Earth Day is a great reminder that we should be doing our best to protect and preserve our planet all year long. One of the best ways we can do that is by making our home a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly living space. Whether you are a beginner or advanced DIYer, here are seven easy home improvements that you can complete before April 22nd.
- Add a tree to your landscaping.
If your home has outdoor space, consider adding a tree to your landscaping. Trees reduce carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere. They also provide shelter for wildlife. Even if you live in a condominium, you can still capture some of the carbon dioxide in the air. Just check with your community to see if they have any gardening or tree planting projects in the works. They may even have special events planned for Earth Day. Whether volunteering your time or making a small donation to help plant a tree, you can do your part to get more green into your neighborhood.
- Seal air leaks with caulk.
Air can leak out of your home around windows and doors if they are not sealed properly. While you might not notice this occurring, air leaks can drive up your electricity bill and waste energy, because your air conditioner will have to work harder to achieve your preferred temperature. Some home improvements take hours or days to complete, but you can easily seal any cracks with caulk in just a few minutes. All you’ll need is caulk, a caulk gun, and a screwdriver. If you’re unsure of your ability to make a clean line, apply painters tape above and below where you’ll be caulking to achieve perfect, even lines.
- Add pull-out recycling bins in the kitchen.
Do you keep your recycling bins in the garage or along the outside of your home? This may be why sometimes plastic bottles or aluminum cans end up in your trash rather than recycling. Make recycling as easy as possible by sorting your trash and recycling right in the kitchen. You will find pull out trash bins for your all wood cabinetry that discreetly feature two trash containers. This cabinet accessory is super easy to install and offers a no-excuse solution for encouraging you and your family members to recycle at home.
- Choose eco-friendly flooring.
Are the floors in your home in need of a refresh? When comparing floor options, consider choosing an eco-friendly material like vinyl flooring. Vinyl is one of the more energy-efficient materials to make and it is extremely durable. Since vinyl scores well in life-cycle evaluations and is an affordable material, it is often recommended for homeowners that want a greener flooring option. The RTA Store has a vast selection of vinyl flooring options that are Greenguard Gold and FloorScore Certified, formaldehyde and phthalate free, antimicrobial, and 100% waterproof.
- Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs.
When your traditional incandescent light bulbs burn out, replace them with energy efficient light bulbs. Energy efficient light bulbs use 25%-80% less energy and last 3-25 times longer than traditional bulbs. All that saved energy also translates to savings on your electric bill. When buying energy-efficient light bulbs, look for halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), or light emitting diodes (LEDs).
- Opt for smart appliances.
Another smart swap in the home is energy-efficient appliances. Today’s models feature advanced functionality like the ability to look inside your refrigerator without opening the door! When it’s time to replace an appliance, shop for a smart appliance that has the ENERGY STAR stamp of approval. These smart appliances are independently certified to save energy, money, and protect the climate.
- Choose water-saving toilets, faucets and showerheads in the bathroom.
In addition to saving energy in your home, you can also save water. When making any home improvements in the bathroom, look for styles of toilets, faucets and showerheads that are designed to save water. You will know that they meet the EPA’s criteria for water efficiency and performance if they feature the WaterSense label.
At The RTA Store, we help make your dream home a reality with RTA (ready to assemble) and pre-assembled cabinets and accessories. Whether it’s your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, home office, home bar, or TV room, we offer the same (if not better) quality you would find at any retail store, but for a fraction of the price. Stop by our website or give us a call, and let us make your dreams come true with the help of our free room design service.