Here are some easy home improvement projects and ideas which will hopefully be a catalyst for anyone wanting to improve their home and stay green.
There are so many things we can do to improve our homes from a green living perspective. These articles on home improvement projects and ideas should save you some money as well as help the environment. Videos can be helpful as well; like the Youtube videos from Homeclick.
Most of these home improvements are relatively easy - but there are a few more difficult ones, too for which you may need professional support. There are also a few articles on the bigger things such as moving home or selecting an new eco home for the future.Click here to go straight to the articles.
Thankfully, now that many governments worldwide are beginning to take on the climate change message, there are grants and schemes available to help people with some of the more expensive renovations. I fear that some of these schemes may have now been cut since the recent financial problems faced by many countries have forced many governments to cut spending. Here are a few recent schemes.
The UK government, for example is offering fairly substantial help with loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. The Energy Saving Trust is a good place to start your search.
The Australian Government is providing a rebate of $1,200 for home owners who want insulate their ceilings.
The US Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) was offering a whole raft of programmes to help people cut their heating costs and carbon emissions and improve "weatherization" of homes (basically, weather-proofing). See the Dept of Energy (US) to check availability and your eligibility.
Cheap DIY projects
This section of Greenfootsteps.com is mainly to do with the cheaper and more do-it-yourself things we can do to make our homes more green and eco-friendly. The easy home improvement projects and ideas found here should be a help to anyone serious about becoming more economical with energy and using less toxic products.
Here are pages on furniture restoration and recycling ideas to enable you to re-vamp your home while keeping to a tight budget. There are also ideas for fixtures and furnishings which will last the pace. It's important when purchasing new kit for your eco home improvements not to be lured by trashy stuff which will end up in landfill in a few short years time.
It is also important to think about your house structure and design if you are contemplating more extensive remodeling of your house. See this excellent book from Amazon for current thinking on downsizing and becoming more efficient at home.
Very often natural materials are among the very best choices for durability as well as looking great.
Nevertheless, there are many fine modern products which use technologically advanced materials and methods to provide specific benefits. Blinds and shutters which deflect the suns rays, for example can be great for saving on air conditioning and heating bills. And some modern forms of insulation are very effective and long-lasting.
This section will take a look at some of these materials.
There are also a few articles on larger projects which you might want to get done - rather than do them yourself, unless you happen to be a competent builder, of course.
"Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" is a mantra-like concept for ecologically-aware people all over the planet. The point is to reduce or reclaim energy use and avoid unnecessary landfill. Some would add "repair" to the list.
Image, right, shows the waste hierarchy with thanks to Drstuey
Here are some ideas for reducing your household expenditure and being more eco-friendly. Did you know, for example that newspapers can be recycled in several ways at home? You can use them to make logs (briquettes) for the fire. You can use them to mulch your garden. You can even use them to construct home made furniture! This last is perhaps not for the faint-hearted.
Recycling and reusing can also be ways to reduce household clutter. Old binoculars can be given to wildlife organisations such as the RSPB; some charities will be glad of donations of old spectacles and broken jewelry.
Do you have an old mobile phone lying around? If so, why not help the environment and yourself by seeing how much you could get for it at any mobile phone recycling facility?
Do not be tempted to put modern consumer tech items such as mobiles, cameras and iPods into your trash. Many such items contain toxic chemicals which are better recycled professionally. Contact your local government offices for advice. Some supermarkets and large stores now offer battery and small electrical goods recycling.
It is always worth considering using recycled materials where possible in any home improvement project; considerable savings can sometimes be made.
You may also find some of the articles in the Green Cleaning section helpful for successfully finishing some of your eco home improvements.
Also check Frugal Living for more ideas - see the nav bar.
I hope you enjoy some of these easy home improvement projects and can find a few to suit your circumstances. They are not graded in order of difficulty - but I will add the less easy home improvement projects towards the bottom of the page.Here are the articles.
The best attic insulation choices for green living Here are some of the best and greenest options around for improving your home with attic insulation.
More best attic insulation choices, including recycled plastics, cellulose and an explanation of "R" value.
The best insulation for homes for green living. This is probably one you won't want to do yourself - external wall insulation.
Types of Home Insulation - for an Eco-friendly and Snug Home Here are most of the main options for householders.
Tips for energy saving at home Here's an overview of easy things to do to become more energy efficient at home.
A cheap wood burning stove. A cheap wood burning stove can deliver sustainable warmth in your home. Here are some ideas for which types of wood burner to choose.
The advantages of biomass fuels A look at a sustainable and green source of fuel - but which one is best for your home?
Solar home improvements Here's a brief outline of the various kinds of improvements which you could make to your home which involve solar power. See also Green Energy for more details on some of these solar power projects.
Create an energy-efficient swimming pool Some simple tips for making your home pool use less energy.
Green roofing and flooring options There are now many good options for eco roofing and eco flooring - something to consider if you are going for a major renovation or extension on your home.
The importance of ecological surveys Why and how an ecological survey could help you if you are developing your property - or just want to do the best for wildlife around your home.
How does geothermal heating work? Here is an outline answer. Geothermal heating is perhaps not easy - but it can be cost-effective and very sustainable.
Give your used bars stools a green makeover Here's how to refinish or refurbish old bar stools to save cash and keep them out of landfill!
Sofa and loveseat slipcovers Revitalise your old sofa or loveseat with these tips.
The best thermal window treatments for your home Solar window film, insulated drapes and blinds - about some of the best options.
Moving to a new house - some green moving tips Here's how to make it a relatively painless and green experience.
Water saving tips for your home Some more ideas for saving water around the house and thereby cutting energy and utility bills.
Eco homes are becoming more affordable Here's a look at some options for modern eco homes - from Earthships to straw bale construction.
Bicester Eco Village - a plan for an eco-friendly community A new village is planned in Oxfordshire, UK. Here are some details.
An eco-builder Advertise your services here if you do building work to a high standard, using ecologically sound methods. UK only for now.
Easy Home Improvement Projects, copyright Greenfootsteps.com 2011
Please do not copy without permission.
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