Celebrating Earth Day on April 22 can start at home with these fun and easy tips. There are plenty of affordable, eco-friendly home upgrades that not only reduce your carbon footprint but could help save money in the long run. And since homes are what Offerpad is all about, our amazing Renovations team has some great ideas to get you started.
Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs (like LED bulbs)
Already using LED bulbs? Kudos for being ahead of the game. Making the switch to energy-efficient LED bulbs is
Install a smart thermostat
Here’s a smart idea. While it may cost a couple of hundred dollars upfront, installing a smart thermostat could save quite a bit of money in the long run. A smart thermostat can be automatically set based on your schedule. This way energy used to heat or cool your home can be reduced when no one is there. Talk about saving both time and money. Another great thing about smart thermostats is that they can typically be controlled using an app on your phone. Now that’s convenience!
Upgrade to low-flow showerheads and faucets
When was the last time your showerheads were replaced? Experts say they should typically be replaced every six to eight months. So what better time than Earth Day to make this affordable, eco-friendly home upgrade? With low-flow showerheads and faucets, you can significantly reduce the amount of water used without sacrificing water pressure. The best part is, they’re generally pretty easy to install, so do-it-yourselfers can dive right in on this one. (The rest of us might want to call in an expert, just in case.)
Seal air leaks
Speaking of DIY projects, sealing air leaks is a simple and affordable task that can have a big impact on energy consumption and utility bills in the long run. Start with a simple inspection. Common areas where air can easily escape include around doors, windows and electrical outlets. Use a flashlight to detect drafts and apply weatherstripping or caulk to seal any leaks. Make sure to use high-quality caulk that’s appropriate for the material being sealed.
Update with energy-efficient appliances
You’re probably thinking, “How is buying new appliances affordable?” While it may require a larger investment upfront, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances has the potential to lower energy bills over time. A good rule of thumb is to look for Energy Star appliances.2 Appliances with an Energy Star label means they’ve been independently certified to meet or exceed energy efficient criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy. Not ready to take the plunge now? Energy-efficient models are a good investment no matter what time of year.
Use sustainable materials when possible
Thinking of making some major home upgrades? Consider using sustainable materials such as bamboo flooring, low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint, reclaimed wood, or recycled glass countertops. These materials are not only durable, but they’re also eco-friendly and can add a unique look to your home.
Plant a garden
Here’s a fun Earth Day idea the whole family can dig into: plant a garden. Whether it’s a garden variety flower garden or a home-grown vegetable garden, the benefits of gardening are endless — even if you don’t have a green thumb. Planting a garden can not only add beauty to any home, but gardening also promotes physical activity and has been found to be a great stress reliever 3.
A garden can also help reduce a home’s carbon footprint. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which can help lessen the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment. Growing your own fruits and vegetables not only promotes healthier eating habits (there’s nothing like cooking with food you grew yourself), but it may also mean fewer car trips to the grocery store and less plastic for packaging materials.
Making some eco-friendly home upgrades doesn’t have to break the bank, so let’s make Earth Day a success with small changes that can have a big impact. Every step towards sustainability counts. The positive impact on the environment is priceless 😊.
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