Recycling, going paperless, and using our own bags when we shop are things we can do individually to protect the world we live in. However, there are also changes we can make to our homes to reduce our environmental impact. The following is a list of ideas that you can implement over time to help make a difference.
Insulate your attic, crawl space, and windows
One of the best ways to make an impact and save money is to insulate certain areas of your home. Insulation acts as a barrier to heat loss or heat gain, especially in attics, crawl spaces, and windows. In a well-insulated home, less warm air escapes from the house during the winter, and less cool air escapes during the summer, reducing the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling. Insulation can also make a significant dent in your monthly utility bills.
Install solar panels
In most homes, electricity is generated from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Fossil fuels emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and are bad for the environment. Alternatives like solar energy, create clean, renewable power from the sun and reduce the carbon footprint and greenhouse gases. Consider installing solar panels on your home to protect the environment and reduce or eliminate electric bills.
Use composite material instead of wood
A deck or porch can provide you with a great opportunity to enjoy your outdoor space. If you are remodeling or installing something new, use composite material instead of wood to lower your carbon footprint. Composite materials are considered more environmentally-friendly because many manufacturers use recycled materials in their products. In order to endure the abuse, wood decking must be treated with chemicals, which are bad for the environment. Also, pressure-treated wood can not be burned or recycled when its deck life is complete.
Collect rain water
As our water supply becomes less secure due to overuse and contamination, it is wise to collect rain water to use when needed. Rain water is a natural resource that is often taken for granted, but you can easily begin to reap its benefits. Use a barrel or trash can and collect rain water to use in your garden and landscape. Since rain water is free from chemicals and hard minerals, your plants will thank you.
Plant trees around your home
Trees not only provide shade for your home, which will help keep it cooler in the warmer weather, they produce oxygen and remove carbon dioxide and contaminants from the air. Trees also absorb sound and reduce noise pollution. Consider planting different types of trees in your yard to create a welcoming space, while helping the environment.
Awareness is the first step. Assess your home and think about how you can make a difference. By making some green-friendly changes, you can help reduce your environmental impact.