Sustainable homes are homes designed to be efficient in using their resources by optimizing their consumption of the Earth’s resources. Sustainable homes are not only trendy, but they are also helping the environment. If you have already switched your light fixtures from regular bulbs to LED bulbs, then you are on the right track.
Why not take it a notch higher this year? If you are looking for home projects and renovations, why not focus on making your home more sustainable and efficient?
Making your home efficient and green will also help lower your energy costs, allowing you to make significant savings to your household costs. Some may require you to invest, but you will be reaping the return of your investments sooner or later.
Invest in a home solar panel system.
One of the most straightforward ways of reducing your carbon footprint while making significant household cost savings is installing solar panels on your rooftop. A solar panel installation can power your home and free you from your dependence on the electricity supplied by the grid.
Electricity in the US is produced by three main sources: fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy. Of the three, fossil fuels account for the largest energy source in the U.S. Fuel combustion from these sources also produce a significant amount of carbon dioxide emissions. When you choose to cut your dependence on the grid, you also lessen your carbon footprint.
The government gives tax credits to residential and commercial solar owners. From 30%, new users of solar power can enjoy a tax deduction of 26% of the cost of installing the system. As long as you have a solar system installed on your property, you are eligible for the tax credit.
Update your roofing into a cool roof.
A cool roof is a roof made to reflect sunlight so that it will absorb less heat. A cool roof will not just make your interiors cooler and more comfortable, but it can also help you save on cooling costs.
A cool roof can be constructed with a sheer roof covering, a highly reflective paint, or highly reflective tiles. Generally, a standard roof can reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It can even get hotter during the summer. Given the same conditions, a cool roof can have a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit cooler, making your home more comfortable. This can help you save on air conditioning, thereby reducing your energy costs. It makes parts of your home that do not have air conditioning more pleasant and comfortable, such as your garage. It also extends the life of your roof, protecting it from extreme heat.
What’s more, cool roofs are not just beneficial for you but for the community as well. Since you are using less energy on your cooling requirements, you are helping reduce power plant emissions. You can also help lower the demand for electricity during peak hours and reduce local air temperatures.
Set up a rainwater catching system.
As the name implies, a rainwater catching or harvesting system collects and stores rainwater. It can be used for many household needs, including irrigation of your lawn and landscape, cleaning, washing cars, and water for your laundry. It can give you free water to use and lessen your dependence on the water supply, lowering your water bills.
Rainwater that falls off your roof and goes down your downpipes usually goes down your city’s stormwater drainage system. Rainwater harvesting systems help reduce the load on your municipality’s stormwater drainage and the demand for freshwater.
A rainwater catching system does not have to be complicated, especially if you use it for home cleaning and gardening purposes. You can have pipes run down from your gutters to your collecting container or tank. Just ensure to keep your container covered and clean from dirt and debris.
Change your habits.
Besides investing in home renovation projects to make your home more sustainable, changing your household habits can also significantly contribute. One of the simplest adjustments you can make is preparing your own food to minimize your food waste. When you prepare your own food, you are not only saving on plastic packaging. You can control the amount of food that you prepare, thereby eliminating food wastes. Around 30% to 40% of the food supply in the US ends up as food wastes. Food wastes in the landfills rot, eventually producing methane gas. They are also the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Commit to using reusable instead of disposable items, from shopping bags, takeout coffee cups, and plastic straws. If everyone pledges to make these small lifestyle adjustments, it can significantly reduce landfill waste and save the planet.