As children, we’re taught that we should leave a place as clean as when we found it, if not nicer, and as adults that idea morphs into the desire to leave more for our children than we had for ourselves. While that concept is often applied to money, it’s also very easily applicable to the earth itself, for what greater gift can we leave to the generations who come after us than a healthy, thriving planet on which to grow and prosper? Based on climate science, the earth is changing because of human influence, and while that idea can be daunting, small green changes in our home maintenance projects do have an impact, both on the world and on your immediate finances
Insulation is Your Best Friend
The harder an HVAC system has to work to heat and cool a home, the more CO2 is potentially being pumped into the air, ultimately contributing to a vicious cycle that could easily be nipped in the bud with a little bit of insulation. Insulating your attic will save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime in heating bills during the winter, and insulating your basement will do the same for you during the summer. However, insulating your walls and ceilings will only help you so much if your windows and doors aren’t as properly insulated; but that task is not a difficult one. You don’t have to immediately replace old windows and doors in order to achieve a greener home, though if you are in the market for new windows, double paned windows are the greenest choice; however, older windows can be made green by using a tube of caulk and a tin of glass putty to seal up any gaps where air can be felt flowing through. As for doors, adding some inexpensive weather stripping or a fun draft blocker will quickly eliminate the issue; your wallet will thank you at the end of the season.
An extremely easy way to make your home green on the outside is to plant trees. It raises your curb appeal, can lower your heating and cooling bills by protecting your house from the elements throughout the year, and help the environment, because the world needs more trees. Evergreen trees on the North and east sides of your house will help keep your home cozy during the winter months, and deciduous trees on the south side will protect the house from the sun during the summer. If you want a more involved project, manufacturers have begun creating non-VOC exterior paints, or you can add stone facings to the exterior of your home, which will add an additional layer of insulation year-round. If you’re in the market for a new roof, look into metal, slate, or ceramic tiles instead of the traditional asphalt. They are kinder to the environment overall, can be recycled if damaged, and will keep your home cooler during the summer. And don’t turn your back on the idea of mounting solar panels on your home either. The price for solar energy has dropped significantly in the past few years, and they will help take your energy bills down year-round.
Going green doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive; in some ways going green is about being thrifty and finding new ways to use what you already have. There are short and long-term benefits to going green, and you and your children deserve to benefit from those changes. If you need help getting started going green, call us at Liberty Builders. We’re standing by to help you with all of your exciting future projects.