Being financially secure enough to afford a house is one thing. Picking the right home that suits your needs is another. You can provide a list of all the specifications you want to your real estate agent. But the chances of getting your ideal home is low, especially if you’re particular about the location. The market is tricky. There may be available houses, but they could be aging fixer-uppers. On the bright side, you don’t have to wait years until your dream house is up for sale. You can transform an old house into a modern, eco-friendly home that’s perfect for your family. Here’s how:

Diversify Your Energy Sources

Virtually every part of the electrical grid system has an effect on the environment. From the generation to the transmission, electricity use increases your carbon footprint. But it doesn’t mean that there’s no way to use your favorite electric appliance without harming the environment. The key is to use renewable energy. According to the Environmental Protection Energy, solar and wind energy doesn’t contribute to climate change or air pollution.

Solar energy is the most common clean energy resource for households. From its introduction to the market, solar panels were costly to buy and install. Thanks to government incentives and higher demand, they are much more affordable now.

Sunlight isn’t the only energy resource you can use to become more sustainable. Another option is to install a turbine to harvest wind energy. The downside is it’s not as readily available as solar panels. You’ll have a harder time finding a business to sell and install a wind electric system for you. It’s also more complicated to check if your property is a good candidate for turbines. You have to determine if you get enough wind in the area and you may also have to apply for zoning permits.

If you’re worried about not harvesting enough wind or sunlight, you can use multiple resources. Instead of relying solar panels only, you can install a hybrid system to enjoy the best of both worlds. It’s ideal for locations with four distinct seasons. Even while there’s barely any sunlight in the winter, you can get energy from your turbine.

Plan with the Environment in Mind

When it comes to buying a property, the work doesn’t end when the contract is signed. More often than not, the house is need of some repairs. When you do, it’s important to consider the environment. Remember that every little bit can help. From the construction to the materials, there’s an effect on the environment.

A good place to start is the design. Work with an architect that has a background in green homes. They already have experience in environmentally friendly materials and structures. Ask them if it’s possible to install big, wide windows that can let in a lot of natural light. They can save energy and money because you don’t have to rely as much on artificial lighting.

Besides the design, the materials are also important. Use reclaimed or sustainable sourced wood. You can make sure that they’re the real deal by checking their certifications. They should be certified by the FSC, SFI, or the PEFC. There are also eco-friendly paint and roofing materials to fix up your home.

Collect Rainwater

Green recovery of rainwater in a garden.

If you happen to live in a city or town that gets more rain than sunlight, solar panels aren’t the best option for you. The great news is that there’s still a way to make your home more sustainable and eco-friendly. You can install a rainwater tank to reduce your dependence on the water grid. You may not be able to use the collected water for cooking or drinking. But it can be used for your laundry, garden, and even the toilets. This is important considering the fact that the toilet is the biggest consumer of water among American households. You can reduce your water bills and help the environment at the same time.

Unlike turbines or solar panels, it’s less complicated to install a rainwater collection system. All you need is a roof and a gutter where you can install the device. If you have a limited budget, you don’t have to buy a pricey tank. You can just use any type of barrel or bucket to store your water.

Whether you bought a fixer-upper or a move-in ready property, there are different ways you can upgrade it. You can make it a better place for your family to live in, reduce your carbon footprint, and save money on utility bills.