Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly
We all want to do our best to lessen our carbon footprint, but we can’t all build new, energy efficient townhomes. If you’d like to make your home more eco-friendly without spending a lot of money here are some great tips for an energy efficient home.
Replace Incandescent Lightbulbs
You can save up to 65% more energy by replacing your old incandescent lightbulbs with LED lightbulbs. Just swapping out one can save up to 400 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.
Open and Close the Blinds
Open the blinds or drapes during the day to let in the sunlight, close them at night to retain the warmth generated by the sun or furnace in the winter and to retain the cool air of the A/C at night during the summer months.
Fix the Leaks
Whether you have a leaky faucet or a drafty window, they’re both losing you energy and money. Repair the leaks and you’ll save on utility costs each month.
Most cities have made it so easy to recycle – by picking up recycled waste weekly and with no need to sort anymore - there is no excuse not to. You can save on your waste disposal costs by recycling items that are recyclable.
Reusing items or upcycling them by making use of them for a new purpose can save you as well. Turn a worn out, but beloved t-shirt into a lovely shopping bag that fits easily into your purse, or turn those empty wine bottles into works of art, decorate lighting or really just about anything.
Use the Dishwasher
A dishwasher not only saves time, but if run full it will save energy which saves you money. Today’s machines don’t require rinsing so you can save even more time and water. Same goes for the washing machine. Both machines use less energy and water than washing the items by hand so plan accordingly. Run the dishwasher at night when less energy is used during high energy times. Wash clothing on a specific day of the week so that you have several full loads to do.
Houseplants improve the air in your home and add much needed moisture in winter months. If you have pets be sure to plant only non toxic plants in your home.
Bamboo is the wonder textile. It grows fast so is incredibly sustainable, it’s durable and it looks fantastic. Bamboo flooring has been trending for a few years now and doesn’t look to be going anywhere.
Close the Door
Your father was right, you were not born in a barn, close the door. Whether summer or winter, when you hold the door open it will let in un conditioned air which will either raise the temperature the A/C has worked so hard to lower, or it will lower the temperature the furnace has worked so hard to raise. If you have pets consider installing a pet door which will allow them to come and go as they please but also reduce the amount of surface area that is open.
Low Flow Toilets
Installing a low flow toilet can save upwards or 30% of your home’s indoor water usage. If you live in an older home you could be using up to 7 gallons per flush. Today’s new toilets only use 1.6 gallons of water per flush. That’s a huge savings for a very simple fix.
Cloth Instead of Paper
Use cloth napkins and towels in place of their paper counterparts.
Energy Star when you Upgrade
As older appliances wear out or break down consider replacing them with Energy Star approved appliances. They may cost a bit more up front, but they will save you much in the long run.
2020 Design Trends We Love
Celebrating a new decade often ushers in new trends in home design. The Twenties will be no different. Design trends point to bold colors and big designs with an emphasis on the environment and being as eco friendly as possible. From choosing colors more in tune with nature to recycling materials and up cycling old furnishings, the design trends of 2020 looks to be bold, bright and eco minded.
2020 Design Trends We Love
You can thank the tiny house craze for multi-use spaces. Small or large homes benefit from multi-use space. A spare bedroom also serves as a home office, a craft room can be incorporated into the laundry room or maintenance room.
The Murphy bed is making a comeback due to this trend. Your home office can also be a bedroom with the flip of a switch (or the tug of a cord).
The 20s will look a little like the 70s with heavy use of live plants. Statement plants such as large ferns or elephant ear plants have made their way back into our living rooms. Not only do they filter the air in our homes, but they add a lovely pop of color.
More and more you can find home furnishings that have been made of recycled materials such as patio furniture made from recycled milk cartons to upcycled furnishings crafted from older furniture but redrafted with a modern twist. Etsy is blowing up with these kinds of furnishings and decor.
You'll find bright, bold colors in most of the new homes being designed these days. And not just a pop of color but a whole wall of lemon yellow or lime green. Often used on textured surfaces. These can be stunning, certainly eye catching.
The trend might be for smaller homes, but some are actually getting bigger and in those larger homes you'll often find sport courts. These are great in climates where going outside in harsh weather is dangerous, or for sporty families that need to practice and don't want to spend free time driving. Sport courts are also a great draw for the neighbors so be sure you like to entertain before adding one to your home.
Indoors go Outdoors
More and more we're seeing homes that have traditional indoor spaces - living areas, kitchens, dining rooms - taken outdoors. These are not simply porches or patios - these are living spaces meant exclusively for the outdoors and to be enjoyed in all seasons.