This year, our time spent indoors has increased nearly ten-fold. And once stuck inside, it’s hard to ignore all the little flaws that we’d brush off while rushing out the front door—not to mention our mile-high utility bills with each passing month.
Now’s a better time than ever to make your house a place you’re proud to call home. Making some eco-friendly updates can transform your house into a pillar of sustainability. Need some guidance to reduce your carbon footprint? Here are some of our favorite green renovations to install in your home.
#1 Start from the Bottom
Sweeping up last night’s pizza crumbs isn’t the only way to show your floors some love. If you’re looking to make a major green update, flooring is a perfect place to start. If you hear creaks every time you walk down the hallway, consider one of these eco-friendly flooring options for an upgrade:
- Cork – For an extra spring in your step, cork floors are a great sustainable option. Not to mention, they hold more warmth for homes in colder climates.
- Bamboo – Fun fact: bamboo is grass, not wood! Even still, this highly durable green option will stay strong under your feet.
- Linoleum – This is an old-school option, but it’s making a comeback. Fully natural and anti-allergenic, linoleum is an excellent cheap flooring alternative.
#2 And Go to the Top
No one thinks about their home’s roof very often. After all, how much time do you spend up there? But when it comes to sustainable renovations, your rooftop is a prime target.
Green roofing will shrink not only your eco-footprint but also your heat and repair expenses.
Recycled materials and smarter installation are key to energy efficient roofing.
For an easy update, place a cool-roof coating over your current shingles to insulate better. If you’re going for the big overhaul, vegetation and recycled materials like clay or metal will lay a strong and sustainable roof foundation.
#3 Take It Outside
Common sense would say that any outdoor space is inherently “green.” But there are ways to truly unite your background with Mother Earth—no green thumb required!
You might have a friend who raves about their outdoor compost bin, and for a good reason. Odorless and animal-resistant, this worm-friendly variety will transform your potato peels into the richest fertilizer instead of landfill waste. And if creepy crawlers aren’t your cup of tea, don’t worry—compost bins are low-maintenance. Sit back and let the early worm catch the waste.
Speaking of fertilizer, what should you be doing for your lawn treatment? Chemical and pesticide-free compost fertilizer is the most eco-friendly way to tend to your beloved plants. And if your backyard is mostly grass, consider replacing all that green with some flower beds, stones, or pavers to reduce water usage.
#4 Then Bring it Back Indoors
When going green at home, small changes are nothing to sneeze at. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to make an eco-friendly impact. Here are a few small-scale ways to reduce waste and lower your daily carbon footprint:
- Lighting – Switching to LED or compact fluorescent bulbs alone uses up to 80% less energy than traditional lighting. Take it a step further and make sustainable purchases for any new light fixtures.
- Heating and cooling – Your wallet will thank you for this one. Consider alternative cooling methods in hotter seasons while switching to geothermal or slow combustion wood heaters like a pellet stove for the winter months.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle – Got a paper towel crutch? Reducing your paper and plastic waste is an eco-friendly first step. Washable rags and reusable totes are your best friends. And if you’re stuck with old plastic grocery bags, take ‘em right back to the store!
If going green has you stressed, remember that little steps are better than standing still. Try implementing just one of these earth-friendly updates, and you will be on your way to creating a home that matches your values.