A sustainable home can be great for the environment, and there are many different ways to approach this. The first question to ask is whether to build a new home or retrofit an existing one. The former may cause a greater environmental strain initially but be better in the long run. On the other hand, there are other considerations, such as whether building a new home would make it necessary to move and how that would affect the family’s quality of life in other ways.

Building a new, sustainable home can allow for many innovations and sustainable best practices, such as having a cool roof that does not absorb the heat of the sun or only using eco-paints. Construction materials should be recycled.

Another consideration is cost. People who have plenty of money to spend may be able to take on refurbishments that are similar to what they might do if they built a new home. For example, they might replace windows with more energy-efficient ones. However, people who cannot afford this can still take steps to make windows more energy-efficient, such as covering cracks with tape and using blinds or curtains over the windows. Buying new and more energy-efficient appliances is great if it is affordable, but just keeping a refrigerator’s coils clean can significantly improve its efficiency. Cleaning the clothes dryer filter and using energy-efficient light bulbs are other small changes that can make a big difference. Some energy providers might offer more eco-friendly options.

There are also changes people can make in their daily lives to make the household more efficient and sustainable. For example, they could compost food and create a sustainable garden. Smart power strips cut off the power to appliances when they are not in use.

Many chores can be made more energy-efficient. For example, laundry can be washed in cold water and dried with dryer balls, which help clothes dry more efficiently. One even better clothes drying solution is allowing them to line dry.

Creating a more sustainable home is something nearly everyone can do, including people on a budget or renters who cannot make structural changes. Even small efforts do add up, and they can go a long way toward helping the environment.