If you are considering the needs of the climate, and worried about the future facing a warming Earth, you’re not alone. Many have slowly awakened to the horror which is the climate crisis. You realize that most of the work which has to be done is between countries and their primary polluters, the factories and companies which need more efficient models and uses. However, you also know that while you put pressure on those individuals, having a chance to use more efficient practices at home is still a good idea. It can seem overwhelming, though, to think about things which need to be done. What can you do to help with climate change, yourself? And how can you make your home less resource intensive?

Switch to Renewable Energy

There are a number of renewable options which are available to both new builds and established homes, which can make them more energy efficient and also save you some money! For example, whether you choose to use solar panels owned by the energy company, or whether you choose to purchase your own, they can save a great deal of energy while they are in use. Banks are eager to help customers to get loans to purchase solar panels of their own, and the panels themselves tend to pay themselves off in about five years. Panels can be used for general electric needs, but also to heat pools and hot tubs if necessary, and give a great option for homesteaders as well.

Improve Your Insulation

While your home might be insulated, it, more than likely, does not have enough insulation. Attics in homes should be insulated to a loft of twelve inches! After a decade or so, however, this blown insulation can naturally compress, and need to be “topped off” with more insulation. For a 1200 sq ft house, adding extra insulation can cost as little as a thousand dollars. And this, again, can save fifty or sixty dollars a month in heating bills, and thus pay off the cost of the change in as little as two and a half years.

Use LED Light Bulbs

If you’ve still got less energy efficient light bulbs in your home, swapping them out to LED bulbs can save a good deal of money and energy over time. Even in homes where most bulbs have been changed, there are always a few bulbs in less known or used areas which generally need to be swapped out. Look to your laundry room, oven range, carport, and closets to find sneaky bulbs still hiding. Sometimes those bulbs are old enough to be wasting a great deal of power, especially if accidentally left on overnight.

Change How You Landscape

The modern lawn is evolving to not involve as much grass as the ones of decades past.  Individual homeowners are realizing that water needs to go to those things, like crops, which are most essential to society. There are many types of gravel or stone that can take the place of a water-intensive lawn. If you prefer greenery, and yet don’t want to mow for yet another hot summer, options such as moss and clover don’t grow tall, and yet are very water efficient. If you give your lawn a chance to use native plants for your area, also, it will lower your water usage and yet offer you beautiful landscaping options.

Recycle

When most adults think about recycling, they think about choosing the green bin for milk jugs and tin cans and taking aluminum and glass into the market for their respective bins if necessary. However, there are a lot of ways you can recycle if you are remodeling or changing things in your home. There are floorings such as cork and composite tiles which use recycled materials. Likewise, other materials in home building, such as glass, and even roofing, can be bought in recycled forms. There are now even plastic blocks which can be interconnected, like a giant children’s set, to create walls quickly and easily!

Compost

Composting isn’t just a new and trendy way to add extra to your garden. It’s a wonderful way to provide added nutrients to all of your landscaping and keep scraps of natural materials out of the landfill. There are plenty of smaller, modern composting bins which can be easily rolled or turned, making the creation time from scraps to beautiful new soil a lot shorter. Besides being a great science experiment to teach to children, learning to compost and using the soil is a healthy way to make your landscaping really grow healthily!

Use Local Farms

A local farm co-op can be a very delicious and fun way to eat locally. Local farmers who want to give options for local purchasers sell subscription boxes to those nearby. Nearby residents who want to be able to eat more locally get not only fresh produce, but the knowledge that it’s not coming from far distances. In some co-ops, participants help with the needs of the farm, and help with both growing and eating alike. This gives a unique experience for those participating, and delicious and healthy produce.

You want your house to be as energy efficient and cost-efficient as possible. This means both being careful with energy, but also thinking towards the future. Grow and eat locally if possible, as much as possible. Find a way to use recycled materials in your home, while also recycling in traditional ways. Consider topping off your insulation and see if you need to have a need for insulating ducts and other parts of your home. And, above all, think about jettisoning your lawn! There are so many ways to beautify your home while also providing spaces for energy efficient materials. Don’t stop pressuring your government officials to help protect the planet, of course, and use products from those companies which have made choices that show they care about the environment. But, while you are doing those things, practice what you need to in order to make the world a better place.

Read this next: Why You Should Make Home Upgrades Before the Worst of Winter Hits

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