Loading up your Pinterest board or Houzz account with ideas for your next home improvement project? Did you know that you can have a beautiful home that is easy on the eyes, the earth, and your wallet? Here are a few sustainable design practices to make your home both green and inviting.
What Is Sustainable Design?
Sustainable design goes beyond influencing how homes and buildings are built. The goal of sustainable design is to create spaces and objects in such a way that they reduce the impact on (or positively impact):
- The environment (e.g. relying on energy sources and materials that can easily be replenished or replaced)
- The economy (e.g. design should be cost-effective and reduce energy costs)
- People (e.g. making sure materials used are non-toxic)
Sustainable Design Practices You Can Use in Your Home:
You can make your home sustainable in so many ways. Start with the energy-consuming systems in your home.
Replace energy-wasting appliances with energy-efficient ones. Is your water heater on its way out? Or do your kitchen appliances have an out-of-control appetite for energy? Not only are newer ENERGY STAR-certified models shiny and nice to look at, but they can also save you money on your monthly energy bills. You can get rebates on the purchase of new energy-efficient appliances through the Mass Save program.
Add warmth to your design without breaking the bank. What good is a pretty home if it’s not comfortable for you and your family? Heat your home sustainably with an energy-efficient furnace. Better yet, heat and cool only the rooms you need with a ductless mini-split system.
Don’t let energy escape. You can find out where warm air is getting away in the winter (or coming in during the summer) with a blower door test. Once you know where the gaps are, be sure to seal them up.
If you’re gutting out a room or a floor, this is a good time to insulate your walls before you close everything back up, making it inaccessible.
“Sea” the savings when you implement water-saving measures. It goes without saying how precious water is as a natural resource – everyone and everything depends on it! Slow the flow of water by installing sink aerators and water-efficient shower heads.
Inspiration and innovation can coexist. Being green doesn’t mean having to make ugly design choices in the name of sustainability. For every design trend, there’s a good chance that you can find a green alternative. For example, check out this LED Edison bulb.
Save money on your next design project by getting a no-cost Mass Save home energy assessment first. Your assessment includes no-cost LED light bulbs, rebates on air sealing and insulation, big savings on energy-saving appliances, and more.