Green homes strike a balance between functionality and environmental responsibility. Green building practices in new homes create an environmentally friendly structure. For those who live in an older home, simple tactics can increase the green factor of the house. As an added bonus, many green practices save you money. Assess your current living practices to identify areas for improvement. Make changes that fit within your budget to gradually transition your house to a green environment.
A home recycling center fosters a sense of environmental responsibility with very little monetary investment required. Family members prevent waste from entering landfills which benefits society as a whole. Set up bins for recycling and teach other family members how to clean and sort recyclable items. Find ways to reuse items that you would normally discard. Collect unused items that are still in working order and donate them so they can have a new home. Consider a compost box to recycle lawn and food waste. Set a goal of reducing the trash that goes to the curb each week by at least 25 percent through various forms of recycling.
Scaling back on energy usage increases the green factor of a home. Simple strategies such as shutting off lights, turning down the thermostat and unplugging electrical items reduces the consumption of energy. Choose energy-efficient appliances to further decrease the amount of energy consumed. Consider alternative sources of energy when possible, such as solar or wind energy.
Teaching the family to conserve water reduces your monthly bill while helping the environment. Simple strategies such as shutting off the water while brushing your teeth, shortening shower times and waiting to run the dishwasher and washing machine until you have a full load help conserve water. Consider installing a low-flow shower head or toilet to reduce the amount of water that goes down the drain. Irrigate the lawn and flowers during early morning hours to prevent evaporation that comes with the hot sun.
Selecting environmentally friendly items for decorating the home provides another green option. Low-VOC paint reduces the amount of fumes and toxins released in a room, providing a green choice for adding color to the walls. Choose organic fabrics when possible for items such as bedding and curtains. Opt for home furnishings made from sustainable building materials, such as bamboo or cork. Reusing furniture pieces of your own or from others prevents the items from going to the landfill. Sticking with a few basic, high-quality pieces means you won’t send a lot of broken furniture to the dump in a few years.