11 tips for making ego-friendly changes to your home
Reduce your carbon footprint. Create energy efficiencies. Become environmentally conscious. We hear buzzwords and phrases about “going green” every day, and it’s a trend that’s becoming more and more popular. Between 2021 and 2026, the green building materials market is expected to grow by $234.09 billion (USD).1 Below are some key tips if you’re considering making environment-friendly changes to your home.
Green building materials
Whether you’re building your dream house from the ground up or are looking to make modifications on your existing house, consider using green building materials. These can include products with low chemical emission rates or that use renewable resources or recycled materials.
Composite decking: This type of material, used to build exterior decks, isn’t made from freshly cut timber. Instead, composite decking is made from recycled and reclaimed materials, which help preserve our forests. It’s also mold and stain resistant, removing the need for harsh chemical cleaners.2
Bamboo and reclaimed lumber flooring: Bamboo is considered an easily renewable resource because it’s a fast-growing grass. Reclaimed lumber is wood that’s been salvaged, recycled or repurposed. Both provide a sustainable flooring option.2
Interior paint: Purchase paint without volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are harmful chemicals released into the air as the paint dries. Avoiding them will help preserve indoor air quality and the environment.2
Making energy-efficient modifications to your home can bring about energy savings, which lead to cost savings. Best of all, it’s gentler on the environment, too.
Low-emissivity windows: Low-E windows have a coating on the glass that reflects heat to keep your home more comfortable by ensuring a consistent interior temperature. About 70% of energy loss in a home occurs through its doors and windows,3 so these windows will make a huge difference in energy savings.
Energy-efficient appliances: Focus on buying or upgrading your appliances (refrigerator, water heater, etc.) to those with the ENERGY STAR® label, which signifies the item is energy efficient.4
Low-flow toilets: Did you know toilet water uses about 27% of your daily average water consumption?4 If you’re building or redesigning a bathroom with sustainability in mind, consider adding a low-flow toilet. To save even more water, you can also add a low flow sink and shower faucet to your design.
Insulation: Consider adding high-efficiency insulation to your home to help protect from heating and cooling loss and provide a more comfortable environment.4
Better lighting: LED bulbs are more energy efficient and have a longer life span compared to traditional bulbs. Low-voltage lighting, popular in landscaping, uses only 12 V of electricity and can be controlled with dimmers and sensors.5 Both help lower your energy bills and benefit the environment.
More sustainability tips
Going green can also apply to the products you buy — or avoid buying — if you’re interested in reducing waste.
Repurpose items in your home instead of buying new. This helps save on the natural resources and manufacturing emissions it takes to manufacture new products.4
When you buy new items, choose those created from recycled products.4 This reduces waste and helps decrease landfill use. Also, buying recycled products creates more demand for these types of items and materials.
Choose natural items over man-made products. They’ll often last longer and won’t need to be replaced as often. For example, a wool rug will last about 45 years longer than a synthetic one.4
Whether you’re building new or updating your home, focus on incorporating energy-efficient, environment-friendly, sustainable choices.
 “Green building materials market by application and geography, forecast 2022-2026.” technavio.com/report/green-building-materials-marketmarket-industry-analysis?utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pressrelease&utm_campaign=vendor-v2_wk25_005&utm_content=IRTNTR44799. (September 2022).
 “Top 5 Green Building Materials For Your Home,” greenerideal.com/guides/0424-top-5-green-building-materials-for-your-home/ (Sept. 15, 2022).
 “What is Low-E Glass & Does it Make Windows Energy Efficient?” stanekwindows.com/what-is-low-e-glass-and-does-it-make-windows-more-energyefficient.aspx (Feb. 14, 2017).
 “Remodel your home sustainably,” greenhomeguide.com/know-how/article/remodel-your-home-sustainably (June 23, 2017).
 “LED vs. Low Voltage Landscape Lights,” Amy Rodriguez, homeguides.sfgate.com/led-vs-low-voltage-landscape-lights-52067.html (Dec. 1, 2021)
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