MAINTAINING, REPLACING AND UPGRADING YOUR WAY TO A BETTER HOME
Sometimes the idea of making all of the “right” choices can feel overwhelming. The good news? Making better choices doesn’t have to be exhausting – especially when it comes to your home. You can take what I like to call an “Incremental Green” approach. These are choices you can make one at a time that will create a healthier, safer, and more comfortable home.
The concept of incremental green is that as you’re caring for, maintaining, and upgrading your home, you’re thinking about the next step you need to take to uplevel whatever you’re doing and make your home greener. In doing that, you will be providing an enhanced experience for everyone living in the home, by making it healthier, safer, or more comfortable.
So, for example, if it’s time to paint your house, instead of going straight for the paint you’d usually buy, first check to see that it’s a no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paint. Or if you’re replacing a thermostat, instead of buying the cheapest one that you can find, invest in either an Ecobee or a Nest. Those are learning thermostats so they will cost you more money initially but they are sure to save you money (and frustration) in the long run, over the next ten years.
Greening your home incrementally is quite similar to doing a product swap as you maintain or upgrade your home.
The way we look at things
The everyday kind of things that we all do in our homes include how we take care of our homes, and the cleaning products we prefer to use. At Green Home Coach, we refer to this as the living part, and break everything down into five different categories, for healthier and better (a.k.a. green) things in homes.
Doing product swaps and incrementally “greening” your home in five different categories
There are many parts to a home, and lots of things inside every house, so breaking everything down into five different categories is a helpful way to avoid feeling overwhelmed when you’re thinking about all you need to do, to green your home.
The five different categories are:
- The place where your home sits on the land.
- All the materials and the different products that are brought into the house to make it a home.
Everything that happens outside of your home fits category 1: “Place”, like windows and natural light, trees for shade, rain barrels, and garden plants and flowers.
Category 2: “Materials” could be as simple as using reused, recycled, bio-based or wood-based materials in your home, and sourcing your materials locally.
For category 3: Energy, make sure that any new appliance you buy has Energy Star, repair whatever you can, upgrade your lighting to LEDs, and buy the kind of plugs that you can turn on and off remotely.
For category 4: Water, you need to do whatever you can to conserve water. Don’t leave the water running when you’re brushing your teeth, shaving, or doing the dishes.
Breathing, in category 5: Breathing, is all about the indoor air quality in your home. This category is most closely tied to your health and wellness. A good place to start is with the air filters in your heating and cooling units.
Sometimes it just takes getting started with something simple. These three easy steps are an easy place to start in your own homes or homes you work with.
- Use LED light bulbs
- Use only green cleaning products
- Use only recycled or non-tree toilet paper so that you don’t end up flushing a forest down the toilet.
Check out my “Incremental Green” article in the Spring edition of County Living Magazine to see how you can make small changes for big, long-term results. Use your priorities for a healthier, more comfortable home to fuel your decisions to create a better abode. Check out the article at the County Living Magazine link below and reach out with any questions! Thanks!