Green living doesn’t necessarily mean building a home from scratch with only sustainable materials or installing expensive solar panels. You can easily make your home more eco-friendly by making a few small but significant changes. Check out this list of green mini-makeovers that will transform your living space.
Most eco-friendly homeowners know the basics of sustainable living, but if you’re starting from scratch make sure to do the following:
Insulate your cavity walls, your attic, your pipes, and your water heater.
Switch to CFL (fluorescent) or LED lighting and instantly cut down your energy bills.
Install a programmable thermostat and keep track of your energy usage. (Smart thermostats such as Nest learn your energy use and set up your heating and air conditioning based on your preferences over time.)
Choose low flow faucets and shower heads to save water in the kitchen and bathroom.
Once you’ve made these basic changes, you can move on to some DIY projects that will make your home even more sustainable and environmentally sound.
Solar light tubes
If you can spring for a professional, consider installing solar light tubes to maximize daylight (and minimize electricity use) in a room that doesn’t suit skylights or windows. Installation only takes a few hours and requires no structural changes to your roof, and the result is a leakproof, secure, and free source of natural light for your home.
Repurposed wood dining table
If you’re looking to update your dining space, consider crafting your own farmhouse style table using repurposed wood. Recycled pallets and timber are always available from gardeners, farms, or local businesses, so ask around and source as much used material as possible to maximize your green table design. The result will be a trendy, handmade centerpiece for your dining space that is sure to wow house guests
Bring your garden space indoors and grow herbs, vegetables, and flowers from the comfort of your own home. With a little imagination and quite a bit of attention, your microgarden will soon yield valuable produce that the whole family can enjoy. Saving money on your food bills and making your home more sustainable: a winning combination!
Air drying station
Washing machines and dryers are some of the biggest energy users in the home. Save energy and transform your laundry space by creating an air drying station in your laundry room. Utilize wall space by affixing a hanging rack from the wall or laundry room door and you have an instant, energy saving drying station.
Low VOC paint
One of the easiest ways to update your living space is a coat of paint. When redecorating the green way, choose low or no VOC (volatile organic compound) paint to minimize toxins in the environment. The best part about this project is that it can be as big or as small as you want it to be, so use your imagination and get painting.
Vintage home decor
Home makeovers don’t have to involve grand designs and complicated blueprints in order to be transformative. Take a trip to your local thrift store or flea market to source vintage and recycled home decor pieces. While many items will instantly slot into your living space in their original form, take some time to upcycle larger pieces of furniture and put your own style stamp on your environmentally friendly, recycled purchases.
With some clever ideas, innovative products, and a little bit of elbow grease, you can easily turn your house into an environmentally conscious haven. At Modernize, we have tons of ideas for eco friendly and sustainable home transformations. Once you start thinking green, the home makeover possibilities are endless.
Guest Blog by Bryn Huntpalmer, Editor at Modernize
Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an Editor for Modernize and nurtures her HGTV obsession. In addition to regularly contributing to Home Decor and Design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker, About.com and on her personal blog Her Own Wings.
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