22 Green Upgrade Ideas for Your House


Implementing some “green” upgrades in a home you own is almost always a great investment — it can both save you money and make your home more attractive to buyers. Consider some of these suggestions and choose the ones that work best with your budget and lifestyle.

  • Recycling bin: Start recycling today if you don’t already.

  • Energy auditor: Order an energy audit from your local provider.

  • Sun with window shades: Make the sun work for you; capture or reflect its heat.

  • Trees and shrubs: Use strategically placed trees and shrubs to absorb sunlight.

  • Caulked windows: If your house is drafty, recall your windows.

  • Rain cistern: Rainwater can be used for yards, gardens, and other outdoor needs.

  • New roof: A new roof can save you tons on your energy bills.

  • Solar water heater: Solar water heaters capture the sun’s heat to warm water.

  • Concrete countertop: Eco-friendly countertop replacements (like concrete) last a long time and look great.

  • Bamboo flooring: Renewable flooring options, such as bamboo, are gorgeous and environmentally friendly.

  • New shower heads, toilets, faucets: Save water by upgrading your shower heads, toilets, and faucets.

  • Composite deck: Composite materials for decks can last longer than wood and are often greener, too.

  • Recycled mulch: Recycled mulch can be hardier than wood mulch (but consult with an expert first).

  • Computer with list of reliable places to get products/materials (www.greenguard.com,www.fscus.org,www.mbdc.com/cdc) : Check your products and materials against a good source for environmentally friendly products.

  • Energy Star appliances: Energy Star appliances use less energy and save you money.

  • Water filter on the sink: Instead of buying bottled water, filter your water at home and carry a reusable water bottle.

  • Native plants in the garden: Seeding your garden with native plant and grass species is a fantastic way to be greener.

  • New exterior doors and windows: Eliminate drafts and manage the climate inside your house with new doors or windows.

  • Skylights: Lighting rooms is a huge energy expenditure; adding skylights can ease the burden.

  • Programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat can help you adjust the temperature for the time of day.

  • New light bulbs: Compact fluorescent or LED bulbs give off more light and take less energy than incandescent bulbs.

  • Updated insulation: You may be able to boost your home’s energy consumption by updating your insulation.