5 Ways to save money and reduce your eco-footprint
March 16 2021
Eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions are on everyone’s mind. According to a UN Environment Programme report, our resource consumption increased by almost 50 billion tons from 1970 to 2010 — tripling in just 40 years. While making a worldwide environmental change feels daunting, there is one place we can make a significant impact: in our home with eco-friendly design choices. And the good news is that eco-friendly design choices also come with cost-savings.
Here are five eco-friendly and cost-effective choices that benefit your pocketbook and your ecological footprint, whether you’re planning a home renovation or redesign or looking for ways to “go green” and reduce expenses.
1. Low-Flow Faucets and Showerheads
Water consumption is one of the easiest ways to make a valuable impact on resource consumption. For starters, you can cut your water use by half or more simply by investing in low-flow faucets and showerheads.
We love this stylish and functional showerhead from Nebia by Moen that provides 2X the water coverage of a standard showerhead while using only 45% of the water. Nebia even has a website tool to help you calculate your yearly savings. With drought and water shortages affecting communities worldwide, you can contribute to the greater good while watching your water bill decrease.
2. Energy-Efficient Appliances
Here’s another cost-saving design choice that conserves water while reducing your carbon footprint: energy-efficient appliances. Energy Star is a program from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy that helps consumers identify appliances that save money and protect the environment.
Visit energystar.gov to sort and filter the appliances they recommend based on savings and ecological footprint. Their website also provides a current list of the best products of 2021, so you can start planning your purchases now. Whichever appliances you purchase, remember: always correctly dispose of old appliances by googling waste deposits in your area.
Another way of saving money and reducing your eco footprint is by making simple adjustments to your lighting which can provide a lot of bang for your literal and ecological buck. Here are some alternatives to incandescent lighting:
LEDs: Residential LEDs, especially Energy Star-rated products, reduce energy consumption by more than 75% and last 25 times longer.
Motion sensor lights: These lights only turn on when you’re in the room, meaning you don’t have to worry about running up your energy bill.
Smart lights: Forgot to turn off the lights when you left home? Jump on your phone or computer and take care of it from wherever you are.
Dimmers: Not every light needs to blaze at 100% all the time. Dimmers are great for mood lighting, and they provide a significant reduction in energy consumption and costs.
4. Heated Floors
Isn’t it great when your energy-efficient options increase your comfort? Heated floors not only keep your feet warm, but they also save you 15% on your energy bills. Traditional radiators need extreme heat levels — over 150 degrees Fahrenheit — and they suck up a lot of energy. Heated floors only need to be warmed to 84 degrees and run for a shorter time.
This eco-friendly design choice lets you save hundreds of dollars per year while reducing your personal impact on the environment.
5. Engineered Wood Flooring
Besides saving energy, you can preserve natural resources by investing in engineered wood flooring instead of hardwood. Not only does engineered wood flooring save forests and reduce pollutants, but it lasts much longer and increases your home resale value. Here are some eco-friendly design options from EcoMENA:
Plank Flooring: This flooring is the closest imitation to real wood, available in oak, hickory, and more.
Chevron Wood Flooring: Cut at a 45-degree angle, these planks create a stunning ‘V’ pattern.
Herringbone Wood Flooring: Unlike chevron flooring, herringbone uses planks cut at a 90-degree angle to provide a distinctive zigzag pattern.
Versailles Panels: These panels create a luxurious look thanks to an interwoven net of carefully crafted wood strips.
With these five cost-saving design choices, you can conserve resources, reduce energy consumption, and give your budget a lot more wiggle-room. These design choices also get you to your goals while increasing the comfort and value of your home. Whether you implement two or all five suggestions, you’ll be making a measurable difference in the conservation and preservation of our environment.
We hope this article helped you choose the right eco-friendly and cost-effective materials for your renovation. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact Skylight for advice.