Going green is a popular concept for homeowners, and is a quickly growing trend. Many people want to lead more energy-efficient and self-sufficient lives to have as small of an impact as possible on the environment while also being healthy. While many will turn to electric vehicles, alternative transportation, and walking more to cut down on their environmental impact, one of the most effective ways to reduce your emissions is to change the home.
For most people, the home is where they spend the majority of their time. As a result, the biggest changes that can be implemented that will lead to a more sustainable and energy-efficient existence will start at home. So what can you do around the house to accomplish these goals? Here are a few suggestions.
Install Energy-Efficient Appliances
Appliances can be the biggest drain on electricity in your house. Refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, furnaces, and everything in between will use a lot of energy when in use, so it is important to try to reduce the electricity and even water that these machines will go through. Newer appliances with high energy star ratings can cut down on the use of energy and water resources. You also want to make sure that these machines are installed correctly. For example, having your air conditioner installed professionally reduces the risk of your home losing heat due to a poor installation process. Not only will these appliances be better for the environment, but they will help reduce utility costs for your home.
Put Solar Panels on Your Roof
Solar technology is becoming more efficient every year. Earlier renditions of this innovation may not have been as cost-effective, but its capabilities are improving to the point where it is a sound investment to make for your property. Solar panels use the sun to create electricity for the home, which can help to reduce your electric bill and use a renewable resource for energy. Though the cost of installation is high, the value of your home will increase and your long-term savings will make up for the initial purchase.
Create a Vegetable Garden
If you want to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, then you need to add a vegetable garden to your property. Depending on the climate you live in, you could grow tomatoes, green beans, peppers, cucumbers, asparagus, and more. Want to diversify the garden? Try growing your own potatoes, rhubarb, or other fruits. This type of garden requires special care, so make sure you invest in high-quality top soil delivery, put up fencing to protect the food from critters, and don’t forget to water the plants if necessary. Also, do your research ahead of time so that you know what each type of plant needs to thrive. The last thing that you want to do is drown your future food with too much watering or starve it of the nutrients that it needs. A vegetable/fruit garden leads to more sustainable living, providing your family with healthy food options during the growing season.
Eliminate Drafts in the House
Drafts can be a huge pain in the neck, especially during hot or cold seasons. The heat or air conditioning in your home may be escaping without your knowledge, and the presence of drafts usually indicates that the building is experiencing some level of energy loss. But not all drafts are obvious. Locating drafts in your home is crucial to maintaining good insulation that prevents heat loss in the winter and keeps your house cool in the summer. One of the simplest ways to find hidden drafts is to walk around the home with a lit candle. If the flame flickers or waves in a certain area, there could be a small draft, and therefore, compromised insulation. Specifically, you should conduct this test or others like it near windows and doors that lead to the outside. Once you have found a draft, do some research to find out how you can improve insulation to eliminate it and prevent wasted energy in your home.
Grow Your Own Herbs
Similar to the vegetable garden idea, growing herbs can be a great idea for saving money on store-bought products and cutting down on the use of plastic and other packaging materials. Herbs can be grown either outside or in a sun-facing window. One popular trend is to grow herbs right in your kitchen for easy access. If you love to cook, then keeping basil, oregano, mint, chives, sage, rosemary, and other plants alive in your kitchen can be a sustainable and cost-efficient practice to adopt.
Save Money and Reduce Your Environmental Impact
These suggestions are perfect for homeowners who want to be a little more self-sufficient while reducing their energy costs and impact on the environment. With energy-efficient appliances, solar panels on the roof, a vegetable garden, better insulation, and herbs in your kitchen, you are well on your way to leading a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly lifestyle, all while saving some money.