By Jasmine Dyoco
Americans do more damage to the earth than people in other countries. As this article from ScientificAmerican.com notes, an American child will create 13 times more ecological damage in their life than a child born in Brazil. And there are other ways the U.S. out-pollutes the world. For example, the same article notes that Americans are least likely of all people to use public transportation, which contributes to our substantial carbon footprint. And unfortunately, the list could go on and on.
Of course, there are many ways we can all live greener lives, and a great place to start is right in your own home. Here are a few ways to use green building to make your home more sustainable:
Use recycled building materials. Chances are you’re familiar with the phrase, “Reduce, reuse, recycle.” Well, it shouldn’t only apply to what you do with your empty Coke cans. As this article on recyclable building materials shows, you can put the motto to work if you’re planning a building or remodeling project at your home. It suggests using building materials purchased from scrap and reusing as much material as possible. And if you do have to purchase new materials, make sure they can be recycled in the future.
Take it one project at a time. There are tons of projects around one’s house that can be done to make the home more sustainable. But know that they don’t have to be done all at once. You can help the environment simply by going one project at a time as your budget permits. That’s what a homeowner from this article on home energy efficiency improvements did. He created a several-year-long plan in which he replaced an inefficient heat pump, installed new windows and doors, switched to an energy efficient refrigerator, and more.
Go green on a budget. When a homeowner hears, “build green,” they probably fear the amount they’ll have to shell out in order to make their home more environmentally friendly. Fortunately, going green doesn’t require a big budget. As ThisOldHouse.com shows, many green projects can be implemented at a low cost. For example, it suggests building a clothesline to cut back on the use of your dryer, planting trees that will one day shade your house, and more—all projects that can be completed for less than $500.
Build a sustainable dog house. Yes, your pet’s home can be just as sustainable as yours. This article on dogs and green living provides information on how to use reclaimed wood, recycled pallets, and other recycled building materials to build a dog house. Or if you’re in need of a dog run or outdoor kennel, it offers tips on how to make those more sustainable as well.
In order ensure that we and the generations after us can live comfortably on earth, we need to take steps now to live more sustainably. Making our homes greener is a great place to start.
Jasmine Dyoco is a fan of crossword puzzles, gardening, books on tape, learning (anything!) and fencing. She truly enjoys the work she does with Educator Labs and hopes you’ll stop by the site to learn more!