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As a homeowner, you may find yourself wondering how you can be more eco-friendly around the house. Going green at home can not only help the environment, but can also help reduce energy use and expenses. This can be particularly beneficial if you have rental homes, which is more and more common with the property management industry growing by 4.4% since 2012. But no matter your reasons behind wanting to go green, let’s take a look at a few simple eco-friendly projects you can do around your house this year.
Let’s start in the kitchen — often the heart of the home, kitchens can see a lot of wear and tear over the years. Because of this, the kitchen is usually one of the main rooms that get attention during a renovation. And fortunately, there are plenty of ways to be environmentally-friendly in the kitchen. First off, instead of getting rid of old cabinetry, why not consider repurposing them instead. With a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, and a little rearranging, you can have a whole new kitchen design without wasting materials. And when if you’re choosing new appliances, always choose eco-friendly models. Already, the average American uses 88 gallons of water each day. So by choosing efficient appliances, you can reduce energy and water use (and get shiny new appliances).
Bathrooms are usually the next rooms to be remodeled. And with more than four out of five homeowners choosing to replace major features, like flooring and countertops, during renovations, there are tons of opportunities to make environmentally-conscious choices. When choosing materials for flooring or countertops, make sure to consider more than just aesthetics. Materials like linoleum can be great for flooring because it is nontoxic, making it perfect for the environment and for your family. Furthermore, using natural stones or bamboo for countertops or flooring can add interesting design elements and benefit the environment at the same time. Overall, make sure to keep in mind eco-friendly factors when considering materials for remodeling projects.
And last but not least, re-evaluate how you’re using your outdoor space. While leaving your outdoor area alone instead of building on it it’s already an eco-friendly choice, there’s much more you can do. For example, by planting trees strategically around your house, you can provide more shade and actually decrease the amount of energy you use to cool your home. Or you can take it a step further and build a rain garden to utilize rainwater. You’ll not only have a beautiful garden, but you can also help conserve water and provide natural flood-control. Making small changes to your yard space can help you be even more environmentally-friendly.
You don’t have to completely redo your entire home to be more eco-friendly. If you take even small steps, like the ones mentioned in this article, you’ll be well on your way to having a more environmentally sustainable home in no time.