A Homeowner’s Guide to Going Green

Welcome to our very first guest post! I’m excited to announce the start of our guest post series. Here we will post content written by various authors with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives on sustainability. If you or anyone you know would like to submit a guest post, you can do so here.

Our first guest post is brought to you by Candace Sigmon, who has some quick tips on going green for homeowners. Enjoy!

A Homeowners Guide to Going Green by Candace Sigmon

As people become increasingly aware of the damaging effects of climate change, they are eager to take measures to counteract it. You can make a difference starting at home. By creating a more environmentally friendly house, you can support the earth and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are some tips for getting it done.

Know What To Look For In An Eco-Friendly Home

If you’re in the market for a brand-new house, keep an eye out for environmentally friendly characteristics. An eco-friendly house will minimize resource consumption—for example, with the installation of solar panels or rain barrels.

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A Rain Barrel Filled With Rain In Dry Area

Environmentally friendly building materials are another thing to look out for. Examples include bamboo, precast concrete slabs, reclaimed wood, recycled plastic, and cork. These types of materials aren’t just better for the earth. They can also be safer for human inhabitants in your home.

Don’t just consider the house’s structure itself. Also, look at the surrounding area. An eco-friendly home should have environmentally friendly landscaping. This might mean implementing a smart irrigation system, using ground cover plants to reduce erosion, and planting shrubs and trees that are appropriate for the geographic climate.

Something else to consider is the walk score of your new neighborhood. If the walk score is high, that means you can walk to most stores for errands and meals. Being able to walk more places is good for your body and the environment, since you won’t have to rely on your car for many daily tasks.

Embrace Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Improve your home’s energy efficiency by fixing drafty windows. You can find home window repair services online. But you can also use your windows to cut down on your electric bill. Instead of relying on artificial lights, open window coverings and utilize the sun’s natural light during the day.

Another step you can take to improve energy efficiency is to install smart appliances. Energy Star appliances can save as much as 50% of your household energy usage. This is great news for the environment—and your bank account. By cutting power usage, you can reduce your utility bills.

You can further ramp up your energy savings by switching to LED lightbulbs. LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. Another pro trick? Adding more insulation to your home. Insulation helps keep hot air inside in winter and cold air inside in summer, reducing HVAC usage.

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Spray Foam Insulation

Implement Eco-Friendly Processes

An eco-friendly home isn’t just about the structure itself. It’s also about the processes you implement within the home. For example, implement a recycling system so you can cut down on needless waste. 

Composting is another great idea. This allows you to dispose of organic food waste without having to trash it. You can also use compost to fertilize your garden if you have one, creating nutrient-rich soil that makes it easier for plants to thrive. This step-by-step guide to composting explains how it’s done.

Another thing you can do to reduce waste in your household is to cut down on plastic usage and plastic waste. For example, instead of getting plastic bags at the grocery store, invest in some canvas tote bags you can reuse repeatedly. Recycle Coach offers additional tips for cutting down on plastic waste in your home.

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Plastic Waste

Finally, one of the easiest ways you can make your household more energy efficient is to simply turn off the lights. When you aren’t in a room, there’s no need to keep it brightly lit, wasting power—and money—in the process. Make it a household policy to turn off the lights whenever you leave a room.

Implementing a more eco-friendly approach at home has plenty of advantages. You’ll be supporting a more sustainable future while also saving money. The above guide provides some pointers to get you started. 

Our Take

Candace did a great job laying out the basics of creating and operating a sustainable home. From my experience as a sustainability professional, I can say with certainty that energy is one of the most important factors of a sustainable home.

Renewable energy sources such as solar power, are a great way to reduce costs and your impact on the climate. By the way, if you are interested in going solar, check out Energy Sage. You’ll be able to get quotes from solar providers in your area, all without giving your contact information to solar companies who will annoy you with unwanted calls! If you go solar with them, or even get a quote, I may earn a small comission, which helps to support this site.

As Candace mentioned, energy efficiency is also an important factor. In fact, energy efficiency and reduction is my top recommendation. In my time as an energy auditor, I learned the best ways to do this are via energy efficient heating, cooling, water heating, windows/insulation, and appliances.  

Beyond energy use and reduction, the best way to create a sustainable home is to focus on water use inside and outside, waste reduction and management, and the products you purchase. If you’re looking for sustainable products for your home, check out some of our reviews here

I like to think of waste and products as the two different ends of the same path. Items enter your home as a new product and often leave as waste. These two categories are not just related, but almost the exact same thing. This is why making better purchasing choices has an impact on waste

Thank you, Candace, for your time and effort in this guest post. We hope you’ll write for us again soon!

About Our Guest Writer: Candace Sigmon

“You could say Candace Sigmon was born to DIY. She has always loved to tinker, fix, and build, and she has been working on home projects with her dad pretty much ever since she could hold a hammer. She created AtHomeHelper.com because she thought it might be fun to share some of what she has learned along the way as well as resources that she finds especially useful.”

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