7 Ways to Make Your Home Greener This Spring

Sponsor/Writer - LouAnn Moss

As spring starts to linger in the air, you may be thinking about ways to improve your home and garden once the warm weather comes around. Between the excitement of “spring cleaning” and wanting to actively be more eco-friendly, you may want to consider some green switches in and around your home. Here are a few ways to make your home greener this spring.

Make Your Laundry Energy-Efficient

If you’re replacing your washer or dryer this spring, you should consider choosing an energy-efficient model. On average, a family in the U.S. will do eight to 10 loads of laundry a week, which can add up to a lot of wasted energy and water over time if you’re using non-energy star machines.

If your washer and dryer are still functional, it’s most eco-friendly to keep using them until they need to be replaced, but you can still take some actions to make your laundry routine more environmentally-friendly. You can choose to ditch your dryer as often as possible and instead opt for air-drying clothing to lessen the amount of energy you use. For your washer, you can consider getting an attachment that will filter out the microplastics that can be shed from certain types of clothing when they’re washed. This will help prevent the pollution of the oceans without really impacting your daily life at all.

Plant Vegetables

When you’re planning out your garden for the spring, you should make sure that you’re including some vegetables. Not only is gardening good for your mental health—42% of people agree that gardening makes them feel healthy and happy—but you also can benefit from growing vegetables. Eating local and fresh produce helps to cut down on the amount of waste created by transporting vegetables and also helps keep any preservatives out of the water and out of your system.

For the best results, make sure to do some research to find out exactly when you should be planting your vegetables. You may even be able to start some seeds relatively soon from inside your home and then transplant them into your garden or outdoor planters once the weather is right. As long as you do your research, you should be more than able to grow your own array of vegetables at home.

Go Solar

If you’ve been considering installing solar panels or solar-powered outdoor tech, there’s no time like the present. Once the snow has melted from your roof, it’s a good idea to get a roof inspection to check how your roofing has survived the winter. Why not also have someone look at your roof and give you a quote for installing solar panels as well?

If full solar panels seem like a bit much for you right now, you can always choose to use some smaller solar-powered tech in your outdoor spaces. Having solar-powered lighting in your outdoor living space can help cut down on your energy usage.

Collect Rain

Spring weather can include a lot of rain, which provides you with a great opportunity to store rain water to water your plants. Many people with green thumbs have a lot of indoor plants, so even if your outdoor plants won’t need any extra watering, the system can be useful. And once summer comes and rainstorms don’t happen as often, you can still collect rain water to use whenever it’s possible.

To collect rainwater, place a barrel under the spout of a gutter. This will allow you to collect any water that runs off from your gutters and can be a simple and effective method of collecting enough water to actually water the plants in your garden.

Make Sure Any Repairs You Make Are Green

Almost 85% of homes in the U.S. were built before 1980 and need some type of repair or improvement, so make sure that any improvements you choose to make are eco-friendly. This can range from choosing sustainable or repurposed materials to making sure any new appliances are energy-efficient. Make sure that you do your research before any repair to ensure that you’re making the most sustainable and eco-friendly choices for your repair or renovation.

Use Low-VOC Paint

Repainting your home is a great way to refresh any tired space, but it’s important to ensure you’re being eco-friendly when you do it. A VOC is a volatile organic compound, and many traditional types of paint have them. This is why it’s suggested that you have windows open for proper ventilation while you’re painting. Although you should still make sure that you’re keeping the room you’re painting well ventilated, there are now options that have significantly fewer VOCs or even no VOCs at all. Make sure to speak with the suppliers at your local paint store to find out about your options.

Seal Windows and Doors

One of the biggest wastes of energy is heating and cooling a space that is not properly sealed from the outside world. If your doors and windows have any gaps around the framing, you should reseal them with caulking to ensure that they’re as energy-efficient as possible. If your doors and windows are on the older side, you should consider replacing them with newer versions since older windows and doors may not be as well-insulated as more current models. In older houses, windows are notorious for being drafty, which wastes a lot of energy and will drive up the cost of keeping your home cool this summer.

Use Organic Fertilizer

Instead of letting more toxic chemicals get into the water table, opt for organic fertilizers for your yard and garden. One of the best organic fertilizers is compost, which you can make easily in your backyard as long as you have the space for a compost pile. Even if you don’t, there are options for compact compost tumblers that can save space and still give you great organic fertilizers.

Having a greener home doesn’t always mean that you need to have the newest eco-friendly technology—instead, it can just mean that you make an effort towards more sustainable practices in your home and garden.

Image credit: Storyblocks

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