With Earth Day approaching, many people are asking how they can make a difference when it comes to their effect on the environment — especially if they’re planning a home renovation.
According to a recent report, the typical U.S. household’s carbon footprint is over five times the global average. Food, housing, transportation, apparel and other personal services are included in this household consumption statistic.
There are plenty of ways you can change your behavior to be suitable for a more sustainable lifestyle. Energy consumption, water usage and the types of materials used are all areas of home living of which you can be more conscious.
So, the next time you’re undergoing a home renovation, consider some of these green alternatives to ensure you’re doing your part to be environmentally friendly!
Financing Your Efforts
Since housing is one of the main factors influencing your carbon footprint, choosing green home renovations is a good place to start to reduce your environmental impact.
However, the high cost of these renos prevents many people from moving forward with them. Fortunately, there are several ways to help finance your improvement projects.
The first option to weigh is a home equity loan. This type of loan uses the equity that you have already built in your home by making mortgage payments or the amount that has accrued if your home value has increased. Also, your interest rate is usually fixed, so it’s easy to budget ahead of time for your monthly payments.
Green loans are another option for financing environmentally conscious home improvement projects.
The main benefit of these loans is that they, too, typically have a low-interest rate and are available to those within a wider range of credit health.
Green Alternatives to Try
Here are some green options to include in your next home renovation.
While some are more costly than others, you can always put the savings from your utility bill toward any additional payments!
1. Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors
This is a quicker fix than many other types of home improvements. While window replacements require a little more work than doors, if you keep the same layout and don’t create new patterns in your walls, windows can be removed and replaced in the same day.
On top of the ease of installation, having Energy Star-certified windows will save you 15% on monthly utility bills.
2. Solar Panels
Solar panels are a common choice when it comes to green home renovations.
While installation can set you back in terms of upfront monetary commitments, the amount of cash saved in the long run is a strong argument for making the switch.
Solar panels are also a cleaner, more sustainable option that has very little impact on the environment and, in turn, lowers your carbon footprint.
When it comes to solar panels, you have two choices for adding them to your home. You can purchase and install solar panels that you own yourself, or you can rent the equipment from a reputable renewable energy provider.
Even though solar panels are an expensive investment, the value added to your home usually makes up for the initial startup. You will also benefit from federal tax credits as well, making this a viable option if you plan to stay in your current home for a longer period.
3. Smart Tech Installation
Instead of wasting countless hours or energy heating or cooling rooms that are not being used, you can install a smart thermostat. Or, look into LED lighting you can control from your phone so you can avoid the hefty costs associated with accidentally leaving the lights on overnight.
No matter your decision, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to being more environmentally conscious home renovations.
This Earth Day is the perfect opportunity for you to greenify your home and reduce your carbon footprint so you can be a more informed, considerate homeowner!
What are your suggestions for green home renovations? Leave them in the comments below!