Taking out a loan to improve your home might make you think of gutting your kitchen, updating your bathroom or even adding on an addition or finishing out the basement for more living space. These projects will certainly improve your home as well as add to its resale value, but be sure to consider how each project can get a little greener. Whether it’s by choosing sustainable or recycled materials in traditional renovations or opting for the following eco-friendly projects, your home can go green with a personal loan.
You don’t have to completely revamp your home’s infrastructure or pledge to live off the grid. Small, eco-friendly improvements can make a big difference, and because loans vary in amounts, even starting at $1,000, you can invest a little and still see a big impact. Change out your home’s traditional bulbs to LEDs, which are more energy-efficient. Scout out any water leaks and fix them so you’re not wasting water. Adjust your faucets with aerators so that the flow is decreased. Increase insulation throughout your home and upgrade your thermostat to one that’s “smart” and can be controlled by your smartphone.
Let your garden grow — everywhere
Not only does cultivated landscaping add to your home’s curb appeal, it also gives back to the Earth by providing nourishment for bees, butterflies and other critters. If you’re eager to push your green thumb to the limits, consider building a living wall, where plants extend vertically. According to U.S. News & World Report contributor Sally Forster Jones, living walls can help maintain humidity levels, provide insulation naturally and reduce energy consumption.
“Many vertical gardens are designed to survive in full sun, shade or interior building applications, and are becoming increasingly popular in hot climates as they require less energy to cool the air,” adds Jones.
Rethink your roof’s potential
The sun baking on your roof day after day is a waste of energy that can be harnessed to help the Earth and your finances. By investing in solar roof panels, you can save on electricity costs, and in some cases even earn a credit from the utility company, according to The Balance writer Elizabeth Weintraub. If solar panels aren’t the right fit for your home, you can invest in a “cool” roof.
“They work by reflecting the sun away from the roof and giving off heat rapidly. Cool roof materials can be made from metal, asphalt or tile, and it’s almost impossible to tell them apart from traditional materials,” notes Weintraub.
Take greener steps
Every step you take inside your home can be greener, if you invest in eco-friendly floors. Floors made from bamboo not only provide a stylish surface, but because bamboo is a renewable resource, it’s an eco-friendly option, according to Weintraub. If you like the resilience of linoleum, she suggests laying down Marmoleum, which is resistant to stains, won’t absorb water and biodegrades. It’s made of limestone pigments, wood flour, Jute, pine rosin and linseed oil. If you can’t live without hardwood flooring, don’t fret — just invest in an eco-friendly one.
“Certain types of exotic hardwoods such as Brazilian Cherry or White Tigerwood are grown in South America. These are harvested from well-managed forests with renewable resources,” Weintraub reports.
There are so many ways, big and small, to make your home greener. By taking out a personal loan, you can finance your way to an eco-friendly environment that looks beautiful and respects the planet.