You consider your carbon footprint: you recycle; you never leave your home without your reusable shopping bags; you may even have a compost in your backyard to cut back on waste. However, there is ample opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint in a place that you might not be thinking about — your home. From the floors underneath your feet to the shower fixtures in your bathroom to the thermostat on the wall, there are various areas of the home that could benefit from an eco-friendly update.
Today’s top designers and manufacturers are creating more eco-friendly flooring options than ever before, and the options are quite limitless when it comes to finding a style that suits your home. Looking for an option that resembles real wood flooring with less of an environmental impact? Consider cork or bamboo. Cork is harvested without cutting down any trees, only the bark is used, which grows back every three years. Bamboo flooring is harvested from natural vegetation, which grows to full maturity in just five years, far less than the trees used for common hardwood options that take up to 25 years to mature. Both of these sustainable options are available in a range of shades, colors and grains, which can be customized to fit your home’s design scheme.
While its environmental harm is considered to be fairly low, nobody likes the idea of showering under chlorine. This chemical can make the skin, scalp and hair dry, and there are additional health issues that may arise as well. EPA experts cite that chlorine combines with other natural compounds and can trigger the production of free radicals found in the body, ultimately causing cell damage. Take precautions when putting together an eco-friendly bathroom such as installing shower heads that filter out potentially harmful chlorine chemicals. Many chlorine-filtering shower heads can be installed in minutes, and are designed to remove up to 90 percent or more chlorine from shower water, thanks to inventive design and filter cartridges that last up to seven months.
Smart homes are increasing in popularity. And while you may think that an internet-connected refrigerator is a little too much, there are actually a range of eco-friendly smart home technologies available today that can save energy and keep you connected to your home when you are on the go or away. One such product is ecobee. This smart thermostat is designed to help homeowners save energy. The ENERGY STAR-certified thermostat saves homeowners an average of 25 percent on heating and cooling utility bills. The smart thermostat can regulate the temperature in your home, and it can even pinpoint cold spots and hot spots around your living spaces for all around comfort with room sensors. The easy-to-install thermostat connects to your favorite devices and it available in both the Apple Store and via Google Play. That means, if you’re driving to work but you forgot to turn your air conditioning off, you can hop on the app and simply tap to turn it off.
Designing an eco-friendly home doesn’t have to be difficult. With Earth-conscious flooring options, smart thermostats and eco-friendly shower fixtures, you’re on your way to creating a healthier, more sustainable home.