10 Eco-Friendly Home Improvements

10 Eco-Friendly Home Improvements

If you’re looking for ways to increase the “green” in your home, there are several upgrades or changes you can make that make both large and small impacts. Here are ten eco-friendly changes to consider:

  1. Bathroom – Replacing pre-1994 toilets, showerheads and sinks with water-efficient models will help reduce your water usage, and help reduce your monthly water bill.
  2. Energy – Though still pricey, solar panels help to offset the cost of providing electricity to your home, and reduce your individual reliance on less-eco-friendly public energy sources.
  3. Fireplace – A vent-free, gas fireplace allows 100 percent heat efficiency, creating warm air to heat your home, allowing you to turn your central heat down, saving resources.
  4. Floor – Consider cork flooring. It is not only durable, warm and resistant to spills, but it is often made by recycling unused cork from bottle stopper factories.
  5. Lighting – Install outdoor motion sensor lighting and lighting on timers around your house, rather than leaving lights on when they aren’t needed.
  6. Outdoor space – Fill your flower beds and gardens with recycled mulch which uses rubber scraps. It’s also a safe alternative to use under jungle gyms and backyard play areas for children.
  7. Paint – Look for low or no volatile organic compounds (VOC) paints. Low VOC paints are free of carcinogenic carbon-based chemicals like formaldehyde and pesticides, which can be harmful to your family and the environment.
  8. Recycling – Recycling is a simple and easy step on the road to eco-friendly living. Create recycling bins for aluminum, glass, plastic, and paper. Some neighborhoods offer recycle pickup, while others provide drop-off points.
  9. Wallpaper – Today’s natural wallpapers, available in a huge range of styles, eliminate the toxic glue and chemicals found in many traditional wallpapers.
  10. Water heater – If your water heater is 10 year old or more, upgrading to a new one can have an impact on your annual water and energy bills. Newer water heaters are generally more efficient and energy saving than older models, even those with larger tanks.
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