Global warming and climate change have been a topic of hot debate for many years. Carbon dioxide, one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases that cause global warming, accounts for most of the heat caused by human activity.
As the world witnesses major devastation from global climate change, we must take appropriate countermeasures individually and collectively to reduce dangerous emissions, eliminate landfills, and decrease the greenhouse effect.
Under the new sustainability action plan by Louisville, Kentucky’s local government, individuals and organizations are welcome to actively participate in making Louisville one of the country’s greenest and most eco-friendly cities. As responsible citizens, the least we can do is adopt eco-friendly practices in all areas of life.
Eco-friendly home improvements help you save energy, and you can also play your part in restoring the planet’s natural environment, reducing your carbon footprint, and, most importantly, saving big! If you’re a homeowner and planning to update your home, it’s time to do it in an eco-friendly way.
While you may find some eco-friendly home improvements more expensive, they can save you a lot of money in the long term and benefit you and the environment.
To start with, here are eight eco-friendly home improvement projects that you can invest in without breaking the bank:
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1. Avoid Sending Household Items to Landfills
There are various items at home that you either don’t require immediately or don’t have the space to keep at home.
Louisville’s local government encourages citizens to repurpose used products and avoid increasing landfills. Instead of sending your household items to landfills, you can adopt multiple options to store unwanted items or reuse, reduce, and recycle.
To help you with your storage issues, Louisville storage units offer a variety of storage facilities in and around the city. You can rent storage units that best fit your storage needs and allocated budget.
Be creative in reusing your old household items. Create a fun activity for your kids and engage them in DIY projects that efficiently utilize unwanted household items. Donate or sell extra belongings instead of throwing them away.
2. Install Solar Panels
To generate more electricity, power plants need to burn more fuel, increasing carbon emissions into the environment. Home appliances, lighting, and domestic machinery are some of the major areas of energy consumption.
While you cannot eliminate electricity use, you can adopt eco-friendly ways to generate energy for domestic use. Solar panels provide a way to power homes with 100% clean and renewable energy.
Installing solar panels in your home reduces the use of fossil fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases. Using solar panels makes you less dependent on other electricity sources, decreases utility bills, and reduces your carbon footprint. Check out our efficient solar installation process to learn more.
Louisville’s local government has provided incentives to make solar panels more affordable. You can also invest in a community solar energy system where you can generate more energy than you need and receive credits on your electricity bills.
3. Go For Recycled, Reused, or Reclaimable Materials
New construction and renovations typically generate a large amount of unnecessary waste. Consider reclaimed or recycled wood, recycled fabrics, and reused materials when planning home improvement projects.
Reclaimed wood is an excellent, sturdy, and long-lasting alternative to granite, epoxy, or marble countertops and can be used for doors, windows, flooring, and walls.
Reused or recycled products are environmentally friendly as they help reduce environmental pollution and landfills. They are also fairly affordable and help you stay on a budget while being eco-friendly.
Use recycled corrugated cardboard to create beautiful DIY storage boxes instead of plastic or sticks.
4. Start Composting
Are you a passionate gardener looking for a lawn or backyard makeover? Home-made compost is a perfect eco-friendly alternative to chemical fertilizers. They have more nutritional value for your plants and can nourish the soil and suppress plant diseases.
Most of all, natural compost can help you reduce environmental pollution.
Food leftovers and yard garbage account for over a quarter of all waste. Not only is food waste bad for the environment, but it’s also expensive to handle and process. You can reuse your leftovers or food scraps instead of throwing them away.
5. Install Proper Insulation
Insulating your home has several advantages. While it protects your property from outside factors such as rain, seepage, ice, and creepy crawlies, it also aids in temperature regulation within the home.
An insulated house will keep you warm all winter, no matter how chilly it is outside. In the summer, it shields your home from the scorching heat outside.
Insulating your home can benefit the environment as you wouldn’t have to burn extra fuel or use excessive electricity to protect yourself against extreme weather conditions.
When planning home improvement, never skimp on high-quality insulation. High-quality insulation will better protect your home and will not need to be replaced as frequently. If you find any gaps in the walls or ceiling, fill these gaps with insulation material to keep more heat inside.
6. Extend Windows and Choose Neutral Wall Colors
Invest in extending all windows throughout the house to let more natural light in during the daytime.
Natural light regulates internal home temperature and reduces the consumption of electricity during the day. This helps decrease dependency on electricity and save a significant amount on utility bills.
Using neutral colors not only makes your home appear bigger and neater, but it also helps in reflecting natural light instead of absorbing it. This is why walls with neutral colors make the surrounding areas brighter and cleaner.
7. Use Energy-Efficient Lighting
Smart, eco-friendly lighting options come with various add-on functions, including scheduling and energy efficiency. Planning an eco-friendly home improvement project? Time to replace all the high-voltage lights with energy-efficient lighting solutions.
Using wireless technology like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, you can control smart light bulbs with an app on your phone or tablet. So even if you forget to turn off your lights when leaving home, you can do so through your Wi-Fi connection.
You can also use LED lights that are more energy-efficient and affordable. Using lights that use energy more efficiently is better for the environment and your pocket.
8. Use Low-VOC Paint
Giving your walls a fresh coat of paint is perhaps the most cost-effective way to upgrade your home’s interior. However, when choosing paint, prefer low-VOC paints over regular paints that have a high VOC (volatile organic compounds) level.
Such paints are manmade and contain a high amount of non-eco-friendly substances including chemicals and carcinogens. VOC emit toxic gases into the air for years that are harmful to your throat, nose, eyes, and brain, and can even cause cancers. The amount of carbon they release into the air is harmful for the environment.
You can easily find low-VOC or zero-VOC paints in nearby stores. They may cost a little more than VOC paints, but the environmental and health benefits they offer surpass the costs.
To combat global warming and climate change, we must all work together to make the Earth a safer and cleaner environment for future generations.
While eco-friendly solutions are inherently more expensive than hazardous chemicals, they do not have to be a financial burden when considering the long-term advantages for you and the environment.