Tag Archives | diy

3 Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Projects That Boost The Value Of Your Home

When it comes to home improvements, many people seem hesitant to commit to projects that require a substantial investment. However, there are a number of renovations and improvements that not only increase the value of your home but serve as eco-friendly solutions as well. Here are just a few sustainable home improvement projects that can increase the value of your home.

Roofing

Your home’s roof is obviously a critical component of its structural integrity. If you’re in the market for a new roof, consider opting for one of the many eco-friendly roofing materials available. New metal roofs, for example, may contain anywhere from 30% to 60% of recycled metal content and are 100% recyclable at the end of their service lives. Plus, while a traditional asphalt shingle roof has an average lifespan of 12 to 20 years, metal roofs can last between 40 and 70 years when properly installed and maintained.

Another eco-friendly benefit of metal roofing? Its energy-efficiency. Metal roofs have a unique cooling quality that allows them to reflect radiant heat from the sun. This can reduce energy costs by between 10% and 25%.

Plumbing

Many homeowners are uneasy about the idea of messing with their home’s plumbing system, but tankless water heaters have a number of eco-friendly benefits. Tankless water heaters are extremely efficient. They use only the energy necessary to heat the amount of water that you’re using, unlike tank heaters which heat several gallons of water at a time. A tankless water heater and can save you as much as a 20% on your energy bills.

“Tankless units (also called “on demand” units) heat water only when you turn on the faucet,” explains Family Handyman. “They usually operate on natural gas or propane. The main advantage is that they eliminate the extra cost of keeping 40 to 50 gallons of water hot in a storage tank, so you waste less energy.”

Furthermore, How Stuff Works says that tankless water heaters typically come with a federal tax rebate of $300. Considering the fact that they can last up to 10 years longer than traditional tanks, they’re certainly an investment worth looking into.

Countertops

Finally, natural stone countertops are a sleek and eco-friendly alternative to traditional materials. In fact, of the 93% of homeowners who are updating countertops during a kitchen renovation, the majority are choosing natural stone materials. They don’t require as much energy to produce since they’re all-natural, and they’re incredibly durable and long-lasting. They don’t stain, can withstand hot temperatures, and are almost impossible to scratch.

Homeowners that value individuality as much as sustainability will also be pleased to hear that natural stone countertops are one-of-a-kind. Their natural qualities and unique markings make them a warm and welcoming addition to any home.

Ultimately, these are just three of the countless eco-friendly home improvement projects that increase the value of your home. Never be afraid to experiment with any number of sustainable solutions, and most of all, don’t ever think your efforts don’t make a difference. Each and every eco-friendly home improvement project is another step toward a sustainable future.

7 Simple Ways To Green Your Halloween

Halloween is quickly creeping up on us and it’s time to start planning. It’s a good idea to start early to prevent any last minute trips to the store to buy Halloween stuff that has a high-impact on the environment and your health. The best part about Halloween is that you can use many things that you already have in your home – things that you can use to decorate, plan a party, and use as costumes. Let’s get started with my 7 favorite ways to green your Halloween.

1. Repurpose
In our new space, we have a large entry way on the main level that I wanted to decorate for Halloween. However, I didn’t want to purchase anything new – I took a look around my home for things that I could repurpose into Halloween decorations. For example: I took the large glass jars that usually hold flour and sugar in our kitchen and transformed them into apothecary jars full of scary items. The idea is to get creative and use what you already have on hand.

2. Reuse
Since Halloween is our favorite holiday we have a lot of decorations that we have been using for years. I like to find my Halloween decorations at our local thrift stores or we make them ourselves. Since these decorations are only used in October – I don’t feel the need to buy new decorations every year saving us money and saving the environment. Other ways to green your Halloween would include reusing costumes, swaping with a friend or using pieces from an old costume to make a new one.

3. Do It Yourself
A couple of years ago, the mister made a spooky picket fence and tombstones for our front yard. These were made using salvaged wood that we saved from a construction dumpster and no-VOC paint. He has also made two tombstones for our front yard – this time using a salvaged wooden palette that he found in a dumpster. Again, you want to get creative and find new uses for items that are no longer being utilized.

4. Treats
When it comes to Halloween candy – try to go organic and buying less is always better. Yummy Earth has a great selection of lollipops and gummies that fit the bill. If you are going the chocolate route, choose chocolates that are fair-trade and organic, if possible. And when it comes to candy packaging, you want to choose the candies that are minimally packaged.

5. Party Supplies
Almost every Halloween we have a party – some things that I do to keep the party as eco-friendly as possible are: using cloth tablecloths and napkins for the table, skipping the disposables and using our every day dinnerware and making the food ourselves, rather than purchasing pre-packaged items. When it comes to treats for the kiddos, we keep the goody bags minimal and try to choose the most eco-friendly items to go inside.

6. Pumpkins
Every year when we take our annual fall trip to North Carolina, we visit our favorite organic pumpkin patch to pick up pumpkins and gourds. We enjoy spending the entire day at the farm supporting the local farmer and community. The idea is to think local when it comes to picking your pumpkins, support a local farm rather than picking up the pumpkins at the big-box store. And don’t forget to bake the seeds for a yummy treat and use the pumpkin for baking when the holiday is over.

7. Bag It
There is no need to purchase a new Halloween trick or treat bucket for your child each year. I understand that your child wants the Star Wars bucket that matches their Halloween costume – believe me I have been there. If you do purchase one, it should be a one-time purchase, choose a bag that can grow with your child or use a reusable shopping bag or a pillowcase. Eben received a cool pillowcase-like Halloween bag many years ago from his Godparents – and he still uses it to this day!

What ways do you green your Halloween?

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