Millions of people are being asked to quarantine or isolate at home during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Staying at home can be difficult for many people, but there are things you can do to help pass the time and ward off cabin fever. Now is the perfect time to start a new home renovation project or research plans for bigger projects in the future. While you embark on a new home renovation project, consider making your endeavor eco-friendly so you can help the planet while helping yourself.
While you #stay-at-home” finish small home improvements you’ve been putting off. Upgrade your light bulbs or start a home composting system to make your home more eco-friendly.
Below are a few eco-friendly ways you can improve your home while staying safe during the quarantine.
Do the Small Improvement Projects You Have Been Putting Off
The key to green home renovation during quarantine is using what you already have or can easily attain. Thankfully, there are many small home improvement projects you can undertake using things you likely already have in your home. Have you been meaning to switch out doorknobs for a new design, but never had time to install them? Are your bookcases a mess and in desperate need of reorganization? Have you been meaning to paint an accent wall or a new canvas, but you never got around to ordering the paint with low levels of VOCs and organic pigments?
Now is the perfect time to take up all the projects you have set aside for various reasons. Focus on small tasks that you already have the materials for or can have delivered. There is an endless number of tutorials that can show you how to accomplish any number of small and simple home improvement or decoration projects.
Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
One of the easiest and most effective ways you can make your home more eco-friendly is by replacing your old light bulbs to energy-efficient models. Collect your old incandescent bulbs and install CFL or LED bulbs in their place. CFL and LED bulbs are readily available online and can be delivered in a few days, so you don’t even have to leave your house to upgrade your lights. CFL and LED bulbs are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but the higher per-unit price is well worth the trade and the price is offset by the numerous benefits these modern bulbs offer.
CFL and LED bulbs last longer, shine brighter and use less energy than incandescent bulbs making them worth the high unit price. A single incandescent bulb lasts for 1,000 hours, but CFL and LED bulbs blow that life-span out of the water with impressive life-spans of 8,000 and 25,000 hours respectively. A single LED bulb can shine for 25,000 hours, but it would take roughly 21 incandescent bulbs to equal that lifespan. Incandescent bulbs may be less expensive than CFL or LED bulbs, but you will replace an incandescent bulb far more frequently than CFL or LED bulbs and end up losing money in the long run. Replacing your bulbs less often not only saves you money, but it also prevents unnecessary waste as broken or burnt out light bulbs generally end up in landfills.
Start a Home Composting System
The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates 30% of what households throw out consists of food scraps and yard waste. When we throw out these materials, they end up in landfills and contribute to global warming because they do not decompose as normal in the landfill, but these materials need not be discarded when they can be composted instead. Home composting systems use food scraps, pet hair, cut flowers, tea bags, and more to make plant fertilizer. Add equal amounts of green and brown materials, a sprinkling of water every so often, and turn your mixture over every week for best results. Your compost is ready for use when it looks like normal soil.
The recommended size for an outdoor compost bin is 3 feet wide, but you can set up a smaller compost station indoors so people without outdoor spaces can still participate. You can make your own compost bin or order one online and have it delivered to your house. Regardless of the size of your compost bin, you want a bin with a tight-fitting lid to keep unwanted smells from leaking out. Ideally, you should line your compost bin with biodegradable bags so your composting efforts are not negated by wasteful plastic pages. Stash full compost bags in the freezer to preserve the compost and eliminate odors until you can safely coordinate a donation if you aren’t using the fertilizer yourself. Many municipalities now also have regular pick up of food scraps and yard waste.
Staying home during quarantine doesn’t prevent you from completing projects around your house. With some creativity, you can renovate and improve your house with eco-friendly projects.
Staying home during quarantine doesn’t prevent you from completing projects around your house. With some creativity, you can renovate and improve your house with eco-friendly projects. Finish those small home improvements you have been putting off, upgrade your light bulbs, and start a home composting system to make your home more eco-friendly during isolation.
Have you done any eco-friendly renovations while you are home?
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