This year, no matter what element of our lifestyle you look at you, you will notice one consistent trend, sustainability. Last year we saw a huge increase in awareness over climate change and our need to evaluate our own carbon footprint.
Making your home eco-friendly is a lot simpler than you may think and can help significantly to mitigate your home’s impact on the planet. Here are 6 simple eco-friendly home improvements to make this year,
1. Reuse and Upcycle
Many of us looking to revamp the look of our home are too quick to head to the nearest IKEA, when we could spend a little bit of time looking for reclaimed goods to be reused or upcycled.
Not buying new items for our home is the most sustainable consumer choice we can make. Instead, try to evaluate all the items you currently have and decide which ones could be reused or upcycled into something new for your home.
If you don’t have anything to use then head to your nearest waste center to see if you can reclaim things thrown out by other people. Wood is one of the best items to reclaim. Wood can be reworked into beautiful new objects with a splash of creativity and a little bit of hard work.
2. Dispose of and Recycle Unwanted Goods Properly
If you are planning to renovate your home and you have a lot of stuff you need to throw that can’t be reused or upcycled then make sure you recycle each material properly. Wood, steel, and glass are all materials that are simple to recycle for others to reuse. All three of these materials are resource-heavy to produce so always try to recycle where possible.
Steel is particularly useful as it is 85% recyclable and it has superior durability when compared to other materials. Recycle your waste steel appropriately at your local recycling center so that it can go on to be repurposed for others to use.
3. Upgrade Appliances
If you are still operating worn out and old technologies including boilers, radiators, and light bulbs then you should consider upgrading to Energy-Star rated appliances as soon as possible.
Not only do these old appliances use lots of energy to operate but replacing them is rapidly becoming an affordable change. While the initial cost for installing energy-efficient appliances may be cost-heavy, the money you will save in energy bills will more than cover it over just a few years.
4. Build or Buy a Composter
A composter acts as a trash can for organic matter such as food waste, certain paper, and woods. Rather than sending this type of waste to landfills, you can utilize a composter so that the materials can naturally decompose into the soil.
This soil can then be repurposed as nutrient-dense garden fertilizer for your plants or home-grown veggies. Composters can be built with relative ease or you can buy a pre-made composter from a local garden center.
5. Avoid Plastic
Plastic pollution has become a serious world issue that is negatively affecting many areas of our planet including rivers, lakes, and our oceans. Not only does plastic clog up our waters it slowly poisons the water once the chemicals from the plastic start to leak into the water. Marine life is also negatively affected by animals being entangled in plastic containers or bits of plastic find their way into the stomachs of marine animals.
To make your home extra eco-friendly this year incorporate a plastic ban in your house. No more plastic bags, plastic goods, plastic, cutlery or plastic anything. Try to avoid all plastic items from entering your home as much as possible.
Most plastics bought and disposed of take up to 500 years to decompose, meaning they sit in a landfill or floating around in our oceans for hundreds of years after we have used them.
6. Clean and Maintain, Don’t Rebuild
Before deciding to build anything new in or outside your home, consider whether it just needs some professional maintenance. We are all guilty of being too quick to want to build new things rather than repair or maintain what we have.
Switch your mindset to proper care and maintenance so that your home can become more durable. For example, if you feel you need a new driveway you may want to consider a simple clean and paver sealing that will help to keep your driveway durable and resistant to the elements.
7. Use Eco-Friendly Fabrics and Materials
Many traditional materials we use in our homes such as cotton, linen, wood, and metals are extremely resource-intensive to produce. Thanks to the uprise in eco-friendly living there are now tons of alternative eco-materials to choose from all sorts of applications in your home.
Say goodbye to your cotton sheets and instead opt for bamboo sheets. Not only are bamboo sheets softer, but they are also more durable and anti-wicking, antimicrobial, and hypoallergenic properties that benefit their owner’s health.
Bamboo us one of the fastest-growing crops on the planet. It requires no harsh or toxic chemicals to grow and it actually makes the soil more fertile as it grows. Bamboo is a far more eco-friendly option than most traditional fabrics in your home.
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