There’s nothing new about the concept of home improvement. People do it because they want to have a fully functional home that is aesthetically pleasing and equipped with all the modern conveniences. What is new is the trend towards making everything environmentally friendly. This trends makes sense for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that planet Earth doesn’t have unlimited resources. The human population keeps on growing while many of Earth’s natural resources are becoming increasingly more scarce. Therefore, it would be prudent to try having the lightest impact on the environment as possible. When it comes to home improvement, there are a number of easy ways to accomplish this goal.
Take air conditioning as the first example. It’s a modern convenience that ends up having quite a large impact on the environment. In fact, it’s often the single biggest electricity hog in most peoples’ homes. Many people have older air conditioning units that don’t work as well as they used to or don’t work at all. It is probably better to just get a whole new unit instead of paying a lot to have it repaired. Just be sure to purchase an Energy Star compliant unit as the replacement. Although it may be more expensive initially, it’ll end up being cheaper in the long run because of reduced electricity bills and it will require less natural resources than inefficient units.
Water is one of those resources that people sometimes have trouble conserving. After all, doesn’t Earth consist mostly of water? Aren’t we all surrounded by impossibly large bodies of water in the world’s oceans? Unfortunately, it is currently not feasible to have the world’s ocean water be a source of water for use in homes. Therefore, fresh water sources have to be used. These sources are much more limited and extra care must be taken to conserve their reserves. Homeowners can do their part by opting to use water-conserving technologies in their bathrooms and kitchens. Sinks, toilets, and showers can all be fitted with such water-conserving accessories. Such technology usually involves using less water without affecting the utility of the item. A faucet will still have a strong stream of water, but the water may be less dense in its delivery. Toilets can also use improvement. Old toilets often use much more water than is necessary. Newer toilets have water-conserving mechanisms that end up wasting less water. The same goes for showers. The key is having the shower head offer a strong stream without using too much water, which is usually accomplished by making the stream less dense. All of these water-conserving accessories are inexpensive and available at home improvement stores everywhere.
Hot water, like air conditioning, is another modern convenience that people cannot live without. Most homeowners don’t know that their water heater actually uses a lot of natural resources. Usage of such resources can be minimized in two ways: having the most efficient water heater available and putting a thermal blanket on it. Often, heat is lost through the air if the water heater is exposed directly to it. If a thermal blanket is placed in between, heat will stay in the water heater longer, reducing the resources required to keep it hot.
People don’t have to look hard to find ways to go green these days. It has never been easier than now to help the environment and your home at the same time.
About the Author: Jim Beadman is the Managing Director of Construction Chemicals UK Ltd, who are experts in their field – from basement conversions for the serious renovator to DIY timber treatment products for protecting your home from insects and mold. With depots around the UK and an in-house chemistry specialist, they are the ideal partners for anyone wishing to undertake a renovation project, amateur or professional. When Jim isn’t working full-time helping people to transform their homes, he uses his experience to create articles which can be found around the Internet and organizes charity events from his home in Leicestershire, UK.