14 eco-friendly home projects to try

Whether you’re keen to spruce up your home, renovate a newly purchased ‘diamond in the rough’ or you’re renting and want to save money and make your home more eco-friendly, there are lots of great projects you can try to help green up your home.

1 - Install energy-efficient windows
Replace your old windows with new, energy-efficient models such as double glazing. This will help insulate your home and reduce energy consumption.

2 - Improve your insulation
Improve your home’s insulation by adding or upgrading insulation in the attic, walls and floors. This will help to keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, reducing the need for air-conditioning and heating, saving energy and money.

3 - Consider installing solar panels
Install solar panels on your roof to generate clean energy and reduce your reliance on fossil fuels, making your home more eco-friendly. Some countries offer government schemes or tax incentives if you install solar panels in your home. Not only will you help the environment, but you will save on your energy bill too.

Modern house with solar panels on roofRimgaudas Budrys via Shutterstock

4 - Upgrade with low-flow bathroom fixtures
Next time you need to change your showerhead, taps or toilet, choose low-flow options which will help you to reduce your water usage.

5 - Upcycle with salvaged materials
If you’re renovating your home, consider incorporating salvaged materials into your renovation, such as reclaimed wood or vintage fixtures. There are so many benefits to doing this - it saves money, it’s better for the environment and upcycled materials look so rustic and cool too, giving your home a unique and contemporary look.

6 - Opt for LED lighting
Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. The initial outlay is a bit more experience but they use up to 75 per cent less energy and last up to 25 times longer.

Man changing CFL bulk to LED bulbBlurryMe via Shutterstock

7 - Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances
Next time you need to replace your fridge, freezer, washing machine or dishwasher, upgrade to an energy-efficient appliance. It can significantly reduce your energy usage and reduce your bills.

8 - Use eco-friendly paints
Whether you’re painting interior or exterior walls, or upcycling an old piece of furniture, use low-VOC or no-VOC paints. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds, which produce harmful molecules. VOC paints are better for the environment and your health, reducing the chemicals in your home.

9 - Get composting
Install a composting system to reduce food waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. There’s heaps of ways to do this, from benchtop composting containers, to shared composting bins in apartment blocks.

Woman putting vegetables into compost binHalfpoint via Shutterstock

10 - Harvest rainwater
Install a rainwater harvesting system to collect rainwater for irrigation, reducing the amount of potable water you use. If you’re renting or have a small space, you can buy slimline or portable rainwater tanks.

11 - Utilise green roofing
If you can, install a green roof or rooftop garden to reduce stormwater runoff, improve air quality and provide insulation. It has the added bonus of creating an extra green space to enjoy, looks amazing and adds to the value of your home.

12 - Choose bamboo flooring
Bamboo is durable, moisture-resistant, grows back faster than wood and requires less pesticides to grow. Choosing bamboo flooring helps save the lives of trees and old-growth forests, all while getting sleek, aesthetically pleasing flooring.

Bamboo leaf on bamboo floorJ.Schelkle via Shutterstock

13 - Invest in smart home technology
Install smart home technology to help you monitor and control your energy usage, such as a programmable thermostat or smart lighting system.

14 - Buy pre-loved furniture
Shop around for antique and second-hand household items in good condition. They’ll add a classic feel to your home and generally last a lot longer than cheap flat-packed goods.