5 Eco-Friendly Design Upgrades
With the effects of global warming soon to be upon us, it’s no wonder why so many businesses, consumers, and homeowners are making eco-friendliness a priority. If you’re hoping to make your living space a little greener to help do your part, you may be worried that you’ll have to sacrifice design – and maybe even your budget – to do so. Don’t fret. There are some awesome eco-friendly design upgrades you can make to your home that will reduce your carbon footprint without sacrificing your sense of style.
Check out our list of five design upgrades you can make that will help save the environment while keeping your living space chic as can be.
Try a cool roof
Looking for a simple and effective way to lower your heating bill and your contribution to the carbon output of coal-fired powerplants? A cool roof might be the way to go. Basically, here’s how they work: by reflecting a greater amount of sunlight, they are able to reduce the temperature of your home.
Plus, the big benefit of using a cool roof is that it doesn’t even have to show! If you’ve got a flat-roofed home, it will be pretty much invisible. However, you don’t have to worry if that’s not the case for your abode. The sleek and minimalist style of many cool roofs, including on-trend aluminum, pair well with sensible home design, and often look much more put-together than traditional roofing tiles.
Plus, did you know that many states offer subsidies and roof financing options for homeowners looking to improve their carbon footprint? Be sure to check these out to make your eco-friendly upgrade more affordable.
Opt for well-placed solar panels
Some people may think of large solar panels as a possible eye-sore – but they don’t have to be! By strategically placing your solar panels, you can add an eco-chic vibe to your home without messing up your trendy exterior design. Here are a few quick tips:
- If you truly want them out of sight, see if you can have the panels lain flat on the roof. This works best with flat-roofed homes, but can also be done with slanted roofs depending on the angle of the roof and direction it faces.
- If you can’t totally hide them, don’t worry. Pair your solar panels with a cool roof to go all-in on the eco-friendly vibe.
- If you’re worried about curb-appeal, try planting fast-growing trees that might cover the solar panels from the sidewalk’s view. Bamboo, for instance, is a great low-water option that grows quickly, and can easily cover up unsightly panels if you desire!
Choose sustainable materials
The materials your home is made from can make all the difference in the world – seriously, did you know that concrete has a huge carbon footprint? Luckily, some of the sleekest and savviest design out there right now is not only easy on the eyes, it’s easy on the earth.
Using reclaimed wood, or sustainably sourced wood, is one of the best ways to remodel your home. For instance, if you were thinking of making a new back patio, instead of pouring climate-trashing cement, choose a slick and stylish wooden deck made from sustainably sourced timber.
And instead of choosing interior furniture made from leather, which supports environmentally disastrous animal agriculture, try materials like sustainably dyed canvas, cotton, or even high-quality faux leather that’s cheaper and easier to clean and maintain than the real stuff!
Green your garden
It’s no secret that your bright green lawn can soak up a ton of water. But did you know that there’s more to an eco-friendly garden than simply replacing grass with low-water intensive plants? While that’s a great start if you live in a drought-prone area, you can actually go even further while still keeping a design-forward vibe.
One way to care for the earth while caring for your garden is to choose plenty of pollinator-friendly plants. Local flowers, for instance, help keep native bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and bats happy while adding a carefree and whimsical aesthetic to your outdoor space.
Lastly, one of the easiest ways to be design-savvy while protecting the earth for future generations is to buy more second-hand furniture, décor, and kitchenware. Overproduction is a serious problem in today’s late capitalist industrial world, so reducing the amount of demand for new products can have a huge effect on eco-friendliness!
Implement these savvy and eco-friendly upgrades today for a healthy and beautiful tomorrow!