We take a look at the exterior of your home, and how to make it eco-friendly in an otherwise non-ecofriendly world. Our communities have never placed more emphasis on green efforts, and for good reason. With greenhouse gas emissions and constant waste harming our ecosystem, it’s our duty to find ways to make our homes and lives more eco-friendly. While many green efforts focus on the interior of a home, exterior upgrades can make a huge difference in utility bills and home value. Whether you choose to pursue long-term upgrades like cool roofing or make gardening changes that can keep your yard looking its best, these strategies will have you well on your way to an eco-friendly exterior.
Make Your Home Eco-Friendly
It’s common to have lights in your outdoor living spaces, but using motion detectors can save electricity. Your lighting will only illuminate when a person or animal walks by. From floodlights to small lights to light up your pathway, you’ll never have to worry about turning off the outdoor lights again. MrBeams.com offers over 50 types of motion detector lights to choose from, and you can find bright lights for the interior and exterior of your home.
Take your recycling efforts a step further by learning to compost. Simply buy a bin and dispose of your organic waste. From vegetable and fruits scraps to garden clippings, making the effort to compost can benefit your yard and garden and cut down on garbage waste. Compost can serve as a wonderful addition to your soil, putting nutrients back in the ground and improving your plants and homegrown produce. Composting can divert almost 30 percent of household waste away from the garbage can and back into the soil.
Purchase Eco-Friendly Outdoor Furniture
If you’re looking to invest in outdoor furniture, buy from an eco-friendly company that creates beautiful pieces from recycled materials. Browse through the offerings from bambeco.com. Their sustainable home goods include beautiful pieces that will match with any design motif, and you can rest assured that every item you buy from this awesome company was crafted with the utmost care, and designed to reduce pollution and consumption while protecting natural resources. If you’re looking for something a little more budget-friendly, consider purchasing your furniture secondhand from Craigslist or a garage sale. With a fresh coat of paint and some TLC, you can transform an old piece into something beautiful for your yard—this takes recycling to an entirely new level.
Exterior Wall Coating
Most walls are made of porous materials, which can allow the elements to wreak havoc on your home. Exterior wall coatings are designed to serve as flexible, breathable surfaces that can withstand the contraction and expansion of a building. While walls can be very absorbent and collect dampness from the elements, exterior wall coating can help keep your home insulated and protected from excess wetness.
Consider cool roofing. This type of roofing is designed to reflect solar rays to prevent the absorption of heat within your home. This is especially useful for homeowners in hot, humid climates. This one change can have a significant impact on the overall temperature of your home, making your space more comfortable and energy efficient. During the summer, it’s easy to see your energy bills skyrocket because you have to utilize so much energy to keep your house cool. A cool roof can minimize the need for air conditioning. While redoing a roof can be costly, with programs that provide PACE financing, homeowners can install upgrades immediately that will pay dividends in years to come.
Avoid VOC Paints
When painting your exterior walls (and interior walls for that matter), be sure to use products labeled as VOC-free. VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are found in a variety of mainstream paint brands. These chemicals are released into the air in the form of low level toxic emissions and can cause some pretty terrible health issues. With short-term exposure, you may experience headaches and dizziness, but long-term exposure may prove to heighten the risk of serious diseases. Keep your family and friends safe with paint brands that are labeled as low VOC or VOC-free. Start helping the environment by starting in your own yard and home. With these tips, you can help ensure both the inside and exterior of your home are eco-friendly and make a difference in the world. Recommended Reading:
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Bayer
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
- eBooks by Landscape Architects Network