Solar roof panels - photo by Elliott Brown

We are all looking for ways to be kinder to the environment in our everyday lives. Whether this means sorting our garbage for recycling, using our cars less or fitting energy saving lightbulbs in our homes, we all know it’s important to do our bit to be green. This is an increasing concern for anyone looking to remodel their home while being sensitive to the environment. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Solar Energy

Installing solar panels on your home is one of the smartest and cheapest ways to help the environment. For a small initial cost, the savings you make on electricity bills mean you can also make your money back in around six months. This of course does depend on where you live: Houston gets more hours of sunshine than Seattle, so you will make your savings sooner. There are also some tax credits available to those that wish to carry out this type of work, so you can help the planet and save cash at the same time!

Gardening

You can even save water simply by recycling it. Water butts that store rain water and excess bath water are great because you can then use it to water your lawn and flowerbeds. And of course by planting more trees, you are helping to clean the Earth’s atmosphere!


Materials

If you’re planning on building an addition, think about what materials will have the least impact on the environment; for example, concrete uses a huge amount of water and energy to produce and any waste product is not easy to dispose of. If you choose to use wood, make sure it is from an approved eco-friendly supplier that ensures that any trees cut down are replaced by new ones.

A New Home

If you’re buying an older home, especially one in a state of disrepair that you want as a fixer-upper project, you will need to carry out extensive work to make it more eco-friendly. New windows should be double or triple glazed, extra insulation may need to be installed in the attic and walls, and a whole new roof may be essential to making a period property greener.

Walkability

One of the simplest things you can do when you move is to choose a home within easy distance of a few amenities such as shops, post offices, parks, cafes and restaurants. That way, the little errands and quick leisure activities you do from day to day will mean that you won’t have to use your car – and you can get some exercise on the way.