There are so many sustainable home improvement choices a person can accomplish that will allow them to help the planet. From using ceiling fans to replacing shower heads, each small change can make a difference in the world’s energy use. If you’re hoping to make some improvement in your house this year, focusing choices on renewable energy and resources can be another big step in sustainability. By doing this, each person is not only being sustainable, but they are also learning about how these resources can benefit their home as well as the rest of the world.
Alternative energy isn’t just for solar plants and wind farms, people can practice some of the same concepts in their homes. By planting a garden, using solar energy, collecting rainwater, using natural lighting, and measuring energy use, renewable resources can create an even greener home.
Creating a Garden
Creating a garden might not be first on the list when someone is considering home improvement choices that benefit the planet, but a garden is a great addition to any home for a number of reasons. For one, prioritizing a garden over lawn maintenance will use less water, gas, and oil. Lawn mowers, weed whackers, and similar yard tools use resources that are not renewable. Gardens can be maintained by hand and their water use is a little more productive than just watering a lawn.
A garden can also encourage a person to eat more fresh vegetables and less meat, which is a big drain on many resources for our planet. Not only that, but eating fruits and vegetables from a garden can help a variety of conditions such as rosacea, and can lower a person’s risk of diabetes and heart disease. A garden can also provide pollination opportunities for the lowering bee population. Clearly, there are plenty of benefits involved with prioritizing a garden over a lawn that are beneficial to the health of the planet and you.
Installing Solar Panels
Solar energy is a great alternative energy source that doesn’t cause the amount of environmental damage that traditional energy sources do. Solar panels are not a luxury meant for solar plants or big homes, either. Many home improvement upgrades are meant to be a more sustainable focus on using less power, but residential solar panels take energy-saving sustainability to the next level. Solar panels attached to a home’s roof can supply energy to the entire home for lighting, heating, air conditioning, and overall power use.
Because this home improvement project benefits the planet so much, there are tax breaks available for making this change. Panels also save money on utilities and can increase the overall value of a home.
Begin Rainwater Collection
Water is another one of the planet’s resources that is not infinite. Despite the planet being covered in water, less than one percent of it is safe to drink. That one percent is plagued by overuse and pollution. Using water liberally not only drains the earth’s limited supply, but also uses power. For this reason, beginning to collect rainwater can be a great home improvement choice to aid in both energy and water conservation in the home. Some rainwater harvesting setups are more involved than others, but either way, this practice can help lower your water use significantly.
Though the filtration and disinfection process for using rainwater to drink may be more expensive, it’s still helpful to use rainwater harvesting for things like watering a garden. It’s also great for washing vehicles, cleaning pets, refilling fountains or ponds, and use for non-potable fixtures (like toilets and washers).
Focus on Natural Lighting
Sunlight is a highly beneficial renewable resource. However, it’s not only beneficial for solar technology, it’s also beneficial for everyday use in a home. Making home improvement changes that focus on natural lighting can help to decrease the use of energy-sucking artificial light by utilizing natural sunlight in the home for as long as possible throughout the day.
Replacing walls with windows, installing a sliding glass door, or putting in a skylight are all ways to add more natural light to a home. The important thing to remember is that windows also lose more heat than a wall, so it’s best not to create a heating problem with a natural lighting solution. Windows should be thick, sealed well, and winterized so as to not waste energy.
Measure Energy Use
Sometimes the most helpful resource in examining how to create a home that is beneficial for the environment is to measure how much energy a home uses. This will give a person a better idea of the home improvement choices to make that will make the biggest impact. This is why a smart home improvement project might be the most helpful home improvement project to consider.
There are a variety of smart home upgrades to make that can measure energy use in order to identify which energy problems to fix. Not only do they measure energy use, they can also alter energy use with AI technology based on preferences and patterns. It can also allow a homeowner to control temperature, lights, and appliances remotely. Implementing smart home technology can be an upgrade and a great asset to manage energy use at the same time.
Prioritizing alternative energy and resources in a home improvement project will do wonders for the planet in 2019. Green initiatives are becoming more important and available as the years go by and we learn more about the state of our resources and their environmental impacts. The truth is that these sustainable resources aren’t only beneficial from a commercial standpoint — residential sustainability is important as well. By making home improvement updates that benefit the planet, energy use can dip while sustainability and alternative energy take its place.