There are so many green products available for your home today. From small, simple lifestyle changes to big ticket items and renovation materials, today’s consumer can easily lighten their footprint and save money. Whether you are looking to “green” your home before a sale or just to improve your own environment, here are some ideas to get you started.
– Use soy or beeswax candles – they burn cleaner than traditional candles, which are made of paraffin, a petroleum product. Soot free, beneficial to farmers and made from renewable resources, natural candles are an easy choice.
– Switch to cloth napkins instead of paper serviettes and use washable microfiber cloth towels instead of wasting money on one-use paper towels. After dinner and cleanup, they go into the wash instead of the landfill. If you are stuck on paper products, try to use unbleached, recycled content and compost them when you’re done.
– Take care with your batteries. Batteries leech heavy metals into the soil, endangering our water supply. In fact they are responsible for 50 to 70 per cent of heavy metal found in landfills. Be responsible by recycling. You can also choose to purchase reusable batteries, which last much longer, lowering your impact even more. Before you buy a battery operated item, ask yourself if you can borrow it from someone first.
– It’s all in the plumbing: water conservation that is! Dual flush toilets and low flow faucets and shower heads can reduce water consumption and heating by up to 50 per cent. Tankless water heaters save space and can save you money on your energy bill (up to 75 per cent savings compared to traditional heaters). Plus they last twice as long.
– Bamboo or cork flooring. Cork is a natural insulator, and the tree is not harmed when the cork is harvested – a new layer grows to replace the harvest, making it a renewable resource. Cork is also water resistant and reduces noise. Bamboo is harder than most hardwoods and only takes five years to reach maturity (compared to 40-80 years for trees) and has natural anti fungal properties. Save the forest without sacrificing style.
– Choose low-VOC paints, finishes and glues. New materials will off-gas chemicals, and by choosing low-VOC and avoiding PVC products you can cut your exposure to some of the more harmful substances.
– Use daylighting – by using natural light to brighten workspaces in your home you can save money on your energy bill and increase your exposure to natural light. Also, operable windows and skylights are a great way to improve your air quality. Opening the window is an energy efficient method of clearing vapors or odors from your indoor environment (so are houseplants).
Whether you’re ready to make big changes or are just getting started, there are so many ways to move towards a greener way of life. Larger changes around the house can become selling points, so be sure to factor that in when weighing the costs. If you can’t afford the big changes, don’t be discouraged – even little measures can improve your environment and your peace of mind.
This article was written by the team at Porchlight Real Estate Group – straightforward Denver real estate agents with a personal touch. For more information on Cherry Creek CO real estate or to search Denver homes for sale visit us online at PorchLightGroup.com.