84% of homeowners say living in sustainable homes is important to them, while 85% feel green homes are beneficial to health, Business Wire reports. A HERS energy audit can measure your home’s energy efficiency, so you can pinpoint where exactly improvements can be made to enhance the sustainability of your home. After that, you can continue with eco-friendly home and garden upgrades to create a greener, healthier way of life.
Consider solar panels
Installing solar panels is a great way to help the environment as it generates green energy to power your home, which, in turn, lowers your carbon footprint. Solar panels can also decrease your electricity bill over time. Moreover, you can even earn money by selling back any excess power to the grid. Keep in mind, however, that solar panels typically come with a high upfront installation cost (although these have generally come down over the past few years).
Grow your own food
Growing your own food can be a key step in learning how to live sustainably. Although it requires some time and effort, growing your own food can save you money in the long run. Seeds can be purchased for a few dollars and used to grow plenty of produce, which can then be harvested and frozen, so you can enjoy your bounty all year round. Growing your own food also helps the environment by eliminating food miles: the journey from the farm to your home, which increases carbon emissions. In addition to fruit and veg, you can also consider growing herbs and other health plants. Aloe, for example, is a beautiful succulent with numerous health benefits. It’s also low-maintenance and easy to grow. While there’s over 250 types of aloe, only four have medicinal qualities, so it’s important to research first to know what you’re getting. In particular, aloe has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which helps prevent infection. It can also speed up wound healing when applied topically to the skin.
Use no-VOC paint
The air inside our homes is around two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the EPA. And, although you may not realize it, the paint on your walls can be a major source of this pollution that harms human health and the environment. Conventional paint contains and emits volatile organic compounds (VOCS) — even for many years after application. Exposure to VOCs can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, eye, nose, and throat irritation, and skin allergies. Fortunately, no-VOC paints are a non-toxic, sustainable alternative, which look just as great as regular paint and can help create a healthier home. Look for no-VOC paint with insulating qualities for additional energy-saving benefits.
Enhancing the sustainability of your home doesn’t have to be complicated. By installing solar panels, growing your own food, and using no-VOC paint, you can maximize your home and garden’s sustainability, save money, and help the environment all in one.