your home by up to $20,000.
Given the savings to be had through reduced power bills, many opt for upgrading to solar panels long before they are ready to sell to maximise the advantages long term - both as an owner and seller.
In keeping with the modern way of considering all potential environmental impacts on our health, it might be a good idea to consider replacing your ageing carpets with some non-toxic, eco-friendly options. These carpets can even lower energy bills by absorbing more heat.
Old, worn carpets can let down the aesthetic of a property for sale and replacing them can be a significant selling point - especially for buyers with children or those planning to start a family. These buyers are conscious of investing in a property that comes without toxic implications.
Tankless water heaters
Another green upgrade that appeals to buyers is a tankless water heater. Traditionally, water heaters hold gallons of water in a state of constant heating, whereas modern tankless water heaters only heat water when you need it. They work by running water over hot coils on it's way to your pipes. Tankless water heater options can not only lower your bills. Still, they can also free up valuable storage space, making for an even more attractive use of living space to potential buyers.
Going green at home
There are so many options for going green when it comes to home improvements and only so much you can do at one time. However, it is certainly the way of the future, so any green upgrades you can make will not only be kinder to the planet and often kinder to your wallet but also may make your property more desirable and valuable when it comes time to move on.
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If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare, why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is decor and interior design.
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