When you live somewhere long enough, you’ll want to make some changes. If you plan on remodeling your home, you should consider enlisting some eco-friendly renovations to benefit both the world and your wallet.
Some options are simple, yet they can make a world of a difference – here are some of the greatest options you can try to upgrade your home in 2023:
9 Eco-Friendly Renovations for a More Sustainable Home
1. Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting
The first way to make your home more eco-friendly is just a simple switch that will benefit both you and the environment by saving you time and money in the long run.
In fact, switching to LED lighting can save you around $225 per year in energy costs. They can also last years longer than their incandescent counterparts, making them a greater investment.
Typical incandescent bulbs can give off extra heat, which is especially detrimental during the warmer months of the year. With more heat from your electricity, your air conditioner will have to work harder to keep your house cool.
Mindful swaps are critical to eco-friendly renovations, as they can create a huge difference you won’t notice until you make the switch.
2. Upgrade Your Windows
Your windows allow you to see the world and can keep inclement and undesirable weather outside. They allow you to watch the snow as it falls or assess a storm.
If you haven’t upgraded them in a while, now might be the time to turn to more energy-efficient structures in your home. They might benefit you far more than your old windows.
Newer windows are more energy efficient. They can help regulate the temperature inside your home better, and they have soundproofing capabilities that will allow you to tune out any noises from the streets.
Even better, they allow fewer UV rays into your home, so your furniture won’t see as much sun damage.
3. Start a Compost Bin
Are you planning on landscaping or starting a garden? One of the most eco-friendly ways to ensure that your plants thrive while also cutting down on food waste is to start a compost bin.
With $1,600 of produce thrown out by each household annually, composting is a lifesaver for the environment and can help you feel like your unused food has a purpose.
To compost properly, you should have a good mixture of food scraps and materials you find in your yard, like grass clippings or dead leaves. While it requires some upkeep, your compost pile can benefit the soil around your home when you decide to use it.
It doesn’t cost much to get started, and as long as you have space to compost, you’ll find that returning those nutrients to the ground can improve your yard.
Check out this useful video by Faith Meckley to see how you can set up your compost bin:
4. Insulate Your Garage
You should take notice of how energy efficient your entire home is — including your garage. Your garage space should be optimized for the weather, too.
Insulating it can only add energy-efficient benefits to your entire estate. In particular, insulating your garage door can make it sturdier and more resistant to damage while also operating more quietly.
An insulated garage door can feature an R-Value of as much as 20.4, meaning that it will make your whole home feel more comfortable with a regulated indoor temperature. It’s an investment worth making.
5. Renovate With Repurposed Materials
Repurposed materials might not sound like fun to decorate your home with, but they can be implemented in the most subtle and beautiful ways. Repurposed materials like wood can come in several forms — doors, cabinets and more — and you can use them however you see fit for your renovations.
For example, if you want to add exposed wood beams to your ceiling, using recycled wood beams or even false beams can give you the visual effect you want without the hefty price tag.
Though accessibility to these recycled materials can be difficult, you can find them in places you wouldn’t expect. Often, you can find furniture made of natural materials on secondhand sites. Then, you can completely redo or dismantle those pieces to match your vision, or you could take them as-is and appreciate their natural beauty.
Some websites you can start looking on for secondhand materials include:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Of course, you can also try your luck at finding materials in your community. Flea markets and secondhand stores like Goodwill can be excellent sources for great finds that will aid you in your eco-friendly renovations.
6. DIY Home Projects and Products
This renovation mainly involves changing things about your routine and life, but it can make a huge difference in your home. By DIYing certain products, you’re potentially eliminating harmful chemicals that could affect the environment.
Instead of using store-bought pesticides, you could create your own out of vegetable oil and liquid soap. That way, if there’s any runoff, harmful chemicals won’t leach into the ground.
When DIYing your home projects, you should be able to not waste any materials. You should know exactly how much you need before you start a project, thanks to planning before you start your remodels.
By measuring and purchasing the proper amount of materials, you can ensure you have no waste and can put every bit of it to use somehow. You might even contribute leftover wood or another natural material to another home project.
7. Change Out Your Appliances
When was the last time you switched out your appliances? Older models can use far more electricity than their newer counterparts.
Appliances that are Energy Star certified will always offer greater energy efficiency than older models.
It might cost too much to replace all your appliances at once, so start with the older items and move toward the newer ones. You can contribute the money you save on your energy bill toward other eco-friendly renovations.
8. Use Eco-Friendly Paint
One of the easiest eco-friendly renovations to commit to is painting your home. If you’ve been eyeing different colors for the rooms in your home, opt for an environmentally friendly paint that won’t release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.
These compounds become greenhouse gases that contain chemicals and carcinogens, posing a health risk to humans and damaging the environment.
You can easily find paint that doesn’t contain VOCs to keep your household and the environment safe. VOCs can build up in a home, so opt for VOC-free paint if you plan to do a lot of painting. As always, make sure to paint your home in a well-ventilated area.
9. Add Solar Energy
Installing solar panels on your house might be a more costly renovation, but it could transform your home for the better.
The price of solar energy has dropped around 50% over the last 10 years, making it more affordable than many households think. While solar panels may not work for every home, each household has other options for harnessing this renewable resource.
Solar-powered attic fans are a great investment for homes in warmer climates due to how easily they can help cool down the hottest area of your house.
You can also utilize outdoor solar lamps to light up the pathway to your house. Using solar power can help slash your energy bills in half, and it’s a worthwhile investment that will keep the benefits rolling for years to come.
Wrapping Up: Make Room for These Eco-Friendly Renovations in Your Budget
When you’re upgrading your home, you have to make sure you’re making responsible changes. Eco-friendly renovations are the future, and they’ll help you directly by offering a return on investment over time.
When you make the switch to better energy efficiency and renewable forms of energy, you may notice that your budget has room to add even more renovations that will benefit the environment.
Once you see the savings you earn on one change, you may want to continue making a difference — one part of your home at a time.
About the Author
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does the average home renovation cost?
The average cost of a home renovation depends on how large your home is. For a full-scale kitchen renovation, you might pay up to $37,000 — but that's also one of the most expensive renovation options. If you're just changing parts of your home to make more eco-friendly renovations, you may have to total up everything you want individually. Read the full guide to learn more about eco-friendly home renovations.
What's the first step to an eco-friendly home?
Unless you've been budgeting, you should start with something small. Don't jump right into outfitting your home with solar panels, as nice as that would be. Try changing out your lightbulbs or replacing old windows or appliances first, then start working toward larger changes. Read the full guide to learn more about creating an eco-friendly home.
How do eco-friendly renovations make a difference?
Eco-friendly renovations can lower your carbon footprint. You can reduce energy use in your home by harnessing renewable energy. You can also minimize the amount of food waste you throw out by buying only what you need or contributing the leftovers to a compost pile. As a result, less trash goes to landfill. Read the full guide to learn more about eco-friendly home renovations and how they make a difference to the environment.
References & Useful Resources
Energy.gov: Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar
Energy.gov: Lighting Choices to Save You Money
Greenmatch: All Solar Panel Grants and Schemes in the UK
Energy.gov.au: Renewable Power Incentives in Australia