Josh Wilson is the owner of a start-up personal finance blog, Family Faith Finance. Feel free to check out his blog and learn more about his journey through life.
Hey all! I am excited to talk to you about this topic today – making green improvements to your home. It’s a new one for me, but it’s fun all the same. Okay, so let me be honest here. I did not truly care about green this or green that until my children arrived in this world. After they showed up, I saw things quite differently. I knew that I needed to make a change with their future in mind by helping make this world a better place. So, I decided to make some green improvements.
If you are unsure about why you should make some green improvements in your home, I can tell you that there are quite a few benefits. For starters, you can save money. Second, you can establish a healthier home as well as healthy habits for your kids, and you should be able to make a positive impact on your community and the environment.
Below, I will give you some ideas to help make your home green, and yes, some of these I have done with the help of my kids and wife. (I must give credit where credit is due.)
Plant a Garden in Your Backyard
If you are like me, then you want something nice to look at in your backyard, but you just don’t know what. Before I chose to make some green improvements, I settled for a couple lawn chairs and a few potted plants, but it just wasn’t cutting it. So, I decided to plant my own garden in the backyard.
This improvement here is kind of two-fold for me. I was tired of seeing how much money we spent on food and for some of it to go to waste. With a garden full of vegetables, we would be able to save money on the grocery bill, and I would be growing my fruits and vegetables in my free time, making it a side hustle in a way. Well, I did it, and I have some very successful plants that help keep up fed throughout the year.
I had to do some research on what plants could grow in my area. Depending on what state you live in, the types of fruit or vegetables you can grow will vary. Some of my hardiest crops include cabbage, snap beans, and grapes.
Consider Solar Panels for Your Home
Using the sun’s energy is natural, right? Of course, it is, and you can bet that we harness it in our home. While we are not solely dependent on solar panels, we have made use of them to power some of the items that we use frequently such as our electrical heating appliances. We save anywhere from $50 to $90 per month alone on our electric bill which is a lifesaver. There are even financing programs available that, in effect, subsidize the cost of installing one of these systems.
Install an Electric Water Heater
You may be wondering just how an electric water heater can help you be green in your home. I originally thought this at first glance, but I quickly learned the reason. First, you can power your electric water heater via your solar panels which saves money on the electricity bill. In addition, you can place a timer on your electric water heater which limits how often it works to heat up your water and thus keep your cost down.
Start Recycling in Your City
Recycling. It sounds so easy, right? While it may sound simple, you would be surprised at how many households choose not to recycle. I never used to recycle, but after doing some research on the effects of not recycling, I vowed to recycle after that. Furthermore, I encourage my kids recycle and hope they’ll do so in the future. I encourage you to join me on this endeavor.
I have included all three of my kids in the process, so they are able to learn more about why it is so important to recycle. In my house, we recycle it all from glass to plastic to paper. If your city is anything like mine, then you have to specifically request recycling services since they do not just do it with your trash service.
Recycling may be hard to get used to at first, but with a little work, you will be used to it in no time. Even if you only choose to recycle your aluminum cans, you will be saving countless animals and can help prevent pollution and debris in our environment.
Keep Your Finances in Mind Too
When you start to turn your home into an eco-friendly place, make sure the choices you make are financially sensible. For example, it would not make sense to install solar panels at a cost of $20,000 if you will only save about $5,000 over the course of a 10-year period. As you look for ways to make your home greener, think about your finances as well. For us, a garden made sense because it helped us save money. If my wife and I did not have to shell out a lot for it, then we were open to try it. I know that with a little thinking and planning, you too can make some great green improvements to your home.