Green Living

If you’re looking for some home renovations that will reduce the carbon emissions your home produces, you’ve come to the right place. Here we will discuss some of the most common ways you can reduce your impact through home renovations and how your own personal lifestyle can contribute to carbon emissions. You can adopt any combination of these ideas into your home to live a more environmentally friendly home life. Every little bit helps!</p

Go Solar

Though on the more expensive side when it comes to options, if you’re looking to make renovations to your home, consider going solar. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average cost of solar PV panels has dropped more than 60% since 2010 and the cost of solar electric systems has dropped by 50% since that time. This means that it’s only getting cheaper and cheaper to invest in solar, and there are ample rewards for doing so. Not only does it add value to the home, but the environmental impacts are significant. If you’re able, solar systems can be a really valuable alternative to energy made from fossil fuels.

Windows and Doors

It’s very likely you haven’t replaced your windows or doors since moving into your home. However, 85% of US homes were built before 1980 and will need frequent maintenance and home improvement. That said, it’s likely your home could use some new additions. While you’re considering windows and doors, it’s worth noting that about one-third of your home’s heating escaped through cracks in your windows and doors. If you’d like to keep your energy bill lower, a good way to do that is by investing in energy-efficient windows and doors. These will help limit the amount of air that seeps through outside from your home, and thus, save you and the planet some energy usage.

Invest in Plants

Another way you can renovate your home to be more environmentally friendly is by adding landscaping to your grounds. While this won’t have enough of an impact to drastically reduce carbon emissions from the planet, as mentioned before, every little bit helps. If you’re able to plant enough vegetation on your land, it can only help balance the scales. Not only that, but of the over two million real estate agents in the United States, almost all of them would recommend adding landscaping to your home to increase return value.

Personal Changes

Other ways you can live a more environmentally friendly home life is by being cognizant of your usage and waste of things like water, energy, plastic products, and foods. Do you leave the water on while you brush your teeth? Do you save the cold water from showers while you’re waiting for the water to warm up? Do you run the dishwasher or washing machine for half-full loads? All of these things could help you save some water. Additionally, the foods we eat have a big impact on our own personal carbon footprint. If you’re interested in further seeing how you can alter your lifestyle so as to have a smaller carbon footprint, the EPA’s carbon footprint calculator can help you see where you use the most.

When it comes to living a more environmentally friendly home life, there are lots of things you can do to make a difference. The good thing is, every small action adds up. The more you do, the better you’re making the planet. Consider all the options available to you when you’re looking to make some changes around your home.

When it comes to increasing your home’s value, chances are you think of intense home renovation projects. But you don’t need to install solar panels or gut your entire kitchen to boost your sweat equity. In fact, you can improve your home’s value with just a few green home projects. Don’t believe us? Here are three ways you can improve your home’s value while doing some good for the planet on the way.

Replace your windows

Windows might be the last thing on your mind when it comes to green home projects or return on investment. But hear us out. The estimated return on investment for new windows is approximately 78.8%. What’s more, new windows are also more energy-efficient and well-insulated compared to older windows.

That means you don’t need to sell your house to take full advantage of this home project. You’ll be saving a decent amount of money every month on heating and cooling because you won’t have to worry about that warm or cool air being lost through the window glass.

Paint your cabinets and kitchen hardware

If your kitchen doesn’t bring you the joy it used to but it’s still in good shape, you can get a seriously good return on investment by giving it a fresh coat of paint. In fact, according to Zillow, minor kitchen remodels like updating your hardware or painting your cabinets have a return on investment as high as 81.1%.

Download a home renovation app such as Home Design 3D, Roomscan Pro, or Magicplan to try out different paint colors for your kitchen cabinets before you start buying samples. Just be sure the apps are compatible with your phone as some apps, like Fortnite and TikTok, have recently been banned from Google Play and Apple App stores.

Do a minor attic conversion

Attic conversions can have a return on investment of up to 77.2%. However, these projects can get a bit pricey depending on how finished you want your attic to be. Some places may value finished attic spaces more, like North Texas where home prices are an average of $273,000, but others will be all-too-happy with just some extra insulation to keep your heating and cooling costs under control.

It’s also good to keep in mind when you’re looking at more extreme projects like these that up to 75% of homes on the market sell below their asking price. Stick to simple renovations that can help make your home more energy-efficient while you’re still living there but will appeal to potential buyers when your home goes on the market.

While landscaping and good curb appeal can add up to 14% in resale value to your home, sometimes you want a home project that will really beef up your value. That said, the next time you’re ready to add some sweat equity to your home, try one of these projects to really boost your energy-efficiency, reduce waste, and make the most of your ROI.

Owning a home is a rite of passage for many Americans. But with nearly half of American homeowners living in the first home they purchased, it’s possible that yours may not be on the cutting edge of sustainability. Regardless of how old your house might be, there are a few steps you can take to embrace a greener lifestyle. Here are three simple tips that can make your home a little more eco-friendly this year.

Upgrade One Appliance

While you shouldn’t necessarily buy a brand new appliance when your current model is in good condition, replacing a worn-out model with an eco-friendly alternative can be a good way to reduce wasted energy and wasted money. Consider, for example, that a refrigerator from the mid-1980s used four times as much electricity as a modern one. If you have a major appliance that’s on its last legs, this could be a good time to upgrade so that you can benefit from more energy efficiency (and potentially save on repairs).

Switch Out Your Lightbulbs

You might not give much thought to the lightbulbs you use, but they can potentially make a big difference in how much energy you’re using (and how much you’re paying for electricity). Around 58% of Americans say they prefer LED lighting over other options, which makes a lot of sense. After all, LED lightbulbs tend to emit a better quality of light and last longer, allowing you to save money and reduce eye strain. At the same time, LED bulbs don’t waste as much energy, meaning they’re better for the environment overall. For those who haven’t paid much attention to the lightbulbs they buy in the store, this might be a good time to switch to LEDs.

Start Composting

The idea of using a compost bin or starting a compost pile in the backyard might seem a little far-fetched to some, but it’s become widely accepted as a great way to reduce food waste. And if you use the compost in your garden, you can expect to have some beautiful blooms when the warm weather arrives again! There are probably a number of composting programs in your local community that make pick-up and drop-off a relative breeze. While it might take some getting used to, you’ll feel good about putting food scraps to good use and may become more conscious of how much garbage you typically produce.

Although some people may feel that going green takes too much effort, it’s clear that making just a few small changes around the home can have big effects. With these tips in mind, you can start to move towards a sustainable lifestyle that requires very little extra effort.

If you’re someone who cares deeply about the environment, switching up your home to be more environmentally friendly can be an act of self-care. This is especially true if you’re someone who has anxiety surrounding climate change. All you can control is yourself, so here are a few tips for creating a more environmentally-friendly home life while also practicing self-care at the same time.

Reduce Your Plastic Use

Reducing your plastic can be done in many ways because plastic is used for so many different things. Therefore, there is ample opportunity to avoid plastics. One way you can do so within your house is by using wooden bins or furniture frames rather than plastic options. After all, wooden pallets can hold more weight than plastic. While plastic pallets can accommodate loads up to 1,500 lbs, wooden pallets can handle heavier items up to 3,000 lbs. Though you’re probably not storing anything that heavy, it’s still worth mentioning that not only is it better for the environment to use wood over plastic, but it is also stronger. In the long run, this has obvious benefits.

You can also work to limit your plastic usage by shopping at zero waste stores. These stores use paper or glass and they offer more environmentally-friendly ways to store goods in your home. This can help you reduce the need for buying goods packaged in plastics.

You should also consider bringing your own bags to your average grocery store for your fresh vegetables rather than using the plastic bags to store them in your cart. Reducing your plastic waste this way is good not only for the environment, but it can also function as an act of self-care: there’s no doubt you will feel better when your carbon footprint is lower.


Reducing your plastic waste is great, but you can also reduce your food waste entirely by composting! You’ll need to make sure you do your research about how to properly manage your compost so that you don’t attract unwelcome critters to your property. However, composting your food scraps, left-overs, or food that has gone bad is a great way to reduce your waste. Instead of throwing these organic materials out, give it back to the environment through composting.

Because more than 21 million households in the United States use septic systems and not a public sewer, composting is a great alternative to using a garbage disposal. After all, garbage disposals are not recommended for private septic systems. You’re better off giving back to the planet and keeping your home healthier at the same time.

Eco-Friendly Renovations

While renovating your home with eco-friendly appliances is beneficial for the environment and your well-being, it may also come in handy when it comes time to sell. Sustainable living is becoming more and more popular and could be what sets your home apart when you eventually sell. For example, 50% of homes listed in the DC Metro market did not sell the first time they were listed. However, a potential home-buyer is much more likely to buy if the home is already equipped with environmentally-friendly renovations. This is especially true in areas like cities where there is already heightened pollution. Things like installing solar panels, energy-efficient windows and doors, and energy-saving appliances in the kitchen could all be what helps you to sell your house as quickly as possible.

While there are lots of other ways you can alter your home lifestyle to be more environmentally friendly, these suggestions can help you get started. Every little thing counts when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint, so do what you can and enjoy the process. As more and more people create environmentally friendly home lifestyles and corporations catch on to this trend, the better our environment will do.

Although 4 million Americans are wearing braces today, expensive orthodonture isn’t the only way to improve your smile. Following a recommended dental care routine can go a long way in preserving your pearly whites.

For example, you should position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle in order to achieve maximum cleaning power and should floss at least once per day. But in addition to adhering to your dentist’s advice, you might also be wondering whether you could protect your teeth and the planet at the same time. The good news is that there are a number of ways you can go green with your dental routine. Here are a few eco-friendly tooth care tips to keep in mind.

Use a Dry Toothpaste Powder

How much thought do you give to your toothpaste tube? Most of us don’t realize how wasteful these receptacles really are. Hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of plastic or aluminum toothpaste tubes end up in landfills every year. And because many of them also come in boxes, that’s a lot of wasteful packaging. If you want to opt for eco-friendliness, you might consider swapping out your Colgate or Crest for a dry toothpaste powder. These powders often come in reusable jars made out of glass or metal, which means you can repurpose these vessels after you’ve used up all of the product. Simply add a little bit of water to the powder each time you brush for a more sustainable cleaning.

Switch to a Different Toothbrush

It’s not just your toothpaste that may need rethinking. Even your toothbrush could probably be more environmentally friendly. Traditional toothbrushes are made of plastic — and because they should be replaced every few months, you’ll end up creating a lot of waste.

Wood may be a better alternative, as it can be sourced sustainably and be reused. Although shaved baseball bats shouldn’t be used in temperatures below 65 degrees, there’s no need to restrict your use of wood materials when it comes to your teeth. Bamboo toothbrushes are actually compostable and is made from a material that can be grown quickly. Plastic, on the other hand, can continue polluting for over 500 years. If you don’t love the look or feel of a bamboo toothbrush, low-charge electric toothbrushes might be a viable alternative, as you’ll need only replace the brush head. Best of all, they don’t require much electricity use.

Opt For Biodegradeable Floss

Dentists don’t recommend reusing dental floss, as this could be problematic for bacterial contamination. However, there are more eco-friendly types of floss out there. From the plastic case to the little strands of nylon floss that won’t immediately break down, there are certainly improvements that can be made. There are all-natural flosses made out of silk and coated with plant wax that can do just as good a job, while many are even biodegradable. Alternatively, you could switch to a water flosser. These products don’t require much water and are just as (if not more) effective than traditional floss.

Turn Off the Tap

If you’ve gotten in the habit of leaving the faucet running when you brush your teeth, you could unknowingly be throwing money down the drain. According to data, you might waste as much as eight gallons of water per day if you fail to turn off the faucet during your teeth cleaning routine. But if you turn off the tap when you brush, you could save up to 200 gallons of water each month! While this tip won’t necessarily improve your oral care, it can help you save money each month while you reduce the amount of water you waste.

Contrary to popular belief, going green doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. In fact, it can often help you reduce the amount you spend over time — and making small changes is often simpler than most people realize. With these eco-friendly dental care tips, you can feel good about the state of your teeth and your impact on the world around you.

The kitchen is the heart of the home. However, considering the fact that 10% of homeowners renovated their kitchen in the past year, there is a trend towards working on that heart to make sure it is perfect for your household. If it is time for a kitchen renovation, trying to make your space as environmentally friendly as possible is important. Below are six tips on how to make sure your kitchen renovation is as eco-friendly as possible.

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As the effects of global warming are becoming more and more obvious, it’s likely that you are looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. If this is the case, you’ve come to the right place. Here we will suggest some ways you can help the environment grow and combat your carbon footprint.

Plant, Plant, and More Planting

One of the simplest ways you can help the environment bounce back is by planting as much as you can. Though this won’t be enough to help override the current outward production of carbon emissions, plants do need carbon dioxide to live. The more you plant, the more your own plot of land is producing clean oxygen and taking carbon from the air.

Agriculture is a major reason for the overwhelming amount of carbon emissions in the air but it’s also a major reason why planting things, even on an individual level, is helpful to the environment. Acres upon acres of forestry have been cut down to make room for agricultural efforts. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) reports that just four commodities are responsible for tropical deforestation: beef, soy, palm oil, and wood products. Aside from planting things yourself, avoiding these goods at your local shop is another way you can help reduce deforestation efforts and the harmful environmental effects that are contingent upon it.

When it comes to planting things in your own yard, the grass is a good place to start. Hydroseeding is the fastest, most cost-effective, and highest quality method of seeding lawn, landscape, and erosion control practices. Grass should start to grow within seven days, and the new lawn will be well established within 3-4 weeks. Once you’ve established your own lawn, you can begin to plant more elaborate landscaping projects. Trees, shrubs, and flowers all help the environment prosper. While this won’t be enough to counter the damage corporations cause, it is a great way that you can do your part toward limiting your personal carbon footprint. More individuals doing the same will only benefit the environment, even if it is just buying some time for a more substantial change for the future.

Limit Your Own Usage

When it comes to limiting your own usage, this can mean a variety of things. We spoke briefly about limiting your consumption of products that are damaging the environment during their production. This is especially true for animal agriculture. Limiting your meat and dairy consumption is one of the most impactful ways an individual can reduce their carbon footprint. But limiting your usage can look different than just what you eat. It can mean your water usage, your energy usage, and how frequently you drive a car.

Transportation is the second leading cause of carbon emissions, right behind animal agriculture. Since 2010, the production of commercial vehicles in the United States has jumped from around five million units to 8.5 million units in 2018. Limiting how frequently you drive and how far you drive is a great way to lower your footprint. In fact, transitioning to walking or biking more than half of the time would greatly reduce your personal carbon emissions. Similarly, carpooling when possible or taking public transportation instead of operating your own car is also beneficial. If driving yourself is necessary, consider looking into smart cars instead. Using a car that runs off battery power rather than gas is a great way to limit your emissions but still get where you need to go without any hassle.

While there are many other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint, these are a great place to start. The journey to living a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle is a long one and one that can take a great deal of dedication. Making small steps, like planting more things in your yard, eating less meat in your diet, or riding your bike one day instead of driving are all great first steps to take towards reducing your carbon footprint.

When you are overhauling a fixer-upper, choosing to make your renovations more eco friendly is key to saving you money in the future. Energy-saving appliances and technology means lowered electric, gas, and water bills, and choosing more eco-friendly building materials and practices means less of an impact on the environment.

If you are part of the 44% of home buyers that searched for a new property online, you may have fallen in love with a listing only to learn that it has some issues that need to be improved on so your new home can become your dream home. On the other hand, if you are included in the 61% of people who have lived in their home for longer than 6 years that makes the choice to renovate their home instead of moving, you may be looking specifically to make your home more energy-efficient.

No matter why you are choosing to renovate your home, making environmentally conscious repairs and choosing energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly materials is key to having a sustainable home. Below are 10 tips for making your fixer-upper as environmentally conscious as possible.

1. Prioritize Using Sustainable Materials

No matter what area of your home you are renovating, there will definitely be sustainable options for many of the materials you are using. There is a huge market for materials that are sustainably made so that they have a lesser impact on the environment. For example, using bamboo flooring is a great alternative to traditional wood flooring. Bamboo is fast-growing and has very little impact on the environment when it is harvested. This makes it a perfect option for your green home renovation.

Another sustainable type of material is anything that has been recycled or repurposed. Choosing to use salvaged wood cabinets, for example, is a great sustainable switch for cabinets made out of new materials.

2. Repurpose Everything You Can

When it comes to being environmentally friendly, reusing and repurposing everything you can to avoid creating waste is very effective. Anything in your fixer-upper that is salvageable can be refinished to make it fit in with the new look of the house. Refinishing floors, reupholstering furniture that you already have, and reusing finishes like trim or molding are great ways to keep the character of the house intact while also being green.

Try to keep the idea of refreshing what you have instead of replacing it as you plan out your renovation.

3. Shop Local

When you choose to use local businesses to source your materials, you are helping to avoid the pollution that shipping materials create. Choosing to get furniture from a local builder instead of buying furniture from a big box store that ships its furniture from overseas is an easy way to avoid contributing to global pollution.

4. Avoid VOCs

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are found in many brands of paint, building materials, and wood preservatives. Try to find materials that are labeled as being “VOC free” to make sure that you are not adding to the market for the compounds that damage the environment. If VOCs are unavoidable in some of your building materials, make sure to properly ventilate the area where you will be exposed to them and wear protective materials when possible.

5. Choose Energy-Saving Options

One area where replacing what is in the house already is actually more environmentally friendly is when it comes to appliances and plumbing. Energy-saving appliances are not only environmentally friendly but pocket-friendly as well. Using less energy means that your electricity and gas bills will go down, and since you are using less energy and gas you are helping the environment.

Replacing toilets and your water heater is another way to save energy. Toilets use a lot more water than you might expect, and choosing a low flow option is an easy switch that will you save water.

If you are gutting your fixer-upper, make sure to use insulation that will be able to keep your home from being drafty to save on heating and cooling bills as well. Older homes often are very drafty because of their lack of proper insulation, so choosing new insulation that can fix that problem will prevent your home from using more energy than it actually needs to stay cool or warm.

6. Use Alternate Forms of Energy

Installing solar panels in your home is a great option to save on your energy bills and create an environmentally-friendly energy source. You could choose to have areas of your home powered by solar energy, or you can contact your energy provider to see if they already have a system in place for solar power. The U.S. electrical grid is the largest in the world, with a total of 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines. It has 5.5 million local distribution lines, and it is possible that your energy provider has a plan for those that want to install solar panels. You may get a discounted rate on your electric bills or another perk, so make sure to double-check with your provider.

7. Go Classic and Neutral

Though renovating a fixer-upper to make it more eco-friendly is a good decision, you want to avoid having to completely redo rooms of your home every few years when a trend goes out of style. Instead, choose to make the major parts of your renovation more neutral and classic. For example, choosing neutral countertops and cabinets in your kitchen will make it so that you do not need to replace those features if your style changes or if the home goes to a new owner.

However, you don’t have to avoid all of the fun trends you love. They can be incorporated in different, more easily interchangeable ways, such as what is placed in display cabinets or what kind of wall art you have hanging up.

8. Incorporate Plants in Your Design

Having greenery in your home is not only beautiful, but it can also create a more sustainable home. Having a backyard garden where you can grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs in the warmer weather can help you avoid the waste that comes with produce from the grocery store. You could also include an herb garden in your kitchen year-round so you always have those materials on hand.

9. Do Your Homework on Materials

When it comes to using the most sustainable materials, there is a lot of information out there. Look for unbiased sources that you can trust to get your information on materials. Websites have a tendency to be biassed towards their own products, so make sure that you find unbiased sources for different product options.

10. Choose Contractors that Know Sustainability

If you decide to work with a contractor, make sure that you choose to use one that knows about and has experience in sustainability and eco-friendly house renovation. Using a contractor that already has a good idea on how to renovate your home using eco-friendly practices is a great way to immediately gain the perspective of someone you can trust that has expertise and experience in sustainable renovation.

Armed with these tips, you are now prepared to begin planning, designing, and renovating your new fixer-upper. Best of luck in your green home renovation!