Your home is your sanctuary. Shouldn’t it be a sustainable one? Many traditional home products can have a detrimental impact on the environment. But there is a better way.
Due to strong demand from informed and passionate consumers—like you!—more and more green products are available to help you create the ultimate eco-friendly home.
Now you can upgrade your home to be healthier for you and the planet - and you may even save some money in the process.
Here’s a list of our top 10 upgrades you can make for the ultimate eco-friendly home.
1. Cork Flooring
When you’re comparing different flooring options, make sure you look at the ecological impact it has as well as what it will look like and how it will wear. One of the best options is cork flooring. Because cork is a renewable resource (the tree doesn’t have to be cut down to use it,) it is much more eco-friendly than wood or carpet.
2. Icynene Insulation
While nearly any type of insulation is a positive from an eco-friendly standpoint (as it will reduce heating and cooling usage), there is a new type on the market that can be especially beneficial--Icynene is made from castor oil. In addition to serving as insulation, it helps prevent mold and mildew as a bonus.
3. Eco-Friendly Paint
“Regular” paint is a highly toxic material that not only brings unneeded chemicals into your home, but it causes serious problems when the time comes to dispose of it.
Today, there are many eco-friendly paints on the market, giving you plenty of options for a stylish home - inside and out. Look for paints that meet all three better health requirements:
- Low VOCs
- Low biocides
- Natural pigments
Many paints labeled “low-VOC” simply meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s minimum requirements (250 grams per liter), however, there are paints available with even lower VOC levels (0-100 gm/l). To find the VOC level, check the paint can label, or call the company and ask for a material safety data sheet.
4. Bioethanol Fireplace
You don’t have to burn wood to enjoy the beauty and warmth of a fireplace. A much more environmentally-friendly option is a bioethanol model. These run on bioethanol, which is completely renewable and made from plant by-products. The result is a clean, smokeless fire that will look as good as it feels.
5. Green Roofs
When speaking of green roofs, we’re not just talking about solar. Check out roofing options that are literally green. Living roofs improve air quality while insulating your home. This is the ultimate in green living!
6. LED Light Bulbs
The latest light bulb choice on the market today is quite possibly the most energy-efficient. LED bulbs use less energy and are longer lasting than other bulb options. They can also be shaped in a decorative manner, making them an attractive and smart choice.
7. Solar Water Heater
Instead of using gas or electricity to heat the water you use for bathing, laundry and washing dishes, a solar water heater takes advantage of natural energy generated by the sun. As long as your home has plenty of sunlight, a solar water heater may be a good energy-efficient choice.
8. Smart Thermostat
In addition to making it much more convenient to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter, a smart thermostat is an energy efficient addition as well. Because you can make adjustments at the touch of a button--whether you’re home or not--you will save energy and money while you stay comfortable.
9. Eco-Friendly Mattresses
We spend many hours each day in bed and don’t want to sacrifice comfort. Luckily, today’s eco-friendly mattresses are comfortable, non-toxic, better for your health and the environment, too.
Made from organic, natural, and sustainable ingredients, eco-friendly mattresses last decades longer than traditional mattresses that break down and lose their shape, which means fewer mattresses in landfills.
10. Solar Phone Charger
Instead of relying on standard electricity to charge your phone or tablet, what if you could use the power of the sun? These chargers make it possible to charge your phone anywhere you have access to sunlight and feel good about your efforts to conserve too.
These are just a few of the ways you can upgrade to the ultimate eco-friendly home today. More and more companies are getting in on the act and finding new ways to make your life “greener” without giving up the luxuries you enjoy.
What are some of the ways you’re making your home more eco-friendly?