Many people are looking for ways to lower their environmental footprint. There’s no shortage of options for going green — from electric vehicles to paper straws. But if you’re looking to make a significant positive impact on the environment, one of the best places to start is in your own home.
With new technological advancements, such as smart home devices and solar power, creating a more eco-friendly home has never been easier or more accessible. Going green is better for the environment and can save you money in the long run on expenses like utilities and insurance costs.
If you’re considering creating a more environmentally friendly house, you might be wondering where to start. You can positively impact the environment at home in many ways, from big changes to small steps.
Choose a Smart Thermostat to Keep Energy Use Low
Heating and cooling your home can be expensive, and it can have a negative impact on the environment from high energy usage. A smart thermostat is a perfect place to start if you want to take a small step toward creating a more eco-friendly home.
With a smart thermostat, you can program your home’s temperature to decrease energy usage. These gadgets can be put on a timer, allowing you to lower your heat or air conditioning when you are not at home. You can then program them to kick the heat or air back on shortly before you arrive home, ensuring you can walk into a comfortable setting.
These devices are often easy to operate and can even be controlled from your phone. Using a smart thermostat could decrease your energy consumption by up to 23%.
Landscape Your Home With Native Plants
Landscaping is often considered an essential aspect of your home’s curb appeal. While it may be tempting to purchase and plant whatever looks good, going native can have a massive positive impact on the environment.
Planting species not native to your area will require more water, fertilizer, and pesticides to remain healthy and strong. This extra maintenance can wreak havoc on the environment and cost you more money for upkeep.
Instead, opt for plants that are native to your area to make a positive impact on the environment. These species need less care, allowing you to keep them looking beautiful without excess water and chemicals.
Start Composting to Lower Your Environmental Footprint
Creating a compost bin is an easy and low-maintenance way to make your home more eco-friendly. Depending on your yard size and personal needs, you can start your composting inside or outside.
Starting a compost pile is easy with either a designated bin or a pile of dirt in your yard. Once you’ve started, you may be surprised how many items can be added to your compost.
Vegetable and fruit scraps, egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds, paper napkins, leaves, and grass clippings are just some of the many items you can add to your compost pile to create nutrient-rich soil perfect for fertilizing plants or grass. By using your composted soil, you can avoid harsh chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers.
Install Solar Panels for Sustainable Power
Solar panels are often seen as a significant investment due to their high upfront cost. While they come with a high price tag, their positive environmental impact and energy savings will make up for the investment over time.
By fueling your home with solar power, you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and become energy-independent from large companies.
You may also see a higher resale value for your home if you ever decide to move. Many people will pay higher prices for a house with solar power, allowing you to make a more significant profit if you decide to sell your home.
Change Lights to LED Bulbs for Energy Savings
Switching the lightbulbs throughout your home is a quick and easy way to lower your environmental footprint. Not only are these bulbs better for the planet, but they also have a much longer lifespan than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Typical incandescent light bulbs have an average lifespan of 1,000 hours. Eco-friendly LED bulbs can last about 25,000 hours. While the lights may cost a little more upfront, their longer lifespan and energy savings can make up for their sticker price.
The energy reduction you could see from swapping all the bulbs out in your home could be up to 90%, which is a massive positive impact on your environmental footprint.
Swap Your Old Appliances for More Energy-Efficient Options
Appliances like your refrigerator, oven, washer, and dryer can use a lot of energy and water, causing a negative impact on the environment. By switching to more energy-efficient options, you can reduce your environmental footprint and save money in the process.
Compared to other models, energy-efficient appliances use less water and energy and produce fewer greenhouse gasses. They also tend to need less maintenance, allowing you to save on repairs and potential replacement costs.
If you want to ensure you’re buying energy-efficient appliances, look for the EnergyStar logo. Appliances that have this logo meet or typically exceed the minimum federal standards for energy efficiency.
Insurance Savings From Eco-Friendly Upgrades
Creating a positive impact on the environment may be enough to push you toward making your home more environmentally friendly. However, these upgrades are only some of the benefits you may see.
Your insurance company may also offer discounts for adding smart devices, energy-efficient appliances, and solar panels. Often, these items are safer than their less eco-friendly counterparts, prompting your provider to offer you a lower rate by purchasing them.
While every insurance company is different, it’s always worth speaking to your insurance agent to see which upgrades can help you save more than just the planet.
Eco-Friendly Home Upgrades and Savings
Lowering your environmental footprint has become easier and more accessible in recent years. One of the best places to start becoming more eco-friendly is right in your own home.
With so many options like smart devices, native plant life, compost piles, solar panels, LED bulbs, and energy-efficient appliances, it’s easy to start creating a better home for the environment.
Whether you choose to start with big or small changes, making an effort to reduce your impact will leave you feeling great. And you may even benefit from some added savings on utility bills and insurance costs.
Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, Clearsurance.com. She enjoys making eco-friendly changes in her own home and helping others do the same.