5 DIY Home Improvements to Create a Greener Home
If the new millennium has a color, that color is green. Sustainable building materials, furniture and landscaping has become a priority for environmentally conscious homeowners. If you’re building your home from the lot up, you have plenty of exciting new options for going green, but older homes can become more energy efficient with some do-it-yourself projects. These improvements will not only lessen your home’s environmental impact, they’ll also raise your property value. Roll up your sleeves, arrange a dumpster rental and go green!
Solar Panels. Solar panels are the quintessence of green architecture. With solar power augmenting your home’s heating and energy supply, you’ll rely less on petroleum-based fuels and spend less on your utility bills. The initial outlay for solar panels was once prohibitively expensive for all but a few die-hard environmentalists, but that’s changed. Widespread interest in solar panel technology has lowered the cost, making it a viable DIY option. Shop for kits to retro-fit your home to take advantage of the sun.
Home Wind Turbine. The wind is another free resource that your home can use to its advantage if you install a home wind turbine. The system itself costs, but as with solar panels, greater interest has led to lower prices. Kits for do-it-yourself turbines can power an entire room by themselves or reduce the overall energy expenditure of your whole home.
Environmentally Friendly Paint. Make the paint you use on your home green even when it’s pink or yellow. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, can come from paints and stains you use around your home. Not only do these chemical brews release VOCs, they also present a disposal challenge. Instead, look for low-VOC paints that use water-based solvents.
Green Roof. No matter how green the rest of your home becomes, your roof remains a prime cause of energy loss. Poor insulation, petroleum-based roofing materials and high energy consumption make your home less environmentally friendly. Do-it-yourself roofing presents quite a challenge, so tackle this upgrade to your home only if you’re prepared for a major project. Before you begin, check building codes in your area to ensure that your home remains up to code. You’ll need to find a qualified dumpster for rent to handle the old roofing materials, an installation crew and a stretch of good weather, but when your new roof is in place, you’ll notice the difference immediately.
Water/Faucet Aerators. Not all green projects need to be labor-intensive and dramatic. One simple and inexpensive change you can make today is at your fingertips every time you wash your hands. Faucet aerators do for water what whipping does for cream: adds bubbles. When the water leaving your faucet has an aerator to boost its perceived flow, you use less water for the same tasks.
Jesse Dugan contributes to several different blogs and new sites daily. Follow him Twitter @JesseDugan.