Last week was Earth Day, which always get us thinking about ways to bring sustainability into our homes. Getting on Mother’s Nature’s good side is a wise idea for many reasons. First, there’s the fact that we live on a planet with finite resources that we should strive to preserve for future generations.
And then there’s the fact that,
Sustainability Saves You Money In The Long Run!
It’s possible to build a sustainability-focused house from scratch, but most of us already live in homes that may or may not have been built with sustainability in mind. If that’s the case for you, consider trying out one or all of these home improvements for better sustainability. Each one makes your home’s carbon footprint just a little smaller — and puts some money back in your wallet in the long term.
Make an Easy Swap – Better Light Bulbs
This is the sustainability home improvement just about anyone can tackle. Head to your local department store and pick up LED light bulbs for all of your fixtures. They may cost more at the start — think $20 instead of $12 — but the typical LED bulb lasts for 45,000 hours compared to a halogen bulb’s 3,000.
That means you’d have to change a halogen bulb 15 times for every one time you’d have to change an LED bulb!
Cut Back on Heating and Cooling – Better Insulation
This sustainability home improvement requires the help of a professional, but pays off in the long run. Start by having an expert conduct a home energy audit to determine how well insulated your home is. Basically, the pro will fill the house with negative pressure, determining which doors, windows, and walls leak the most air.
Based on these findings, use spray foam to fill the cracks around the offending windows and doors. It’s that easy! The improved seal will keep more of your AC or heat in your home, resulting in lower energy bills and better sustainability.
Slash Your Energy Usage – Better Appliances
Did you know that new appliances use 60 to 80 percent less energy than appliances that are 10 to 15 years old? Thanks to the Energy Star initiative, manufacturers have been whipping their appliances into sustainability shape in recent years, which means switching out your old fridge, oven, or washer for a new one will seriously cut back on your home’s energy usage and boost its sustainability.
Get Your Hands Dirty – Better Yards
One of the best things you can do for your yard when it comes to sustainability is plant a garden. It doesn’t have to be the garden of Eden! Even a small outdoor garden helps to absorb storm water runoff, which contributes to the cleanliness of our rivers and streams.
Plus, growing even a small portion of your produce decreases your grocery store trips, cutting down on your gas consumption. It’s little things like this that don’t seem to make a big impact, but add up over time. And who doesn’t like fresh tomatoes?