Although converting to a green home may seem difficult at first, it is a choice everyone should make. It requires you to be committed enough to let go of certain habits and make drastic lifestyle changes.
We have become accustomed to a comfortable life that takes a toll on both the planet and our pockets. That is why going green has become a popular alternative lately that many are choosing to live by. It gives the home and its residents the chance to live a happy, healthy, and eco-friendly life.
What is a Green Home
A green home is one that saves energy, waste, and building materials. Accordingly, it becomes a more sustainable, eco-friendly, and cost-efficient home. It also focuses on improving indoor air quality and using more sustainable or recycled material.
Why convert to a Green Home
Before indulging in the methods that will give you a greener home, it is important to know why green is better.
- Create a healthier home for you due to toxin-free building material and natural ventilation
- Save money because of reduced energy and water use and is more durable than standard homes
- Help the environment as it produces less waste and relies less on depleting natural resources
How to convert to a Green Home
1. Buy furniture made out of recycled material
Contrary to popular belief, recycled material furniture will not look old or smell weird. In fact, most times it results in a truly unique piece of furniture.
Check your local market or make your own item at home. Either way, buying recycled furniture means you are contributing to preserving natural resources.
2. Replace light bulbs with energy efficient ones
Energy-saving bulbs will cut down your energy consumption in the long run. Although LED and CFL will be costly at first, they are a smarter and greener choice. They last longer than traditional light bulbs and are thus more cost-friendly.
3. Use sustainable building material
Whether you’re building from scratch or simply renewing your home, recycled material is the way to go. Eco-friendly products such as reclaimed lumber, recycled plastic, and recycled glass are readily available.
You may also want to consider natural products such as bamboo, cork, and linoleum. In addition, insist that your contractor uses materials wisely and refrain from wasting them.
4. Install Solar Panels
Solar panels are another upfront hefty cost that will pay back in the long run. Since solar energy is a clean and renewable source of energy, it will green up your home in no time. It is an investment worth making, as you will notice a drastic cut in your energy consumption.
5. Smart and efficient landscaping
Landscaping plays a crucial role in your heating and cooling usage. If possible, plant trees on the southern and western ends of your home.
This will block sunlight during summer and keep your home cooler. It will also allow more sunlight in during winter when the trees lose their leaves.
6. Don’t forget about proper insulation
About 50% of your energy consumption goes to home heating and cooling. Air leaks around windows and doors result in heating and cooling waste. Insulate any and all cavities you may find to reduce energy consumption and lower your electricity bill.
7. Recycle, recycle, recycle
This is not limited to recycling waste in your home. It also means you should reuse old materials when possible rather than buy new ones.
Remember to recycle glass, aluminum, tile, lumber and plastic as they can be used in green home building.
Tips to remember during the process
Green living is constantly changing and upgrading. Technological and scientific breakthroughs enable us to learn more about leaving a smaller footprint on the planet.
So here are a few tips to keep in mind as you convert to a greener home:
- Always remember to educate yourself on the latest green living techniques
- Don’t worry about large upfront payments, every green decision pays back
- Almost every product has a greener alternative, so do your research beforehand