The idea of healthy green living ideas has entered the mainstream — it impacts our diets, our workplaces, and now, of course, our homes. If you’ve been wondering how to make the right choices for both your family and the environment, look no further.
The upfront cost associated with sustainable, green living is oftentimes high, and therefore discouraging for many. However, there have been numerous government initiatives put in place that offer tax incentives at both the state- and federal-level. If you consider yourself financially-savvy, then you can take advantage of these tax incentives when you file your taxes. If you’d rather have help to ensure accuracy, consult with a local tax professional.
We’ve searched and found five simple solutions that can help your home be a little bit more sustainable.
1. Choose Sustainable Systems
This is usually what people think of when they envision green living, but remember, sustainability doesn’t have to mean installing solar panels and living completely off the grid. On a smaller scale, selecting low-flow shower heads and energy-efficient appliances will also reduce your impact.
Those worried about the cost of implementing sustainable systems should also consider that the often offer long-term financial savings. A recent study from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that eco-friendly structures typically saved 15% in utility costs over their traditionally built counterparts.
2. Think Minimal
If one thing rings true about green living, it’s that less is definitely more. Gone are the days of stuffing a home to the brim with tchotchkes and clutter. Instead, today’s trendsetters are focusing on a much more minimalist aesthetic.
As for how to pull off a minimalist look, it’s all about putting function at the forefront. As you go through the rooms in your home, evaluate every item based on what purpose it serves in the space. Allow a few decor items to really bring forth your personal style, but don’t hesitate to clear away anything that just takes up space.
3. Remember to Recycle
Reusing existing products is also a key component of green living. Before you decide to give away any surplus items in your home, we recommend trying to repurpose them in a new way.
For some, this means shifting wall hangings from one room to another. For others, it means undertaking a DIY project and turning an old dresser into a desk. But, whatever your flavor may be, don’t be afraid to take a step back and re-envision your things in a whole new way.
4. Embrace Natural Materials
When it does come time to make a new purchase for your home’s interior design, you’ll want to choose natural materials whenever possible. This means, selecting design elements that come from renewable resources like wooden furniture, marble countertops or terra cotta floors.
Natural materials are a smart pick for a variety of reasons. Not only are they currently popular because of their green credentials, but they rarely fall out of style. If bought from the right vendor — such as a small business owner or even second-hand shop — it is often possible to get a better quality item at a lower price than the mass-produced version.
5. Let the Outside In
Lastly, it would be impossible to talk about being green without acknowledging that we should try to incorporate nature into our living spaces whenever we can. Ideally, we should strive to find ways to include natural elements indoors, as well as developing outdoor spaces. Consider foregoing window treatments in order to allow in plenty of natural light or investing in sizable sliding glass doors to allow the spaces to flow seamlessly. Smaller details like adding plants or fixing up a patio are also great solutions.