Earth Day: Ten Ways to a Green Home
Earth Day: Ten Ways to a Green Home
At GROWTH, we’re all about making this planet a better place to live—specifically by creating opportunities for more people to own a home and to enjoy the American Dream. Today, almost every city in our nation is facing an affordable homeownership crisis. Housing supply is at an all-time low. Home prices are rising dramatically. And many folks are left out when it comes to homeownership and the opportunity to build wealth.
Today, we also face a climate crisis. Natural resources are depleting rapidly. Sea levels are rising. Heatwaves are more intense. Wildfires rage. We are facing a scarcity of basic needs like water, electricity, food, and yes, shelter. We all play a role in slowing climate change. So how do we link homeownership with saving the planet? We’re so glad you asked. In honor of Earth Day, we’ve created a list of ten ways to a greener home. Not only will these tips help Mother Earth, they’re also affordable ways to lower your ownership costs.
Our Top Ten
- Bring the Outdoors In: This is literally one of ten ways a green home. Not only are plants a way
to “spruce” up your pad, but they also reduce greenhouse emissions, cool your home in the summer, and provide much-needed oxygen.
- Let There Be Light: Try switching from regular bulbs to LED lightbulbs. Regular bulbs emit heat and consume more energy. LED bulbs last longer and are more efficient, saving you money on replacement bulbs and your electric bill.
- Go Natural: During the day, enjoy natural light and avoid using artificial light until necessary. This reduces the amount of heat emitted and your energy consumption. That all adds up to savings.
- Less H2O: You can save up to ten gallons of water per day just by shutting off the tap while brushing your teeth. The same principle applies to washing dishes and even your hands.
- Take the Pain Out of Paint: Consider using eco-friendly paint with low or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Regular paint is non-recyclable and non-biodegradable. Paints with no VOCs are non-toxic and do not release harmful emissions during manufacturing and use.
- Recycle & Repurpose: If your community offers curb recycling pick up, take advantage! Be sure to rinse your waste. If recycling services are not available, rinse and separate your waste and deliver it to a recycling center. No recycling? Try reusing or repurposing an item. Plastic food containers make great Tupperware. Egg cartons make paint palettes. Glass jars and bottles become farmhouse apothecary jars. Be creative!
- Black Gold: Compost food scraps for rich, organic fertilizer. Many cities offer a tax credit or a rebate to owners that compost. You’ll enjoy the monetary perk and beautiful blooms.
- Raining Cats and Dogs: Take advantage of what Mother Nature provides by collecting rainwater. You can use a rain barrel to collect water for gardening, washing your car, or even a summer slip-and-slide. Check with your city to see if they offer a rebate or credit.
- Curtain Call: Solar heat can raise the temperature inside your home on hot summer days. Close the drapes to reduce heat gain and give your AC a break.
Re-Use: Try to avoid single-use products like plastic disposable water bottles and to-go cups. Instead, purchase an inexpensive, reusable water bottle and thermos. This reduces your out-of-pocket spend on single-use items and reduces waste in our environment.
On Earth Day—or any day and every day—these ten ways to a greener home will help protect the environment and your wallet. Living green and being eco-conscious is about being a good steward of what we’re given and passing those values on to the next generation, much like homeownership allows us to build wealth and legacy for the next generation. The added benefit is that living a greener life is also good economics for our home, our budget, and our earth. For more information on Earth Day, check out this NYT article.