Green is the new black in home design and trends, but this isn’t the latest color that homeowners should paint their walls. This green relates to an eco-friendly lifestyle and decreasing the individual’s carbon footprint.
The home’s energy use, its features and even the habits of homeowners can lead to increased costs and a negative impact on the environment. However, embracing environmentally-friendly trends can help homeowners live greener and save money, too. These are the eco-friendly trends to follow:
- Energy-efficient appliances
- A green roof
- Solar panels
- Natural lighting
- Minimalist designs
- Recycling centers at home
- Backyard vegetable garden
- Countertop composter
- Scraping plastic
- Driving electric
Choosing Energy-Efficient Appliances
Replacing an appliance probably isn’t a priority for homeowners until a new appliance becomes a necessity or when they’re ready to sell their home. However, when it’s time to buy a new model for a worn-out appliance, homeowners should upgrade to energy-efficient appliances.
These models use less energy and can help homeowners save money each month. One of the most impactful energy-efficient appliances for savings might be an energy-efficient HVAC system. Heating and cooling dominates the home’s energy use; according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it could account for 51 percent of the energy use of the home.
Grow a Green Roof
There are many ways that homeowners could make their roof ‘cooler.’ Different materials and special coatings could let the roof deflect heat from the home, taking some of the pressure off the HVAC.
However, homeowners who want to live the greenest life possible might transform their roof into a green space. A green roof uses plants or vegetation to cool off the roof. While this cool option isn’t the ideal choice for all homeowners, the plants add a unique look to the home while also cooling off the roof.
Solar Panels Can Help Homeowners Decrease Dependence on the Grid
One of the best ways to zap electricity costs is for homeowners to decrease their dependence on the grid. Installing solar panels lets homeowners use the power of the sun instead of standard electricity. Not only does this mean that homeowners could possibly zero out their electricity costs, but they also can decrease their carbon footprint in the process.
The price of solar panels isn’t in the budget for all homeowners, though. While these panels could add to the marketability of a home for homeowners thinking about selling, the investment cost is expensive. The price for panels (including installation) ranges from around $15,000 to $25,000.
Shine a Light on Natural Lighting
Lighting might not be a huge expense for all homeowners, but those bulbs and fixtures do contribute to energy use and utility costs. Homeowners might opt to install a skylight to add in more natural light.
In addition, homeowners also could choose the simplest solution: open the blinds and curtains. Natural light can save energy and help out the monthly utility budget, too. However, natural light might not be the best choice on hot summer days; the sun will add to the heat of the room and cause the HVAC to work harder.
Choose Minimalist Designs and Small Spaces
Downsizing is on-trend. While past trends used to focus on more ‘stuff,’ there are many homeowners that have used the pandemic as a time to declutter their life. Even before the pandemic, though, homeowners were beginning to move towards ‘less as more.’
Small and tiny homes have become popular. While small spaces won’t fit all families, some home buyers might choose these homes for their efficiency. Small spaces use less energy. In addition, they also hold less stuff. These small or tiny homes could influence homeowners to live with less.
Create a Recycling Center at Home
‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is an old and familiar mantra. Recycling is never out of style; it’s a fad that will always be on-trend. Homeowners could decide to install recycling centers in their home. The garage might be the ideal location for these eco-friendly centers.
To create an at-home recycling center, homeowners just need to invest in different containers to hold each recyclable material. Label each container (or decorate it), and let the recycling begin. Homeowners might need to research their recycling drop-off locations, as not all municipalities offer pick-up for recycling.
Grow a Backyard Vegetable Garden
While backyards vary in size, a garden can be grown in almost any sized space. In addition, even apartment owners or dwellers could start a garden on a deck, porch or windowsill.
Cultivating a garden doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. The Farmer’s Almanac includes a list of easy-to-grow vegetables for backyard gardens. The top five recommendations include lettuce, green beans, peas, radishes and carrots.
Homeowners can enjoy the benefit of harvesting their own foods and helping the environment, too. Every plant can help the climate!
Install a Countertop Composter
Some homeowners can’t or don’t wish to start a compost pile in their backyard. However, homeowners can embrace composting without the mess with a countertop composter. These portable appliances can be purchased online (or maybe at home stores, too).
Countertop composters allow homeowners to transform food waste into eco-friendly and nutrient-rich material that can be used to nourish garden soil.
Choosing Glass or Silicone and Scrapping Plastic
Some plastic can be recycled. However, plastic isn’t really degradable; for many consumers, this material poses an environmental issue. Instead of choosing plastic bottles or throwaway plastic bags, consumers and homeowners might opt to embrace reusable glass or silicone.
Silicone sandwich bags can be washed and reused. Homeowners also could choose metal straws and reusable water bottles, too. Some companies even offer glass bottles for household cleaners and other eco-friendly options for the home.
Upcycling Instead of Discarding
When a couch or another piece of furniture has seen the end of its life, should it be tossed to the curb? In the past, homeowners might have donated old items or even just thrown them out as garbage.
However, the upcycling trend focuses on giving items a new life and a new look. Homeowners can transform the look of their room by recycling and upcycling different items into new pieces for the wall. Tables might be transformed into chairs. An old couch might be reupholstered or transformed in another way.
Homeowners are embracing DIY and transforming discarded and old items into new treasures.
Driving Electric and Passing by the Pump
Fossil fuels contribute to air pollution and can wreak havoc on the environment. REALTORS® might be noticing more homes with upgraded electric outlets that are designed for at-home charging stations for electric cars.
Many car buyers are saying goodbye to the old-school fuel-injected engine. As gas prices can be volatile, homeowners might be embracing at-home charging stations to accommodate their eco-friendly cars. Since electric prices (for homes) are more affordable than gas, charging a car at home might be the future.
In fact, REALTORS might include upgraded electric capacity as a feature to mention in listings. As more consumers choose electric cars and more manufacturers focus on electric, the upgraded voltage could be seen as an appealing and valuable feature for eco-savvy home buyers.
As more consumers begin to embrace greener habits and lifestyles, environmentally friendly features in homes could become a selling point. Energy-efficient appliances and solar panels could be viewed as valuable and money-saving features, too. Some homeowners might go green on their roof with the installation of plants and vegetation to cool off the roof and the home.
While some eco-friendly trends could be an investment, others are more of a lifestyle change; homeowners can install an at-home recycling center, use a countertop composter or even just cultivate a backyard garden to make an impact on the environment and live greener.