Environmental sustainability is a universal trend that found its way into the world of home design. Eco-friendly features can reduce a homeowner’s utility bill and carbon footprint, and increase their property’s aesthetic appeal.
To boost the sustainability of your house, think about adding some new external features. Smart sprinklers, organic fertilizers, green decks, vegetable gardens, solar lights, wind turbines, solar panels, eco-friendly paint, new trees, and native grass can all increase the visual allure of your home.
1. Smart Sprinklers
Between 30% and 60% of fresh water is used in residential lawn maintenance. Improper watering times and application causes a significant amount of water waste. This is because conventional sprinklers do not determine the weather when preparing to water your lawn.
Traditional sprinklers function off a timer, which leads to overwatering, underwatering, and evaporation. The water waste generated by this system led innovators to develop a smart sprinkler. These sprinklers connect to the internet to read the weather and adjust watering cycles accordingly.
The sprinkler utilizes this information as well as your traditional watering patterns to maximize efficiency. Smart systems can adequately water your grass, reduce water waste, and produce a fuller and greener lawn.
2. Organic Fertilizers
Conventional lawn fertilizers are herbicides and insecticides, which aid the growth of your lawn. These products cause harsh impacts on the environment. Chemical-filled fertilizers runoff into rivers and streams, harming the marine ecosystem and contaminating our drinking water.
Homeowners can use organic fertilizers to reduce their negative impact on the planet. These products create a safer environment while adding to the aesthetic of your lawn. Natural fertilizers provide various benefits for homeowners.
They create luscious soil compared to the crusted effects of non-organic fertilizers. Organic products also improve the structure of soil by increasing groundwater flow. Utilizing these grass enhancements can boost the prestige of your lawn.
3. Green Decks
Outdoor decks benefit homeowners in multiple ways, from relaxing in nature to backyard parties. Plus adding a deck to your home could have a 75% ROI. Traditional wood decks contribute to a significant environmental issue — deforestation.
You can build an eco-friendly deck by utilizing green materials. Builders construct the majority of wooden decks out of rare tropical woods. Reduce the environmental degradation associated with your deck by using composite wood planks.
These materials are less harsh on the planet while maintaining a beautiful finish. You can enhance the look of your green deck by adding a bioethanol fire pit. These pits reduce air pollution and produce the same level of heat as a wood fireplace.
4. Vegetable Garden
Adding a vegetable garden to your property can provide a unique array of colors. Outside of complementing a rustic-style home, these agricultural features help reduce carbon emissions.
The non-local fruits and vegetables we purchase in grocery stores travel around 1,500 miles or more. Shipping and transporting produce to our local shops burns a significant amount of fossil fuels, polluting the atmosphere. You can shrink your carbon footprint and reduce soil erosion by installing a vegetable garden around your home.
5. Solar Landscape Lights
Illuminate the entrance to your home with a path of small solar-powered lights. These lanterns source their energy from small panels, which convert sunlight into energy. Once installed, solar lights create zero carbon emissions.
Another benefit of installing these light features is that they will not increase your energy bill. The low-maintenance lanterns are self-sufficient and require minimal human intervention.
6. Install a Small Wind Turbine
Renewable energy sources, like wind power, are the future of global electricity. Stay ahead of the game by installing a small turbine on your property.
To further reduce your footprint, you can build a wind turbine out of recycled material around your home. With old bicycle parts, unused metal, and a car alternator, one can craft their own renewable energy source. This green home feature will reduce your home’s environmental impact and increase its curb appeal.
7. Install Solar Panels
Another renewable energy source one could add to their property is solar power. Installing panels on your house reduces the fossil fuels burned through traditional energy sourcing. The thin panels complement your roof while maintaining the visual appeal of your home.
Utilizing solar power in the home represents the same emission decrease as planting 150 trees annually. This level of reduction significantly adds to the sustainability of a home.
8. Eco-Friendly Exterior Paint
Some exterior home paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOC), which pollute the atmosphere when exposed to heat. You can reduce your contribution to air pollution by adding eco-friendly color to the outside of your house.
Paints that use zinc oxide as their fungicide contain little to no VOCs. This allows you to spruce up the outside of your home with new paint with a limited impact on the environment.
9. Plant Trees
Trees play an important role in the preservation of the atmosphere. They remove carbon dioxide from the environment and convert it into clean oxygen. Greenery also increases the value of a home.
Full-grown trees add around 10% to a property’s value due to their environmental function and privacy-enhancing abilities. They also create shade for the house. The more shade available to your home, the lower your air conditioning costs will be in the warmer months.
10. Add Native Grass
A large portion of residential water waste derives from improper and excessive lawn maintenance. To reduce the need for human interference with your yard, plant native grass.
The ecosystem naturally supports native plants, and they, in turn, improve the ecosystem. Indigenous agriculture reduces the need for pesticides, extensive watering, and carbon-emitting mowers. Planting native grasses allow for a greener and lusher yard.
Curb Appeal Without Environmental Harm
Millennials and Generation Z make up the most extensive current customer base. They value environmental conservation and sustainability more than any other cohort. Adding eco-friendly features to your property can increase the value of your home in the eyes of these customers.
Reduce your home’s carbon footprint and grow its value by installing sustainable features. They will help you save money on your utility bill and increase the curb appeal of your property.
Jane is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co where she covers topics in sustainability and green building.