In the interior design industry, it’s becoming increasingly more and more important to make our homes and offices as green as we can, in order to make our buildings more energy efficient, save money, and reduce our impact on the environment. In fact, one of the most frequently asked questions from homeowners and office building owners is, ‘How can I make my building more green?’
Well, there are quite a few ways to green up your living and working spaces! Consider implementing some of the different options below.
1. Purchase Lower Maintenance Materials. Choose materials when building or updating your home or building that require less maintenance and will not need to be replaced frequently, such as masonry for the exterior, linoleum or tile floors, and metal or vinyl fencing. Use rubber mulch instead of natural mulch; it will last longer and uses tires that would normally just be sitting in a landfill.
2. Improve your insulation. Seal your windows with caulk or silicone in order to make sure that there are no air leaks. Purchase double paned windows to improve insulation, and use window coverings like blinds, drapes, shades, or curtains. Adding window tinting will also help during the hot summer months to keep the heat out and reduce the need for air conditioning.
3. Install solar panels. Installing solar panels is an excellent way to create your own energy for your home or building as well as either reduce or eliminate your current electric bill.
5. Reduce your electricity usage. You can do this by installing skylights to let more light in so you only need them at night. Use energy efficient light bulbs. Wash your clothes with cold water instead of hot – they wash just as well and don’t use the electricity to heat up. Hang them up to dry rather than using a dryer. Choose energy efficient appliances and use ceiling fans instead of A/C when you can. Turn off and unplug electronics that aren’t being used at night.
4. Improve your water efficiency. Install low flow water fixtures so that less water is wasted. You can also install a drip sprinkler system rather than a standard sprinkler system, which is more effective anyway.
Even just incorporating a few of these things into your home or office can make a difference! You could set a goal of installing or changing one thing every three months and watching what a difference it makes.