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16 Sustainable House Design Tips and Ideas

And if you like this cheat sheet guide, you can also explore our solar cheat sheet and our home internet cheat sheet. Earth-sheltered homes can be built underground or bermed, and—when well designed and built—can be comfortable, durable, and energy-efficient. Also worth considering are geothermal heat pumps, aka ground source heat pumps. These use pipes buried in the ground to extract energy, which is amplified by a heat pump into heat that’s useful in a home. A backyard that’s large enough for the pipes is required, which may rule it out as an option for some homes. The amount of insulation your home needs will vary depending on where you live, with homes in the south requiring less insulation than those in the northernmost parts of the country.

Slow Decorating and Secondhand Items

  • This blog will explore simple ways to be more environmentally friendly at home.
  • Adding a productive garden full of vegetables, fruits, and herbs is a great sustainable home improvement.
  • As a result, it seeks to maintain resources to avoid the depletion of natural materials that disrupts the world’s ecological balance.
  • We Are Uni’s body care line also follows this closed-loop cycle by using 100% recyclable and reusable aluminum bottles that can be emptied, then shipped back to the brand in their original boxes.
  • Some companies charge for an energy audit depending on the audit level you request, but some basic energy audits are offered for free during special campaigns.

As homeowners and DIY lovers who want to minimize our impact on the environment, we want to ensure our home projects are aiding in this goal of reducing our footprint. Here is the ultimate sustainable home improvement guide from DIY solar panels and eco-friendly building materials to rainwater collecting and landscaping. This can include what lightbulbs you’re using; what energy efficiency rating your appliances boast; if you have solar panels; and whether you’re using a green energy provider. «One size fits all» is a big misconception about green architecture, according to Homa. For example, geothermal technology is a common request, but it’s not always the answer.

Consider geothermal heating

How to make your home more environmentally friendly

Caulking and weatherstripping are easy DIY fixes that can pay dividends in reducing your energy usage and costs. This should be your first step in understanding where your energy costs and emissions come How to make your home more environmentally friendly from. Greg Fasullo, CEO of Elevation, a residential clean technology company, says home energy audits can cost as little as $100 while revealing areas where you’re wasting the most energy and money.

Keep your car for longer (or consider an electrical car)

An efficient dishwasher, for instance, can use a lot less water than washing the dishes by hand in the sink. But before you jump the gun and make a hasty appliance purchase, check to make sure that a repair isn’t in order. However, new, efficient windows make less of an impact if the rest of the home isn’t insulated, and the same is true for energy-efficient HVAC choices. This principle ensures the whole house is sealed so that climate control isn’t wasted by air leaking out of or into the home. Especially if you live in an older home, you’re likely using a ton of energy just to keep your home at a livable temperature. Your energy is lost through poorly insulated walls, thin single-paned windows, and water systems that waste more than they use.

Products or packaging that is made from recycled materials is a great step towards sustainability when buying new items. When shopping, look for sustainable fibers like Tencel and organic cotton. Tencel uses chemicals that are less toxic and less wasteful than those in similar fibers (like rayon), while organic cotton uses less water than conventional growing methods, explains Sachs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food scraps and yard waste make up more than 30 percent of what we toss in the trash. From there, they head to landfills, where they take up space and release the greenhouse gas known as methane.

How to make your home more environmentally friendly

Solar panels provide completely clean electricity and you may even save enough energy to sell some back to the grid. This is another big investment upfront that saves both energy costs and pollutants well into the future. Cool roofs use highly reflective materials to reflect more light and absorb less heat from sunlight, which keeps homes cooler during hot weather. When it comes to furniture, going for designs made with reclaimed materials, or picking upcycled pieces is one option. If you’re buying new wooden pieces, look out for FSC certification to be confident that the wood comes from a forest that meets the highest environmental standards.

  • You can create a bee-friendly garden by adding more flowering herbs and plants.
  • There’s nothing wrong with wanting to experiment with cooking, but before you go out to buy a whole bunch of gadgets that you might only use once, check if there is a kitchen library in your neighborhood.
  • Design your eco-friendly house with ample natural ventilation through strategically placed windows, ventilation systems, and operable skylights.
  • In the following section, we’re going to focus on what you can do to limit your impact and benefit both your quality of life and the planet.

Get smart with your thermostat

How to make your home more environmentally friendly

People around the world use a staggering 42 million tons of toilet paper every year, according to Spencer Weidner, digital marketing director at Bio Bidet by Bemis. And though toilet paper goes right down the drain, most of it is made from trees chopped down for just that purpose. One way you can reduce this heavy environmental toll is to install a bidet. By making small changes, you can significantly impact the environment.

  • Take a look at our wrap up of the different types of eco-friendly insulation for more.
  • These deliver heat instantly and respond quickly to changes in temperature settings.
  • Another benefit is that homemade cleaning products are often less expensive than name brands.
  • To learn more about home energy assessments and find free tools and calculators, go to Your Home’s Energy Use, the Residential Services Network, and the Building Performance Institute.
  • One of the main reasons for this is that heat rises, and cold air falls, so when you open the door of a regular freezer, the cold air just falls out.

Using non-plastic storage containers and avoiding plastic-wrapped home products can make a big difference. Shopping at zero-waste businesses that encourage consumers to reuse their containers will help to reduce our reliance on plastic packaging even more. Investing in a pressure cooker, Instapot, or airfryer can have more benefits than just creating a delicious meal — it can cut down on how long you run appliances and waste energy. These devices are reported to cook up to 70% faster than other methods. The warmth from the sun can also add a few degrees to the inside of your home, reducing heating costs. There are countless cleaning products and chemicals on the market for cleaning, but most aren’t eco-friendly.

Set Timers on Your Devices

Turning your compost can be a weekly endeavor, but depending on your pile and your interests, you may want or need to turn it more often. “Each time you turn your compost, be sure to really disturb the pile, bringing the material from the bottom to the top,” McCabe says. You can flip over the compost using gardening tools like a digging fork, shovel, or spade. Some people may prefer to create their compost with a sturdy compost container or with an easy-to-turn bin.