Going green isn’t just about reducing the amount of shopping bags you use. Many of the choices you make about the way your home runs are far more significant. When you’re thinking about a renovation, make decisions that will allow you to use less energy and water and choose lower-impact materials.
1. Reduce Your Lawn
According to the Water Footprint Calculator, “In some suburban areas, outdoor water use is as high as 80 percent of all home water use.” To reduce the amount of water you use, you need to look outside your home. Your lawn is one of the biggest reasons that you’re using that much water in the summer. To reduce your ecological impact, reduce your lawn to the smallest possible size. If you never use your lawn, you can replace it with gravel and flowerbeds full of plants that need very little water.
2. Add Water Storage
Store water in your garden, and you won’t need to water your plants with as much tap water. One simple way to add water storage is to add a rain barrel to your garden. This allows you to access fresh water without turning on the tap.
You can also add water storage by landscaping your garden to save water. For example, when you create a hollow in your garden that stores water, you can plant water-loving plants in this area instead of trying to water them constantly.
Mulch is an excellent form of passive water storage, and it reduces evaporation in your garden too. By adding a layer of leaves, bark, or other organic material to the top of your soil, water will stay in your garden longer and you won’t need to water as often.
3. Invite Wildlife
While this one won’t make your home more efficient, it certainly adds to the ecological bounty of your home. As you renovate, think about wildlife and how animals will interact with your garden. According to Celebrate Urban Birds, “City residents can create quality food and water resources, shelter, and nesting sites for birds in small spaces, often at little cost.” Garden with native plants that will attract local birds and other wildlife species, and make sure that you have a wide variety of plants and habitats in your garden.
4. Install Some Shade
When you want to reduce your home cooling bills in the summer months, you can install some shade outside your home. In the fall and early spring, add a tree or large shrub that provides shade to your home. Plant it in a place where the shade will naturally fall on your home during the heat of the day. You can also add seasonal plants to a trellis to add more shade. Finally, consider adding awnings to your home so that you can control when you allow the sun to shine in.
5. Invest in Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance both inside and outside your home will reduce your need to bring in expensive equipment and spend money on unnecessary home renovations. It also reduces your environmental impact. For example, installing gutter guards allows you to reduce the time that you spend cleaning your gutters, but it also prevents water from spilling over onto the ground and damaging window frames, siding, and your home foundation. Renovating these parts of your home is a waste of materials if you could have prevented the damage in the first place.
At Harry Helmet, we want to help you improve your home. From seamless gutters and gutter covers to awnings, our home products will make it easier to maintain your home and reduce damage from the elements. Would you like to see how we can help you maintain your home year round? Contact us to schedule a free estimate today.