Many people tend to assume that making your home into an eco-friendly haven has to be on the expensive end, and it's an understandable assumption to make. Plenty of the fanciest green products can have you wondering where you'll find the money to pay for it. However, that doesn't mean you can't go green on a budget. Here are a few ways to make your home eco-friendly that have a low starting cost or eventually pay for themselves over time.
Concrete Counter Tops
Looking to update your kitchen? Instead of going with a new butcher block counter top, look at concrete as an affordable, green, DIY alternative. Concrete is used more than any other man made material in the world, and for good reason. Instead of having to worry about felling trees for wood or mining stone for your counters, you can install concrete without guilt about its sourcing. Additionally, this option is incredibly DIY-friendly, allowing you to save some money on installation costs.
Energy-Saving Window Treatments
While you might not often think of your windows as a place where you could improve on your home's eco-friendly qualities, you might want to think again. Approximately 30% of a home's heating energy is lost through its windows. However, you don't necessarily have to replace your house's old windows with newer, energy-efficient ones if that's not in your budget. Most types of window treatments offer some degree of energy savings once installed, and these tend to be within a reasonable budget for a majority of homeowners. For the largest impact on your energy-use, look for ones that are specifically advertised as preventing heat loss or reducing the amount of light they let into your home. While natural light might be nice visually, it can increase the temperature of your home, making it harder to cool off in the summer months.
Sustainable Wood Flooring
Love the look of hardwood floors, but hate the price tag and the damage it can do to the environment? You might want to start looking at alternatives to hardwood floors, like bamboo. Solid strand bamboo flooring is 3 times harder than oak flooring, and because it's technically a grass, it grows back much faster than most types of wood. This makes it a wonderful sustainable home option on a budget.
If replacing your floors is a hassle, don't worry - you can still make your existing floors work for you, particularly if you've got wood floors in your home. With proper care, wood can last for hundreds of years without rot or wear. The more you take care of your floors now, the longer they'll last you, and the less wood you'll need to use in the future to replace or repair them.
Landscaping For Savings
Going green inside the home might actually start outside the home for some households. Landscaping appropriately and using the right types of plants can help you cut down on your energy spending. You'll use less water for certain types of plants as well, meaning you don't have to worry about wasting water resources. Landscaping can help keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer as long as you plant strategically, and if you do the work yourself you'll be able to do this for a reasonable price.
Not all energy-saving and eco-friendly home fixes have to cost an arm and a leg. With a bit of sweat equity and consciousness of what materials you're choosing, you can save a great deal while also saving the environment. What green home hacks have you pulled off on a budget before?