If you’re not looking to move but are inspired by the sustainable approach taken by Whitegates – there are plenty of ways both big and small to make your home more sustainable. Sustainable home improvements don’t only reduce your impact, but they can also improve your health and well-being while racking up energy savings.
- Install Energy-Efficient Lighting
Upgrading your home’s lighting is probably the easiest sustainable home improvement you can make! Did you know that LED lights use up to 90% less energy than regular bulbs?
- Use Recycled, Repurposed or Reclaimed Materials
We’ve all heard the phrase reduce, reuse, recycle, and there should be no exception when improving a home. Home improvements and renovations typically create lots of unnecessary waste.
If you’re looking to renovate part of your home, whether with new flooring, cabinets, doors or otherwise, consider using repurposed materials. Repurposed or reclaimed materials (wood, beams, doors, flooring, copper, etc.) are still structurally sound and available in both quantities and prices that might surprise you.
There are a few great sites for you to find reclaimed materials, Facebook marketplace, Gumtree, Ebay being the top three. Your local charity shop may ever have some goodies!
- Upgrade or Seal Windows and Doors
It is estimated that around 30% of home energy is lost through windows, and a lot of hot air slips out through drafty doors as well in the colder months. Energy efficient windows are designed to prevent your heated or cooled air from leaving your home.
Not up for the hassle of replacing your old windows or doors. You can upgrade your home’s efficiency anyway by resealing them with weather stripping, caulk, glaze, door snakes or window treatments.
- Switch to Solar Energy
Installing solar panels on your roof is just one way to take advantage of solar energy — many homes solar appliances have become affordable and easy to install in recent years. Here are a few of our favourite solar-related sustainable home improvements for 2022:
- Solar panels: The cost of solar panels has dropped in price over the last decade. Solar panels still carry a significant price tag, however, and may not work well for every home.
- Solar water heaters: Heating water accounts for around 20% of residential energy use. Solar water heaters can provide a cost-effective and sustainable method for reducing home energy use by heating, storing, and insulating your hot water for use at any time.
- Outdoor solar lights: Installing solar lights allows you to do away with extension cords and surge protectors. From solar string lights to solar flood lights to pathway lights, you’ll likely be able to find a sun-powered alternative to any external lighting need. Modern outdoor solar lights come complete with rechargeable lithium batteries making sure they stay powered through the night.
- Start a Compost Bin
Did you know that food scraps and garden waste make up over 30% of what we throw away? Finding a way to reduce, reuse or recycle this waste can have huge environmental impacts.
Starting a compost bin allows you to turn that waste into organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Healthy soil and and composts allow you to contribute to the fight one banana peel or used coffee ground at a time.
- Plant a Garden
We could dedicate an entire article to the benefits of starting a garden at home, whether it’s a full outdoor plot or just an indoor herb garden.
- Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances
When you're buying a new appliance for your home, look out for its energy label. The energy label tells you how much energy that appliance uses, comparing it to similar appliances. This can help you find appliances that use the least amount of energy.