Homes with eco-friendly features are now a must in the world of real estate. Aside from following trends and adding more value to your home, sustainable features in a home are a simple way to help to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment.
Going green isn’t just a fad: It can bring your home more value
Check out these numbers on how going green in your home can bring you more value and save you more money:
It’s clear that marketing a home requires more than just focusing on its prime location or its entire aesthetic. Green features are becoming more of a priority for all buyers.
So, what are some things you can do to go green?
Whether it be a small addition to an existing room or a complete overhaul of your appliances, there are so many ways to help turn your home into a more sustainable and eco-friendly living space. Check out these 20 changes that you can make throughout your home to go green - and save yourself a whole lot of green!
In the kitchen:
1. Add an aerator to your faucet - Use an aerator to cut down on your water usage and save on your monthly water bill!
2. Ditch the non-stick cooking ware - When heated at extremely high temperatures, polytetrafluoroethylene (PFTE) pans, or non-stick pans, can emit harmful toxic fumes due to the non-stick coating that is on those pans. These fumes can have a negative impact on your home’s air quality. Opt for stainless steel or cast iron instead.
3. Lower your paper towel use - Did you know paper towels account for 254 million tons of trash every year, globally? That’s a lot of trees being cut down to clean up spills and messes! Try using washable hand towels instead - after all, they can give your kitchen a nice pop of color!
4. Keep your fridge in the shade - A fridge’s job is to keep things cool, so help it do just that by moving your fridge out of the sunlight and into the shade. When in the sunlight, a fridge has to work extra hard to keep cool.
In the living room:
5. Open your blinds - Not only is it great to see the world outside, but opening the blinds can also let in natural light, which will help you to save on lighting costs.
6. Lay down a rug - Rugs over hardwood floors can make excellent statement pieces in your living room, and it can also help you to save significantly on your energy bills as it will keep the warmth in.
7. Decorate with grasscloth wallpaper - Looking for a way to make your great room even greater? Try sprucing up a wall or two with some grasscloth wallpaper! Grasscloth adds a whole new level of texture and design to a room, and it’s also biodegradable.
8. Use throw blankets - Looking for a way to stay cozy while still keeping your heating bill low? Consider throw blankets instead of heating the entire house. Throw blankets can also add an extra pop of color to the whole room too!
In the bathroom:
9. Take that aerator to the shower - Remember that aerator that you installed in the kitchen sink? You can get a bigger one for your shower heads so as to reduce the amount of water you use. If used in nationwide, aerators can help save 250 million gallons of water a year.
10. Flush and flow - Consider buying a low-flow toilet for your bathroom, and you can save even more water in the bathroom.
In the bedroom:
11. Invest in organic sheets - You wouldn’t want to go to sleep on a bed covered in insecticides, yet there is an estimated use of between 16-25% of insecticide use on cotton. Instead of cotton, opt for organic cotton, or sustainable bamboo instead.
12. Sleep on a non-toxic mattress - Again, you probably don’t want to be sleeping with toxins. Look for mattresses that haven’t been treated with synthetic chemicals or toxic materials. It’s better for you!
13. Repurpose - Ever wanted to be an interior designer and try your hand at all those projects you see on HGTV? Instead of buying new pieces of furniture, try reusing and repurposing them instead!
14. Have a houseplant as a roommate - Looking to improve the air quality in your room? Go green - literally - and grow a houseplant in your room! Even a little plant sitting on your bedside table can help to improve the air circulation in your room, while also providing a nice eco touch to the space.
And all throughout your house:
15. Ditch the incandescent bulbs - Goodbye incandescent bulbs, hello green solutions! Swap those incandescents for LEDs (Light-emitting Diodes) - they last longer and are more energy efficient.
16. Paint with Eco-Paints - Many paints contain dozens of chemicals that result in toxins hanging out on your walls! These chemicals are harmful to the environment and can also lead to health problems, such as aggravating allergies. Look for paints that contain low levels of volatile organic compounds, or are plant based.
17. Have energy efficient windows - Energy efficient windows can help you save plenty on your energy bill with their better insulation. Stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Energy efficiency is awesome all year round!
18. Turn down the heat - Just by turning your thermostat down 7°-10°F, you can save nearly 10% a year on your heating and cooling bill.
19. Use low-energy appliances - Investing into appliances that are ‘Energy-Star Qualified” rather than standard appliances can help you to use less energy overall. Multiply that by all the appliances you have in your home, and you’re substantially reducing your energy consumption!
20. Unplug it - Say it with me: if you’re not using it, unplug it. It saves tons of electricity, and you’ll end up using less energy!
The (Green) Take Home Points
Going green is now a major factor when it comes to buying a home, especially in the present age. It’s not just something that is hip and trendy, but something that is practical and also super helpful for the environment.
Beyond these room-to-room tips and changes, there are so many other ways that you can be eco-friendly right in your own home. Going green is easier than you think!
Rachel Wong is the Digital Content Co-op student at RESAAS. She loves coffee and beer, writing and talking, and has been the same height for pretty much ever. Check out her RESAAS profile ›