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One of the most important factors in home renovation and improvement nowadays is the environment. While each person and household has different standards and priorities for how they choose to care for the planet, there are so many little things that anyone can do, no matter their situation. Whether you plan to renovate your home soon, or you like things just the way they are, you can make small changes and improvements in every area of your home to benefit the planet just a little bit more.
Whether you want to make big changes and go totally net-zero or zero waste, or you’d rather take things step by step first, there are so many ways you can improve your home to make a better environmental impact. From small switches like dryer balls to bigger commitments like composting, you don’t have to wait to improve your home, or your carbon footprint. You can start whenever it feels right for you. Here are eight of the best quick environmental home improvements and swaps you can do right now.
1. Dryer Sheets for Dryer Balls
If you love for your laundry to smell fresh and clean right from the dryer, you might be a big fan of dryer sheets. However, dryer sheets actually produce unnecessary waste, as they’re disposable. Instead of buying new dryer sheets every time you run out just to toss them away, a great waste-free alternative is the wool dryer ball. Dryer balls work just like dryer sheets, but without the waste. You can even use essential oils for whatever fragrance you want to put into your laundry.
2. Plastic Baggies for Reusable Containers
Moving over to the kitchen, food storage is another area that people don’t often realize can create a lot of waste. If you tend to use a lot of plastic bags in your house, one simple swap you can make in the kitchen is to simply stop bringing plastic baggies into the house and instead use reusable containers. From reusable zip bags to tupperware and bento boxes, there are so many options. Not only do they help the planet, but they can also save you money.
3. New Decor for Thrifted Decor
When it comes to home decor, if you’re planning to bring some new pieces into your home, you may want to stop and consider where you’re shopping. Sustainability is about reusing whenever possible, so thrifting your decor is one of the best ways to reuse old items. Rather than heading somewhere with brand new items, finding something totally unique and new to you can be just as amazing. Plus, this can also save you money.
4. Standard Showerheads for Low-Flow Showerheads
Taking things over to the bathroom, if you happen to be concerned about your water use, installing low-flow shower heads to replace your standard ones can keep you from wasting water without having to count the minutes you’re in the shower. Plus, this doesn’t require you to rip out any major fixtures, so you can do it quickly and easily.
5. Parchment Paper for Silicone Baking Sheets
Back in the kitchen, another money saving and environmentally friendly swap you can make is switching out parchment paper or tin foil for silicone baking mats. Just like the disposable options, silicone baking sheets sit on regular baking trays as a nonstick protective layer for cookies, french fries or any other oven food you can think of. By making these a kitchen staple, you can cut back on waste, and never worry about buying parchment paper again.
6. Standard Temperature Controls for Smart Ones
Smart homes are all the rage, and for good reason. If you want to introduce smart elements to your home, temperature controlling is one of the best for the environment. By introducing timed and regulated thermostat controls, you can have it adjust accordingly and not have to worry about doing it yourself. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s also much easier on you.
7. Standard Light Bulbs for Energy Efficient Bulbs
Another home swap you can implement all around is using energy efficient or LED light bulbs around your house to save on energy. While energy saving light bulbs used to be tough to come by, they’re actually much more common now than you might expect. Simply replace your light bulbs as they die out, and you can start saving energy.
8. Standard Trash for Composting
If your family tends to toss food, paper, scraps or really anything biodegradable, composting could be for you. Composting takes garbage and gives back to the earth, rather than filling up landfills. Even if you’re a beginner, you can start small and work your way up. You can even check out community composting resources if they’re available in your area.
Easy Environmental Home Improvements
If you care about the planet, there’s so much you can do right in your own home to pitch in and give a helping hand. From your lighting to your decor — and even your trash — you can contribute to a better world one step at a time with environmental home improvements.