5 Sustainable Home Improvement Ideas for Eco-Friendly ROI

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Being environmentally friendly doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got to break the bank; if you’re savvy, you can save time and money, increase health, decrease environmental impact, and live happier organically. Here are five ways to see return on investment (ROI) based in environmentally friendly property management tactics.

What's Inside

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Rain Barrels

In some states it’s illegal to collect rain. There are ways around this, you should check local law to see where your locality stands. Generally, you’ll be able to use rain barrels. Incorporate a filtration system and you’ve got ample clean drinking water. In Austin, Texas, you get 35 inches of rain a year, roughly.

Design your roof and premises to funnel water into rain barrels, store that water and filter it. An average rain barrel holds 60 gallons. Twelve holds 720. One good storm could give two people clean, fresh, natural drinking water for a whole year, at around a gallon a day. It’s going to be better than tap water, which has all manner of chemicals.

You won’t have to pay so much in utilities. If you’re in a rainy enough place, you can also store rainwater for hygiene, but it’s probably better to use traditional utilities here. Still, buy 12 rain barrels one year and use them for a decade. Spend $1,440 in barrels, $560 on a proper water filtration system, and for $2k you’ve got drinking water for a decade or more.

Meanwhile, at $1 a gallon and an average two-person consumption of 730 gallons a year (a gallon a day for each person), you’re looking at $7,300 a year. So in a decade, proper rain barrel use could save you over $5k while helping you live cleaner and in a more ecologically friendly way.

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“Green” Energy

A solar energy array of 3.1 kWh will cost around $5k if you employ DIY installation techniques. You’ll see an average property value spike of over $16k, nationally. That’s $11k ROI for a weekend’s work. You’ll see ROI, likely enough, even if you have such an array professionally installed. That’s not to mention utility bill savings.

Check out texaselectricityplans.com or other localized sites dealing in utilities to get an idea how much electricity is costing you monthly, and annually. Generally, the average for a family in America $100 a month, or $1,200 a year. That’s $12k in ten years you could save through an effective solar array. Not every day is sunny, so this isn’t an exact record of savings. However, you should see it even out.

Water energy and wind energy can additionally produce electricity in a way that’s more cost-effective than using the grid in the long-term, but you’ll need to be zoned correctly, and you’ll need to be near fast-running water or windy areas.

Still, each is about $5k to install. For $15k you can be grid-independent with three energy collection means that are green, and at a profit. What you save in utilities, and your property value expansion, represents considerable ROI.

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A Vegetable Garden

A vegetable garden is as cheap as the seeds and water necessary for growth. Fertilizer helps, and there are natural ways of acquiring it. Also, you can use rainwater for irrigation if you like—whatever works best. Keep at it regularly and you can have your own fruits and veggies readily available throughout most the year. You can make preserves for the winter.

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Clutter Reduction

You’ve probably got a lot of empty space in your home you don’t make proper use of. Clear that space. Throw away junk. Reduce what your needs are to live, and make sure the premises are spotless as you can make them. Minimalism reduces the surface area of possessions, collaterally cutting associated costs.

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Atmospheric Management

Open windows at night, and close them at daybreak along with blinds—you’ll keep the evenings cool in until the heat of the day. Use natural ventilation from areas of the home away from the sun at that point to keep the premises cool.

Practice strategic atmosphere controls, and your home will stay cool without so much HVAC cost. You can do the same in winter through battening down “hatches” and opening windows where the sun comes in. Also, solid insulation keeps the inside hot or cool regardless of exterior temperatures with greater reliability.

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Stewarding Resources Profitably

Atmosphere controls, clutter reduction, veggie gardens, rain barrels, and alternative energy can cost-effectively reduce expenses in owning a home while simultaneously having a positive impact on the environment, and even delivering ROI either in deferred expenses or increased property value. 

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