It’s no surprise that the easiest way to immediately start making a positive (or in this case, negative) impact on the environment is in your home.
Shifting towards a more sustainable lifestyle means taking a hundred baby steps that ultimately make one big change. So, to help you start living more sustainably, I have gathered a few ideas that will take your mini green home makeovers the extra mile and not just update, but transform your space.
Install Cotton Thermal Drapes
Cotton thermal drapes do more than just dress up a window or add an extra layer of privacy—they also make your home way more energy efficient by deflecting the sun’s heat on warmer days and catching it during colder months. However, there is also a certain method to using them. In the summer months, be sure to close your drapes in the morning before the sun is at its peak, and open them again in the evening. Then simply do the opposite during winter months in order to maximize your energy efficiency. This is a quick-and- inexpensive fix for rooms with drafty windows that you don’t want to replace. It’ll save you money on the pricier alternative: installing new energy efficient windows.
Do an Eco-Friendly Paint Update
No matter what kind of material you are using, adding a fresh coat of paint on your walls is always an instant makeover that doesn’t cost much. Do a whole room over or even add a few statement walls to give your place a little punch of color. Before you go reaching for a new can of paint, be sure that it’s up to the right kind of eco-friendly standards. Many popular brands of paint are loaded with something called VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that leach out into the air—even years after the paint has dried—and are harmful to your respiratory health, not to mention are dangerous carcinogens. Look for a paint brand that says zero VOC on it like Benjamin Moore’s Natura, BioShield, or Green Planet Paints. These paints will be odorless and have just as good a paint quality as the average brand.
Plant an Organic Garden
One of the biggest and best ways to immediately update to an eco-friendly state is by planting an organic garden either in or out of doors. If you have the space to do so, planting a garden seriously upgrades your home’s curb appeal, making it more valuable and appealing to potential buyers and can also provide you with a wealth of homegrown produce that is free of GMOs and pesticides. Planting any kind of greenery will help to reduce greenhouse emissions by eliminating harmful carbon from the atmosphere, while trees can offer shade to reduce your energy bill during the warmer months! If you’re more of a potted-plant person, then you will be glad to know that an indoor garden can naturally filter the air in your home. How’s that for a transformation?
Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an editor and writer for Modernize.com with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.