You don’t have to be a contractor to be able to make some changes to your home that will make it greener and more sustainable for the years to come. There are many things that you can do that require little skill and sometimes just a willingness to change how you do things around the house will make a big difference.
I will give you at least one BIG thing you can do (this may require some skill or a cash investment on your part) and a few smaller things (that anyone can do) that will make a difference in your savings, comfort or “carbon footprint”.
1. Wind power. Installing a wind turbine could be a great way to produce your own energy. Start with consulting an expert in the field to see if it is feasible and worth the investment in your location.
2. Lighten up your roof. A light colored roof on your house reflects light, rather than absorbing it, leading to lower energy costs.
3. Install dual-flush toilets. You know, one flush for #1 and twice the flush for #2. It’s much more efficient.
4. For your décor, Go natural. There are many options for natural fiber carpets these days that are gentler on the environment and that look great at the same time.
5. Buy quality. High quality items might cost you more up front, but they will last longer and cause less waste in the long run.
6. Use eco-friendly paint. Almost all paint stores and home improvement centers carry environmentally friendly brands of paint and in every color. These low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints make it easier to breathe. They have virtually none of the off gassing that most paints have.
7. Consider bamboo. Bamboo is an excellent source of flooring, cabinetry, furniture and more for the home. Even better, it’s sustainable and attractive. Do some research before you choose. Some of the cheaper products are not so “green”, they have tons of glue and formaldehyde.
8. Recycled glass. Glass is an incredibly versatile and recyclable material and there are loads of ways to use it sustainably in your home.
9. Do your research. Look into companies and services before you buy so you know how their green products stack up to others out there.
10. Buy local materials. They have used less energy to end up at your local hardware store than those that are shipped great distances. Choose sustainably created materials. No matter what you’re buying for your home, from wood to couches, do your best to buy materials that are sustainable.
11. Install awnings over your windows. These can help you control the sunlight that enters your home, allowing you to better save on energy costs.
And here is a tip to make your outdoor space even greener. Use native plants. Native plants are going to need much less care than those that are brought in from other areas. Plus, there’s no chance they will harm the natural environment if they spread beyond your yard.
Want to talk sustainability in your real estate?
Call Ron L. Welsh at 707-823-2533
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Real Estate Brokerage in California in 2007
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