It doesn’t take too much effort to make the world we live in a better and healthier place. Big companies can try to reduce the impact their operations have on the environment while homeowners can design their homes in a more eco-friendly manner. So, if you’ve been thinking about upgrading your home, you’ll definitely want to consider the idea of going green. Especially since making your home more eco-friendly can also help you scrap away some money. If you’re not sure where to start with your green remodeling, here are 5 ideas that are guaranteed to help.

#1. Add more insulation

If you find yourself turning up your thermostat in the winter only to find it make very little difference, chances are you need some extra insulation. This is the case because hot air escapes through unheated areas of your home such as your attic or garage. Adding more insulation into these spaces will help you prevent hot air from escaping from your home and thus lower your energy consumption. Of course, this is also going to reduce your energy bill. When it comes to eco-friendly insulation materials you can go for, cotton which is made from recycled denim might your safest bet. Polystyrene is another interesting option, and even though this material isn’t natural, it can be recycled.

#2. Start relying on natural light

When going green, lowering your energy consumption is something you’ll simply have to aim at. And there’s hardly a better way to do this than to reduce your use of artificial lighting. Therefore, what you’ll want to do is let more sunlight into your home. This is where installing a few extra windows can turn out to be an amazing idea. Not to mention that experts have now come up with eco-friendly windows which offer good insulation and reflect heat. If you decide to install these, you won’t only use less energy for lighting your home but for cooling and heating it as well. If you live in a region where summers tend to get pretty hot, installing shades is always recommended.

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#3. Green Remodeling: Invest in solar panels

There’s no need to say that solar panels have proved to be quite a popular option for modern homeowners. Installing these may seem like an expensive project at first, but when thinking long-term you’ll actually be saving quite a lot. If you decide to install solar panels on your roof, make sure you find experts who’ll provide you with quality panels and help you out when it comes to positioning and installation. Besides installing solar panels, you might also want to think about the idea of investing in a solar battery. This little thing allows you to store the energy your panels collect and reduce your energy bill to almost $0.

#4. Go for an eco-friendly flooring

Long gone are the days when you had to use boring and bland materials when going eco-friendly. With more and more designers seeking eco-friendly solutions, manufacturers have come up with quite a few interesting flooring materials. So, if you want to update your flooring, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from. For example, you might want to consider using cork, which is green, durable and easy-to-maintain. Bamboo flooring is another interesting option since bamboo tends to grow pretty quickly. No matter which flooring material you decide to go for, you’ll also want to use floor rugs since these will help you reduce the amount of energy needed to keep your home warm.

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#5. Paint with low-VOC paints

When updating your home, chances are you’ll want to apply a fresh coat of paint to it. So, when painting your walls, you might want to think about using low-VOC paints. This is the case because VOCs tend to reduce indoor air quality and are believed to be a carcinogen. And of course, when going green, you should always aim at creating a healthier living environment for you and your family. Therefore, when buying paint for your remodeling project, make sure you choose low-VOCs. If you’re not sure which brand to go for, you might want to turn to a designer who should be able to help you choose an appropriate brand for your home.

Whatever your eco-friendly expectations are, these 5 green remodeling ideas should help you execute them. And there’s no reason why you shouldn’t keep looking for new ways to reduce your carbon footprint even once your remodeling project is completed.

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Amelia Atkins is an author on the site Smooth Decorator and now a fresh architecture student.