Question

What are some inexpensive ways that I can make my house more eco friendly?

Asked by John
Chicago, IL

I'm looking for ideas like the use of CFLs, compost bins, rainwater capturing systems, etc.

Answer

That is a very broad question. Homeowner aspiration is the starting point for any recommendation. Some clients believe that reducing energy consumption is the first step to an eco-friendly home and others are focused on indoor air quality.

Here are my cost-effective recommendations:

  1. Energy Audit -- A roadmap for a cost-effective approach to saving money on utility bills. Upgrades also improve indoor air quality (insulation and air sealing).
  2. Smart strips -- Belkin Conserve and other name brands are very cost-effective if they are actually being used.
  3. Zero-VOC paints, clays and finishes
  4. Non-toxic cleaners
  5. Sustainably made wallpaper
  6. Cool Roof

I'm sure there are a few more, and what you have already done makes a real difference too.

For more information:

You should read "Tips for Living Green", "45 Ways to Green the Not-So-New House", and "15 Green Projects for Under $500" for more tips and advice.

Do you have a question about greening your home? GreenHomeGuide invites you to Ask A Pro. Let our network of experienced green building professionals – architects, designers, contractors, electricians, energy experts, landscapers, tile & stone specialists, and more – help you find the right solution.