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Trend Responsibly: How to Go Green in StyleSeptember 8th, 2016 by
The sustainability movement is gaining traction with each passing year. As it becomes easier to go “green,” you may feel the need to follow suit. Luckily, as time passes, green products are becoming not only accessible but also fashionable, which means that you don’t have to sacrifice your sense of style to save the earth. Below are some tips on how to keep your home on trend with an eye toward sustainability.
Inside Your Home
If you’re considering a major remodel, you have ample opportunity to make investments that will help save the earth while saving you money. Flooring and insulation are good jumping-off points for your home’s sustainable upgrades. Consider installing recycled floors or adding concrete to your design. Recycled wood floors offer a responsible but equally beautiful product, while concrete can help lower your energy bills by taking on the temperature of the surrounding air.
Adding energy-efficient appliances, like dishwashers and refrigerators, can reduce your carbon footprint and cut energy costs. An energy-efficient refrigerator, for example, uses less than half of the energy of a refrigerator manufactured more than 12 years ago. You can also bring recycled materials into your kitchen decor. Materials such as reclaimed glass countertops are increasingly popular options for a kitchen upgrade. Though they can be a little pricier than other countertops, they’re also incredibly durable and come in a wide variety of shades and styles.
You don’t have to do a home overhaul to save money. At the very least, you can make eco-friendly modifications to your lifestyle. Even small additions like changing the lightbulbs in your light fixtures to LEDs or compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) can be beneficial. If you don’t want to change out your windows for the hyper-efficient, double-paned option, try adding window film to dampen sunlight and lower A/C costs.
Outside the Home
Your green space should embrace the green movement, right? There are many different changes you can make to transform your yard into a more sustainable piece of your home. If you love keeping your lawn green but want to reduce water waste, consider installing a rain barrel. Don’t let the word “barrel” scare you—there are many attractive, discreet models that will fit your style and help reduce your water bill. Compost bins are also a useful addition to your lawn and garden equipment. While there are some aesthetically pleasing, premade bins available, you could also consider a DIY option, which would perform the same function and allow you to add your own flair.
As for your home’s exterior, there are many environmentally friendly building materials that are responsibly sourced and offer equally effective protection for your home. Consider acquiring your siding or roofing from companies like CertainTeed, which provides building materials for LEED-certified buildings and homes. Learn more about CertainTeed.
If you’re looking for less dramatic changes, you can also use natural additions to reduce energy consumption and minimize toxic chemical use. Try out companion planting of flowers and vegetables to ward off pests naturally and lessen your need for harmful pesticides. You can also take measures to attract beneficial insects or use bird feeders to attract birds to your yard—both are natural predators that can protect your plants without chemical help. Finally, try planting trees for shade to help decrease energy costs naturally.
You don’t have to give up your taste to be energy efficient. The suggestions here are just a few of the many ways you can go green. If you get on a roll, you can check out even more painless ways to go green.