12 Tips to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Aug 11, 2022

If you’re health and environmentally conscious, researching tips to make your home more eco-friendly is essential. With the right eco-friendly design and construction elements, you can reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals, limit your carbon footprint, and embrace sustainable practices.

While it might seem like shifting to a more sustainable, greener approach is challenging, that isn’t always the case. Here is a look at what a sustainable, environmentally-friendly home is, along with 12 tips to make your home more eco-friendly.

eco friendly house

What Is an Eco-Friendly Home?

If you’re wondering, “What is an eco-friendly home?” or “What is a sustainable home?” the definition can vary depending on who you ask. However, the gist is using an approach to home building, maintenance, and design that doesn’t unnecessarily harm the environment.

Eco-friendly construction, landscaping, and home design are increasingly popular among those looking to limit their carbon footprint and do their part to prevent climate change. It relies heavily on using sustainable materials and reducing energy and water consumption, all while creating a sense of style.

12 Tips to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

1. Go with Eco-Friendly Landscaping

eco friendly landscaping

Water conservation is critical for creating an eco-friendly home. One of the simplest environmentally friendly home ideas in this arena is to update your landscaping. Choosing native plants can be an excellent place to begin, as they often thrive with local rainfall levels.

You can also choose an eco-friendly grass seed that’s designed to use less water or go with ornamental grasses to create interest since they’re hardy and add texture. Integrating drought-tolerant plants is another potential option, as they require very little water to keep in good shape.

Another option for eco-friendly lawns is to transition to artificial turf, as those don’t require any water to look amazing. Plus, environmentally friendly artificial grasses are available, including plant-based options with lower carbon footprints.

If you’re open to something other than grass, hardscaping can let you create lovely outdoor areas without plants you’ll need to water. There are also many varieties of eco-friendly ground cover plants. Depending on where you live, creeping herbs, clover, or moss could be options worth exploring.

2. Go Low-Flow

Another excellent option for water conservation is to switch to low-flow fixtures. Low-flow faucets and shower heads are designed to ensure you get a great experience while reducing your water usage.

With low-flow toilets, you can save water with every flush. If you’re concerned that it won’t meet your needs, you can go with a dual-flush toilet instead, allowing you to choose how much water you use every time. Even with the dual-flush option, you’ll reduce your water usage significantly.

3. Add Smart Home Technology

smart home monitoring energy efficiency

Turning your house into a smart home is one of the commonly overlooked eco-friendly ideas for your home. With smart lighting, thermostats, and other technologies, you can reduce your electricity usage significantly. Along with lowering your power bill, that reduces your carbon footprint. Plus, it lets you introduce some convenience features, making it a win-win.

4. Choose a Tankless Water Heater

Another one of the more straightforward eco-friendly tips for your home is to install a tankless water heater once your current one reaches its end of life. Depending on how much water your home uses, a tankless water heater can be 8 to 34 percent more energy efficient. Plus, they usually have a longer lifespan than traditional water heaters, and the parts are easier to replace, allowing you to get even more life out of the tankless water heater.

5. Install Solar Panels

Going solar at home is a straightforward option for creating an energy-sustainable house. While there’s a significant upfront investment, it’s a chance to reduce your dependency on the local power grid while still meeting your electricity needs.

With the proper solar panel installation, you can even send power back to the grid or store excess in batteries for later use. In turn, you may be able to effectively handle your electricity needs on your own, reducing your dependency on fossil fuels for power.

6. Choose Environmentally-Friendly Paint

The paint you choose makes a difference if you’re trying to figure out how to make your house more eco-friendly. Going with paints that feature natural ingredients is a great starting point. You should also focus on low- or zero-VOC paints, as those don’t contain as many volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Along with being bad for the environment, VOCs can be harmful to you and your family. They negatively impact air quality, so choosing a zero-VOC option is often best, particularly indoors.

7. Go with Energy-Efficient Appliances

energy star appliances

When it’s time to get new appliances, choose energy-efficient options. Looking for Energy Star products is an excellent way to start. You can also review the energy stickers on most appliances to see where they measure up regarding usage, making it easier to compare models.

If you already own energy-efficient appliances and one stops working correctly, repair instead of replace. Often, it’s far less expensive than a new appliance. Plus, you won’t be throwing away a big, bulky item, allowing you to make a greener choice.

8. Choose Eco-Friendly Construction Materials

Choosing the right construction materials can make a difference if you’re building a new house or an addition and are wondering how to make your home more eco-friendly. You can explore sustainable recycled building materials as a starting point. Similarly, you can opt for new materials created from sustainable sources, such choosing bamboo flooring.

There are also plenty of wood alternatives for your next building project. Depending on your needs, options like hemp, cork, composites, metal, fiber cement, and even rubber. In some cases, you can find recycled wood alternatives, too, making your project even greener.

9. Seal Air Leaks and Boost Your Insulation

seal air leaks around windows

Leaks and low insulation can both reduce energy efficiency. Plus, they make your home less comfortable, particularly during more extreme weather.

Check your windows and exterior doors for gaps, using caulk, weatherstripping, or similar options to address any holes. Take a look at your insulation levels in your attic and add more if you’re low, opting for higher R values.

You can even go with green insulation. Sustainable options include wool, cotton, cork, cellulose, and denim. You could also consider spray insulation made of castor oil. However, even some plastic-based options are worth considering, as your energy savings could more than offset the production carbon footprint.

If you aren’t sure what improvements may work best, consider getting an energy audit. You may be able to arrange one through your local utility company, giving you access to an expert who can help you spot issues you might overlook.

10. Update Your Windows

Similar to the point above, your windows can help you conserve energy or increase your power needs, particularly in extreme weather. If you have single-pane windows, the odds of the latter occurring are far higher.

Double-paned windows can potentially reduce your energy levels by 18 to 24 percent, depending on your climate. Plus, top-of-the-line energy-efficient windows may lead to savings closer to 30 to 50 percent when compared to single pane options. While it’s a significant investment, the savings can offset it far faster than you’d expect.

11. Consider a Gray Water System

Gray water systems allow you to recapture water from washing machines, showers, and other areas so that you can reuse it. While it’s typically used for irrigation, you could potentially connect a gray water system to any faucet you wouldn’t use for drinking or cooking water. For example, some households use gray water for toilets.

The benefits of installing a gray water system are mainly focused on water conservation. In many ways, it’s not unlike using rain barrels; you can just direct the water to more than your yard.

12. Commit to Home Maintenance

home maintenance

When it comes to greener living, taking care of what you have is a big part of the equation. Committing to home maintenance reduces the need to replace damaged items. Instead, you can keep materials, systems, appliances, and equipment in better shape longer. Along with saving money in the long run, you’re keeping broken items out of the landfill and reducing your need for new stuff, both of which can limit your carbon footprint.

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