When it comes to going green, it’s time to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. Yes, you are making things a wee bit better by recycling your soda cans and junk mail. If you’ve added a compost pile for your food scraps and grow your own veggies, then good on ya! However, you don’t have to stop there. You can take a total green approach throughout your entire home. Not only will you feel good about reducing your carbon footprint, but also you could become the model of inspiration for friends and family. Here’s how you can help save the entire planet. No pressure!
When Renovating, Reclaim
Shiny and new does have appeal, but in practical terms, new is relative. The moment you take a new car off the lot, it instantly becomes an old car and devalues. Around the house, there is a wide range of reclaimed materials you can use for countertops, floors, walls, doors and furniture. Reclaimed means you’re putting something back into circulation as opposed to using energy to create something new. It’s much better for the environment and will probably look a lot cooler, too.
Slow Your Roll With the Sledgehammer
If you’re going for that popular open-flow floor design, then be careful where you swing that sledgehammer. Just because you’re knocking down a wall doesn’t mean you can’t also benefit from the bricks and planks that might be behind the plaster. Before smashing, think about what you can replace with materials you already have in your home. Those wall bricks could become a great garden path.
Donate Instead of Tossing
Just because you’re done with a sofa doesn’t mean it can’t find a new lease on life. Sure, you might never consider sitting on that ratty thing again, but there are probably all kinds of great charities in your neck of the wood that specialize in refurbishing furniture and appliances. As an added bonus, those organizations are providing jobs for people who are spreading the TLC for the couch.
Bottom line: When getting rid of your unwanted stuff, a dumpster is not the only solution. Yes, there have been vast improvements in waste management, but keeping trash out of landfills is still a better option. Donate instead of tossing. You’ll feel good about that call.
Go Energy Star or Don’t Go At All
There is a smart way of buying appliances that starts and ends with energy efficiency. Today’s generation of stoves, washers and refrigerators all have the chance to be Energy Star rated. This tells you that the product design has incorporated the very best in energy efficiency. These appliances might cost a few extra bucks upfront, but you could make back that money in lower utility bills over the course of owning that piece of equipment. Plus, less energy means … you know the drill.
Bring in the Sun
Back in the late ‘70s, President Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the roof of the White House to promote alternative forms of energy. The next president promptly took the panels down. It took 25 more years before the panels went up again. In between, solar energy production was vastly improved upon. The sun has remained the same, but the methods for collecting, storing and utilizing that solar power has opened up all kinds of benefits for home energy use. Consider this: With the right solar panel system, you could not only generate enough power for your home, but you could also sell back power to the electric company. That would be a nice change.
It doesn’t take much effort or expense to get greener around your home. In doing so, you’ll be providing a better legacy for children, as they are able to take over management of cleaner world. Again, no pressure. Well, maybe just a little pressure.