With record temperatures all over the world in 2018, it is more important than ever to reduce your carbon footprint. Expert scientists have put their finger on global warming as the reason for sweltering heat throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States, and when you consider there are wildfires raging in the Arctic Circle in August 2018, you can no longer deny what environmentalists have claimed for years. Is your house sustainable? Does it reduce your carbon footprint? Here are some tips you can implement to ensure it does; otherwise, the entire planet is in danger.
Insulate Your Abode
Keep your indoor air in and the outdoor air out by insulating your ceiling, floors, and walls. Your home should be wrapped in a protective bubble, if you will, to ensure that your air conditioning and heating units run minimally throughout the summer and winter. When properly insulated, outside air cannot make its way into your home to either cool or heat the indoor environment, and this keeps the inside temperature set. An added benefit is lower utility bills alongside a reduced carbon footprint.
Don’t forget about your doors or windows, either. Make certain they are properly sealed and that you install new double-paned windows if you currently have single-paned units. If you cannot afford to replace your windows, and even if you do upgrade them, redo your interior with thermal-backed curtains that block the sun’s rays and outdoor heat or cold. In the winter, open the drapes during the day to let the sun’s warmth in, and then close them at night to trap the heat.
Renovate Your Kitchen
If you’re tired of your outdated kitchen, now is the perfect time to renovate it. Purchase all new energy-efficient appliances and don’t stop there. Get a new energy-efficient washer and drying, too. Upgrade your flooring and countertops to natural materials that are sustainably farmed. When you are ready for another upgrade, these materials can be recycled rather than tossed in a landfill, which is where parquet, Formica, and other manmade materials end up.
Don’t stop with the indoors. Redo your backyard space to include an outdoor kitchen. If you live in an area with enough solar energy, you can cook outside in a solar oven. You can also grill outdoors, which keeps the kitchen heat outside and gives your AC a break during the summer. Invest in outdoor appliances that utilize solar energy or other alternative fueling methods. You’ll find you love cooking outdoors as much as indoors and you’ll notice a difference in your utility bills.
Redo Your Landscape
Consider ripping out that expensive lawn and redoing your landscape with drought-resistant, indigenous plant life. You should always use native plants no matter where you live, because they thrive in their environment and are easier to keep alive with minimal water waste. Have your home’s indoor and outdoor plumbing redone to trap gray water and push it outdoors to water your plants. You can also set up a rainwater collection system and use solar energy to make the water safe for consumption.
Realize the Benefits
Alongside the money you will save on your utility bills if you implement the above, your Washington DC homeowners insurance, or your homeowners insurance wherever you live, might just reduce your premiums after your renovation. Some insurance companies encourage their policyholders to go green, and you could also save money at tax time depending on current state and federal credits. Yes, the renovation will cost you money, but you’ll get that cost back over time.
Record-breaking heat waves that are claiming lives. Wildfires all over the planet, including in Sweden of all places. Concrete melting in Europe. Think global warming doesn’t exist? Think again. It does and it’s hazards are becoming more and more prominent every day. Do your part and upgrade your home to make it more sustainable.
guest post • cc-licensed image by Jeremy Levine