As organic eateries and clean energy vehicles continue to grow in popularity, it’s safe to say that environmentalism has officially gone mainstream. But, let’s face it—going green requires a good amount of forethought and while living in a big city like San Diego can make you feel small, never underestimate the impact you can make on helping to conserve energy and protect the environment. One of the easiest places to start is within your home.
Building an eco-friendly home with sustainability in mind is easier than you might think and can potentially generate savings through reduced energy usage and improved insulation. And contrary to popular belief, doing your part doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some of the easiest, and most effective, ways to become a better steward of nature and make your home more eco-friendly.
Easy First Steps:
The eco-friendly paint market has evolved over the years. Nowadays, non-toxic paints perform like premium paints offering great coverage, vibrant colors and longevity, but without emitting chemicals, solvents or other harmful materials into your home’s atmosphere.
Programmable thermostats are effective tools to defend your bank account against unnecessary utility charges. Plus, you can easily monitor the temperature, which comes in handy when you're away for the day enjoying the San Diego sunshine.
Energy efficient light bulbs, such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs), typically use about 25-80 percent less energy than traditional incandescents, saving you money in the long run. They even light up faster than regular bulbs!
Put plants inside
Adorning your interior spaces with household plants doesn’t just enhance the look of your home. The benefits extend far beyond aesthetics. The main benefits of interior plants include:
- Reducing carbon dioxide levels
- Increasing moisture levels
- Decreasing levels of pollutants like benzene and nitrogen dioxide
- Lowering airborne dust levels
- Keeping air temperatures low
Consider Swapping Out:
Appliances to low energy options
Older appliances often use more water and energy, raising your utility bills, than newer eco-friendly models. It’s best to recycle old appliances and seek out Energy Star-Certified replacements. The “Energy Star” label was created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other contaminants caused by the inefficient use of energy.
Toilet with low flow or dual flush
Flushing toilets accounts for 30 percent of total indoor water use. Thus, toilets with low flow or dual flush options offer an easy and immediate way to save water.
Showerheads to low flow
With showering accounting for nearly 17 percent of residential indoor water use, installing low flow showerheads can drastically reduce consumption by roughly 50 percent.
Eco-Friendly Home Construction:
In a well-insulated home, less warm air escapes from the house during the colder months and less cool air escapes during the warmer months, reducing the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling. You can avoid overspending by caulking or weather stripping around the perimeter of the windows as energy tends to seep through these areas. These materials can help significantly reduce energy consumption and improve insulation. Plus, there are even tax credits available for replacing old windows and building energy-efficient windows instead.
Motion sensor lights
One of the most eco-friendly ways to cut your electric bill involves securing motion activated lights for your home. In this case, the lights turn off when they’re not needed.
Solar panels are an excellent way to offset energy costs. They also offer long-term savings, because it’s practically free to harness the power of the sun.
Solar powered outdoor lights
One of the most obvious benefits of solar powered outdoor lights is that they charge all day and work at night. Ultimately, not using energy when they're not needed.
Building an eco-friendly home can be as simple as adding a skylight. Not only do skylights maximize natural lighting, but they also provide your home with passive solar heating during the winter, reducing heating costs.
Sustainable flooring is a material that doesn’t drain natural resources when harvested. Bamboo and cork are popular options since they’re both able to regenerate themselves and can be maintained indefinitely, providing the ideal foundation for an eco-friendly home.
Have you thought about how your roof has an environmental impact and affects your utility bills? Depending on costs, there are a growing number of sustainable roofing options. Cool roofs represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the roofing industry, in which the roof reflects sunlight and releases heat—an ideal choice for a San Diego home.
Your own garden
You can significantly reduce your carbon footprint by building your own garden and growing your fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Eco-Friendly Homes in North County San Diego:
As you can see, true sustainability is made up of many components, from building materials to the use of renewable energy sources. It requires you to make environmentally-conscious decisions about the way you live with the hopes of reducing your carbon footprint. And fortunately, the more steps you take in making your North County San Diego home more eco-friendly, the more attractive it will be to potential buyers. For more selling tips or if you're interested in finding an eco-friendly home here in San Diego, contact us today!