Are you eco-conscious? Is your home eco-friendly? If you’re thinking, “yes, of course,” you might be unintentionally fibbing. Seventy-nine percent of Americans consider themselves eco-conscious, according to a recent survey from Trulia, yet three out of four people from the same survey reported that they don’t take action beyond recycling.
There are many ways to live eco-consciously, and many of them start at home. Here are four home improvements to help you make an eco-friendly impact.
Update Your Windows
Old, outdated windows are a major energy suck. In fact, the energy experts from Energy Star report that outdated windows can account for hundreds of dollars lost per household every year and new eco-friendly window styles can save up to $465 a year compared to single-pane windows, and up to $111 compared to double-pane styles.
Simple adjustments such as installing weather stripping on drafty windows can help to keep energy in and costs down. Wooden windows can benefit from a glazing compound to seal up leaks. You can also keep the heat out in the summer and the cold out in the winter by adding drapes and curtains inside. In some cases, uninsulated drape styles can cut down window heat loss by a third and insulated drapes can dramatically reduce loss by half, according to Earth Share.
Use Low-Energy Lighting
There’s more to being eco-conscious than remembering to turn the lights off when you leave a room. Today there are a variety of energy-saving light bulbs to choose from that can make your living spaces brighter, and more eco-friendly. Both LED and CFL light bulbs require 80 percent less energy than standard bulbs, according to data from Energy.gov. Plus, both of these light bulb styles last much longer than traditional light bulb options without sacrificing the strength of light that is emitted. This minor eco-friendly adjustment can save you money in the long term, too.
Opt for Energy Star Rated Kitchen Appliances
Home appliances have evolved dramatically over the span of the last few decades, and there are models on the market today that are more efficient than ever before. But just because they are efficient, does not mean that they are energy-efficient. When remodeling your kitchen, be sure to look for kitchen appliances with an Energy Star-rating. These specific appliances are certified to save energy without sacrificing the modern conveniences of efficient appliances. Depending on the models you choose, your kitchen appliance cost will range from $2,500 to $9,000, according to remodeling experts from Fair & Square Remodeling, so be sure to account for somewhere in that range when you create your kitchen remodel budget.
Add Permeable Paving
Eco-conscious improvements can be made outside of the home, too. There are ways you can change your landscape to be more environmentally-friendly. One sustainable option is permeable paving. This can be incorporated in your driveway or garden patio. This style of paving is similar to ordinary garden or driveway paving, however, it is different as it has large gaps between each block. This allows excess water to drain more effectively, allowing for rain water to pass through the gaps at a slower rate, instead of flooding or accumulating across the concrete. Some permeable paving options even feature options that can accumulate and filter rain water so that it can be reused.
Do More Where You Can
By implementing adjustments around the home like these, now you can exclaim “yes!,” when asked if your home is eco-friendly. After all, living an eco-conscious life should extend beyond recycling occasionally.