• Joyce Wilson

Environmentally Friendly Changes That Can Boost Your Home’s Value

BY JOYCE WILSON


Joyce is a retired teacher and enjoys sharing lesson plans, resources, and teaching tips on Teacher Spark.



More and more people are starting to recognize the damaging impacts of climate change and looking for meaningful ways to make a difference in their businesses, their communities, and even in their homes. The Climate Change Review can help you stay apprised of the most pressing issues around sustainability efforts and methods to help mitigate the damage of climate challenges.

Conduct an Energy Audit

Even if you think your home is energy efficient, there may be hidden issues you’re unaware of. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an energy audit - either a self-conducted or professional one - can help you identify ways in which you can make improvements. For example, sealing doors and windows or installing additional insulation.

Landscaping Improvements

A big green lush yard is going out of style in favor of drought-tolerant plants and features. Xeriscape landscaping uses minimal water resources and you may be surprised at the number of beautiful landscaping features you can incorporate. If you’re not ready to completely tear out your grass, check your sprinkler systems regularly. Leaks and line breaks can be big water wasters.

Appliances

Outfitting your home with Energy Star appliances - including everything from refrigerators and washing machines to air conditioning units - can improve energy efficiency and reduce your power bills. You can also install low-flow showerheads and toilets as a way to conserve water.

Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat that you control from your smartphone can make a huge difference in energy consumption and your electric bill. Not only can you monitor and alter temperature remotely, you can program the thermostat to meet your family’s specific needs.

Solar Panels

Solar panels represent a significant investment, but generating your own energy is both a sustainable move and drastically reduces your electric payments. It may take a while to recoup the investment, but the feature is sure to increase your home’s value - an important thing to remember when making sustainable upgrades of any kind.

Install Double-Glazed Windows

Double-glazed windows provide better insulation for your home. While previously unpopular because of the perception of being unattractive, new products are much more appealing. You may be able to glaze existing windows rather than replace them all.

Recycle

It goes without saying that having a recycling program in your home is key to reducing plastic, glass, paper, and metal waste. Did you know you can also recycle appliances, batteries, and electronics? You can also reuse and repurpose products rather than throwing away and buying new ones.

Shop Smart

According to Market Watch, you should ditch plastic and paper bags and use reusable cloth bags when shopping. Patronize manufacturers that make an effort to reduce packaging, and where possible, bring your own containers for things like bulk item purchases.

Reduce Auto Use

Driving a vehicle with only one occupant contributes to air pollution. Carpool, walk, bike, or take public transit whenever possible. This reduces costs and emissions associated with personal vehicles. Buying an electric or hybrid vehicle is another way to reduce reliance on gasoline and reduce your carbon footprint.

Maintain Your Home

Using eco-friendly light bulbs can save you money and reduce energy use. Regular home maintenance can also help. Changing your filters and servicing your HVAC systems will make your systems last longer and be more environmentally sound.

Use Natural Products

Natural cleaning products can reduce the levels of air pollution in your home while also protecting your pipes. Think of white vinegar and lemon juice over heavily scented or bleach-based cleaners. Add an air purifier and you can reduce even more air-borne pollutants and eliminate pet dander at the same time.

Compost

If you’re a gardener - another sustainable living choice - composting leftover food items in a compost bin can give you a rich soil additive. Not only will you be able to support new garden growth, you’ll be part of a food life cycle.

Become a Thrifter

You might be surprised at the amazing finds you can score at your local thrift store. From gently used designer clothing to eclectic decor, furniture, and housewares, you can get great deals at low prices. If you support a thrift store that’s a non-profit, you’ll also be providing community service.

Making impactful steps toward mitigating the impact of climate change starts with individuals and families. Teach your kids about energy conservation measures and talk about ways you can collectively work together. When it comes to eco-friendly upgrades, keep track of everything you do, and the costs associated with each project. This can help you demonstrate the value you’ve added to your property when it’s time to sell.



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