They say that good habits start at home, but these days, home is the only place we’re at. With all the time we’ve been spending in our homes lately, it’s important to ensure that our homes are conducive for practicing good, healthy habits. Eco-friendly habits are some of the best habits we can learn as they benefit not just us but other living creatures around us. Here’s a list of eco-friendly home improvements for every part and function of your home.
One of the things you shouldn’t skip over when giving your home an eco-friendly treatment is how your waste and wastewater are managed. An eco-friendly septic system treats wastewater before returning it to the environment, eventually rejoining the water table. The system cultivates bacteria that treat the wastewater. Eco-friendly septic systems require less maintenance.
You may also opt to keep your current system. Just make sure to have it inspected regularly to determine whether a repair or septic tank pump-out is needed. Regular inspections will allow you to track your system’s impact on the environment, making sure that it isn’t causing any contamination to its surroundings.
Heating, cooling, and insulation
Much of your home expenses are dedicated to heating and cooling. These might already be costing you more than they should without you knowing. One foolproof way to cut those costs is to boost your insulation. Make sure to caulk holes and gaps, weatherstrip your doors and windows, and insulate your attic. You can also invest in double- or triple-glazed windows. All these will help keep your desired temperature – whether warm or cool – from escaping through gaps or thin walls and surfaces.
If you’re looking to upgrade your HVAC system, it may be time to get a smart thermostat. Don’t be intimidated by smart technology because it can help you cut back on costs and add real estate value to your home. A smart thermostat is programmable, so you can set it to adjust according to time of day or outside temperatures. It also pairs with a mobile app to even control it remotely using your device, so you can control even when you aren’t home.
If you’re looking for an all-natural solution to your air cooling and filtration, consider putting up a green wall. Also known as living walls or vertical gardens, these can reduce surrounding air temperature by 4 degrees Celsius. This also serves as a good gardening solution if you have limited living space.
We don’t often think of our roofings because we’re used to having them function well. But they’re an integral part of our home’s overall structure and function, and having the right material is crucial to its functionality and longevity. Metal roofing may be more expensive than other roofing materials, but it comes with many benefits. Its heat reflecting properties will keep your home cooler in the summer. In the winter, it will help melt the snow right off your roof. It also lasts longer than other materials and comes with a longer warranty. However, it’s not the best insulator, so if you’re thinking of having a metal roof installed, make sure to talk to your contractor about insulated padding.
Repaints are one of the top home improvement projects that make homeowners happy. They’re also one of the cheaper home improvements you can make and easy to D.I.Y. Be careful when choosing between types of paint, however. Many paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals that can lead to health issues ranging from short to long term. Consumer experiences range from minor headaches and respiratory irritation to certain forms of cancer. Make sure to look for paints with a Greenguard label or Greenguard Gold Certification – these labels ensure that the paint is low- or zero-VOC.
Instead of using shower curtains that you’ll eventually dispose of, try installing glass shower doors instead. Certain shower curtain materials such as PVC and vinyl are also harmful to human health with prolonged exposure. The process of having such shower curtains washed can also prompt the release of more toxic chemicals. You can also opt for shower curtains with non-toxic materials, such as hemp and nylon.
For decreased water consumption, install low-flow toilets in your bathrooms. These toilets use less water but still flush efficiently, so you can get the job done while consuming less water per flush.
Because we’ve been spending so much of our time at home lately, we need to make sure that our domestic practices do not harm the environment. Even simple practices such as using low-VOC paint and non-toxic shower curtains can make a difference in your household and the environment.