5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Home and the Environment

Renovate for Environmentally Friendly Properties

Homebuyers can renovate or improve their properties while helping the environment.

Even before you finance your dream home with a VA loan, you’re entitled to think about some of the changes you want to make around the house. Not every military homebuyer settles into a home that fulfills expectations down to the last detail.

Whether it’s the landscape you plan to alter or the interior décor, here are some environmentally friendly things to do that also benefit you as a homeowner:

Plant trees
Military families who foresee staying at their home for a long time can reap the benefits of trees planted around the house’s exterior. Trees on the east and west side of your home can shade sun in the summer and let it in the winter. With trees on the north and south side, you’ll limit winter winds. Shading your air conditioner also cuts down on energy costs.

Compost
Starting a compost is easy, cheap and keeps you from throwing things in a landfill that don’t belong there. You’ll be surprised at what goes in compost piles.

Reusing containers
Reducing waste is ideal, but when you’re left with plastic, glass or aluminum containers there are alternatives to recycling them. Use them for vases, small gardening pots or mediums to make art.

Plants
When you pick out seeds to plant in some of those reused tins and jars, pick native plants. They require less water and don’t disturb the ecosystem in which you put them. Plant databases allow you to look up plants by name to ensure you plant only native species.

Cleaning
As soon as military families move in, they often give the house a good cleaning. It’s easy to buy cleaners at the grocery store, but some environmentally conscious homeowners enjoy making their own cleaning kits. Beyond that you can replace paper towels with reusable rags, old bath towels or pieces of old clothes.

It’s healthy to think about the small changes you’ll make to a house even before it’s yours. Regardless, remember that those changes can be healthy for the environment, too.

Image: kirstyhall