Implementing some “green” upgrades in a home you own is almost always a great investment — it can both save you money and make your home more attractive to buyers. Consider some of these suggestions and choose the ones that work best with your budget and lifestyle.
Recycling bin: Start recycling today if you don’t already.
Energy auditor: Order an energy audit from your local provider.
Sun with window shades: Make the sun work for you; capture or reflect its heat.
Trees and shrubs: Use strategically placed trees and shrubs to absorb sunlight.
Caulked windows: If your house is drafty, recall your windows.
Rain cistern: Rainwater can be used for yards, gardens, and other outdoor needs.
New roof: A new roof can save you tons on your energy bills.
Solar water heater: Solar water heaters capture the sun’s heat to warm water.
Concrete countertop: Eco-friendly countertop replacements (like concrete) last a long time and look great.
Bamboo flooring: Renewable flooring options, such as bamboo, are gorgeous and environmentally friendly.
New shower heads, toilets, faucets: Save water by upgrading your shower heads, toilets, and faucets.
Composite deck: Composite materials for decks can last longer than wood and are often greener, too.
Recycled mulch: Recycled mulch can be hardier than wood mulch (but consult with an expert first).
Computer with list of reliable places to get products/materials (www.greenguard.com,www.fscus.org,www.mbdc.com/cdc) : Check your products and materials against a good source for environmentally friendly products.
Energy Star appliances: Energy Star appliances use less energy and save you money.
Water filter on the sink: Instead of buying bottled water, filter your water at home and carry a reusable water bottle.
Native plants in the garden: Seeding your garden with native plant and grass species is a fantastic way to be greener.
New exterior doors and windows: Eliminate drafts and manage the climate inside your house with new doors or windows.
Skylights: Lighting rooms is a huge energy expenditure; adding skylights can ease the burden.
Programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat can help you adjust the temperature for the time of day.
New light bulbs: Compact fluorescent or LED bulbs give off more light and take less energy than incandescent bulbs.
Updated insulation: You may be able to boost your home’s energy consumption by updating your insulation.