There used to be a time when greening your home would put a major dent in your budget. But technology has come a long way since then. In fact, most construction companies now are using eco-friendly materials for their projects as an industry standard. You can also adopt some good practices on your own to do your part for our environment. Here are six very simple and affordable ways of greening your own home.
Add indoor plants to boost air quality
Probably the most frequently cited research on the benefits of indoor plants is the 1989 NASA study. The findings are confirmed in a 2004 study, which concluded that indoor plants improve the air quality of the room in which they reside. Of course, the larger the leaf footprint, the better the quality of the indoor air would be. Indoor plants also provide aesthetics, as they balance out all the concrete or metal materials in the interior of the house.
Create your own compost
One of the reasons why homeowners hesitate to create their own compost is the mistaken notion that it’s going to be difficult. It’s much easier than you think. It will enhance your own backyard and make sure your garden remains healthy. There are plenty of DIY videos on YouTube that will teach you easy ways to start composting.
Insulating your home will help reduce your usage of the AC or heat during the summer and winter seasons. One of the eco-friendliest ways of insulating your home is the cellulose material, where 85% of the material is manufactured from recycled newspaper. Another benefit is reducing your monthly energy costs since your AC and heat account for as much as 70% of your electrical bills.
Natural cleaning products
Instead of bleach, detergents, or chlorine, why not use natural cleaning products like baking soda, lemon, borax, and vinegar? The synthetic and toxic chemicals will end up in waterways and in the soil where they can cause harm. More than that, using natural products will protect your young children from potential risks due to their curious nature.
Solar panels are probably your most expensive investment, if you are going all in on green technology. They can run up into the thousands. The good news is that they essentially pay for themselves in the long run. Also, the prices of solar panels have become considerably more affordable in recent years. For instance, in 2010, it cost $4.30 a watt to install a 50-watt panel…now, it’s around $1.50/watt. Of course, the number of panels will depend on the size of your house and energy usage.
A smart meter will help compute your energy consumption and your average cost per hour. This will help you manage your peak load usage. For instance, you can see which of your appliances are consuming too much energy during peak hours. Most likely, it’s going to be your AC, especially during humid days. You can then help reduce the load usage by opening your windows or doors or going out of your house instead of just turning on the AC.
If you don’t have the money for the solar panels, all the other good practices are doable with very little out-of-pocket costs – and you will feel good knowing that you are doing your part to protect the planet.