When we think about home improvement projects, it is common to imagine dumpsters worth of drywall, flooring, and landscaping outside of your home. However, home projects do not need to generate lots of waste or go against your values of sustainability environmental friendliness. Here are 10 eco-friendly home projects to consider that generate relatively little waste and have other green benefits.
1. Start a Compost Pile
Starting a compost pile is an easy way to implement more zero waste strategies into your everyday life. Some composting systems are simple and small enough to implement even if you live in an apartment. You can put the leftover kitchen scraps and some types of paper into your compost pile. If you aren’t able to compost, you might be able to save kitchen scraps in your freezer and donate it to a community garden’s composting program.
2. Use Low VOC Paint
Low VOC paint is an excellent alternative to traditional paints. It doesn’t off-gas dangerous chemical smells in your home or into the environment. Applying a new coat of paint takes very little time and can have a significant impact on the look of a room.
3. Replace Insulation
Old or damaged insulation doesn’t do an effective job of keeping the heat out and air conditioning inside your home. If your electric bills have been higher than normal, it is possible that your insulation needs to be replaced. There are more eco-friendly insulation materials available that you can choose from.
4. Opt for a New Roof
A roof won’t last forever. Depending on the type of roof that you have, it will likely need to be replaced every 10 to 25 years or so. A newer roof can also help to keep your home protected from the elements and keep heat or air conditioning inside.
5. Choose Energy Star Rated Appliances
If you have an appliance that’s going to need replacement, you can opt for an energy efficient appliance to replace it with. Often, these appliances have good Energy Star ratings, which can decrease the amount of electricity required to operate the appliance. However, you shouldn’t replace appliances until the appliances break or become unusable. Not only will this save you money, but it will keep functional appliances in use longer.
One popular home project in recent years is to declutter your house. Some people even choose to embrace the concept of minimalism and own only the things that spark joy or that they need. By donating these items to a thrift store or consignment shop, unused items become a part of the circular economy. It can prevent new items from being made that will ultimately be wasted.
7. Install a Low Flow Shower Head or Toilet
Installing a low flow showerhead or toilet can reduce the water usage in your home dramatically with a single swap. Neither upgrade is particularly expensive or difficult to install. In many instances, you may not be able to tell much of a difference in its performance.
8. Buy Rain Barrels
If you have a garden or lawn, making or buying rain barrels can help you maximize when it rains to get the water that your garden needs later. There are stylish models that can match most styles of decor. Even in drier climates, installing a rain barrel could still be an eco-friendly upgrade to your home.
9. Plant Native Plants
Planting some new seedlings or mature plants can be a fun way to improve the appearance of your home’s exterior. Choosing plants that grow locally and in your area’s specific climate will reduce the amount of watering you have to do. If you’re unsure of what plants to choose, you can consult a local nursery.
Home improvement projects should be a part of your plans each year as a way to maintain your home. Selecting any one of these eco-friendly projects can help. If you want to really pamper your home, you could choose to complete all 10 in 2020.
10. Upgrade Your Windows
Upgrading older windows is an important way to improve the eco-friendliness of your home. Window installation can reduce your electric bill and the amount of energy loss that you experience in your home. To maximize your eco-friendliness, you can choose an energy-efficient window.