There is a false belief that only new homes can be green. According to this misconception, old homes are inefficient, built with outdated or even toxic materials, and not suited for modern, green technologies. This simply isn’t true. It’s much better for the environment you rehabilitate and improve an existing home than build a whole new home. It isn’t easy, but neither is construction.
The biggest thing to do in order to make an old home greener is to replace or improve the underlying structures and systems. Installing energy efficient windows Burlington County NJ or your area can make an old home much more energy-efficient. Replacing old and possibly toxic insulation materials with improved, greener alternatives is another way to reduce your home’s carbon footprint. The older your home is, the more likely it is to be one step ahead of a modern green home in terms of placement and alignment. In the days before central heating and air conditioning, people were much more aware of how a home could be passively heated and cooled by the surrounding environment, using trees, or south-facing windows.
Another vitally important thing to do is upgrade the appliances. Much like building a whole new home, it’s best to wait until it’s time to replace, instead of throwing away a perfectly good appliance. If the point is to minimize impact, you don’t want to make unnecessary replacements and create unnecessary waste. However, all appliances need to be replaced sometime. When that time comes, there is always an opportunity to choose something that is more efficient with its energy and resources. Appliances that use less electricity and less water are almost better, both for the environment and for your wallet.
You can do a lot to make your old home more eco-friendly, beyond the basics of repairing and replacing what’s already there. It’s relatively easy to add solar panels to an existing roof, but not all homes are really suited for solar. Landscaping can improve biodiversity, promote native plants, and create habitats for local fauna; this is another way that your old home can be quite literally greener. Composting can reduce food waste in your home and help you become a zero-waste home.
An eco-friendly house isn’t always shiny and new. It’s what’s inside that really counts, from the insulation to the innovations. An eco-friendly life isn’t a one-time purchase. It is something that you achieve over and over with your actions and your choices.