Home Improvement Ideas for Sustainable Living

Sustainable living is the right thing to do for a myriad of reasons. Until it's ash, there is use for everything!

Sustainable living is simply a lifestyle that allows you to reduce your carbon footprint on the planet. You can reduce your personal use of the Earth’s resources, spread the word about sustainability, start movements, and eventually help change the world and leave a noticeable impact on the planet’s surface. You can help begin the journey into a brighter tomorrow that is filled with sustainable living and renewable energy by doing your part on an individual or community scale, like utilizing home improvement ideas that will allow you to live a more sustainable lifestyle. 


Use Reclaimed Wood 

If you’re going to use wood instead of a more renewable resource like bamboo or cork, at least purchase reclaimed wood for the project. Not only is reclaimed wood the environmentally-friendly choice, it also looks great on flooring, walls, and countertops. It’s no surprise that reclaimed wood is becoming a trend in the home improvement world.


Reclaimed Dark Wood


Donate Instead of Tossing 

Instead of throwing away clothes, old furniture, appliances, cabinets, books, or anything else lying around the house that you no longer need, why not donate it instead? Consignment shops like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are always accepting donations, whether small or large, and they always appreciate contributions of any size. You can also donate appliances, cabinets, and other bigger household items to Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that builds houses to those in need. There are so many different companies and organizations that you can give back to, but it never hurts to just start somewhere. 


Man holding clothes donation box


Naturally Get Rid of Pests

While there are many natural alternatives to ridding your home of the common housefly, there’s none quite as fun as getting a Venus Flytrap or two and letting them take care of the problem for you. You can also use organic fly traps, make sure that your home is properly sealed, and removing any sources of food where a fly would readily look or try to reach. 


Close up of small Venus Flytrap plants


Go Solar 

Solar panels are becoming steadily more popular among people of all ages that want to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their energy bills at the same time. Storing the sun’s rays is the best way to utilize the most renewable resource that we have. Not only is using solar energy good for the environment and on your wallet, but it’s also designed to help with any fluctuation in temperature in the home, preventing any extreme fluctuation and keeping the temperature as consistent as possible. You can use solar panels or a passive solar design, depending on your preference and the design of your home or the renovations to your home. 


Modern home solar panels


Have Your Energy Audited

Before you go any further in trying to switch to a sustainable lifestyle, an energy audit for your home is always recommended. This allows you to find the most affordable and cost-effective methods to make the home as sustainable as possible. An energy audit simply allows you to see where you are as far as energy consumption and usage goes, and it helps you gauge how far you must continue in order to fully transition to the sustainable lifestyle. 


Thermal imaging inspection camera


Simplify Your Life 

One of the most important things to remember about leading a sustainable lifestyle is that your life is supposed to be down to the bare essentials, allowing you to focus on what’s really important, save money on energy and consumption, and reduce your carbon footprint on the planet. Use less of everything that you currently use, including toilet paper, paper towels, paper, makeup, and anything else that you use regularly. Similarly, maximize the use of as many products as you can, wearing out your clothes for longer than you normally do, make do with what you have for just a little bit longer than you usually would, and much more. 


Simplify your life in wood type


Remodel Rather Than Replace 

Instead of replacing cabinets and tearing out parts of your home when you start your remodeling or renovation process, you can instead simply remodel with the materials that are already installed in the home. This can mean a simple treatment and repainting instead of getting new materials altogether. Not only does this allow you to save on materials, making your project far more environmentally-friendly, but it also allows you to save money and time on the overall renovation process. 


Linseed oil varnish paint on wood , DIY concept


Some people are able to dive into the sustainable lifestyle without hesitation, and it’s incredibly easy for them. Some people are not so lucky, which is why it’s recommended that when you first start transitioning into sustainable living, it’s best to take it step by step. You can switch out, add, and freshen up the whole home by following each tip to switch to sustainable living, starting out with one tip and adding one every week or so until you’ve successfully transitioned to living sustainably. 

Images used with permission, courtesy of www.bigstock.com and www.dreamstime.com

Next: DIY Projects to Make Your Home Greener on a Budget