April has arrived and with it the sentiments of environmental conservation. Earth Day is April 22nd after all. There are so many ways that you can make a positive impact on the environment. Many of those changes can be done within the confines of your own home. In this article, you will learn 7 easy hacks to make your home more eco-friendly.
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Compost Like a Pro
Composting is an easy way to repurpose your food waste and minimize the amount of garbage that you send to the landfill decreasing methane gas production. The decomposed food matter that results from composting is wonderful for feeding your garden or your indoor plants. Certain foods in particular have a many benefits for your plants. You can read more about them here.
If you’re wondering if composting will be a pain or cause unwanted odors around your home, here are a few small composting containers that are discreet, and help curtail excess odors.
Grow Your Own Food
One way to exercise your green thumb is to grow your own food. While gardening is a hobby that does take practice and patience to get the best harvest, new technologies make gardening easier than ever.
An indoor Aerogarden is perfect for those who don’t have a large outdoor space or want something more manageable.
Companies like Lettuce Grow help make gardening a reality no matter how large or small your outdoor space may be. Their vertical farm stands use 95% less water than traditional gardens and require less space.
Ditch the Paper Towels
By now, we are all aware of how wasteful using non-recycled paper products can be. Why not invest in eco-friendly reusable cloth towels? Cloth towels are more effective at absorbing spills, and can easily be cleaned with your laundry. You can even make your own reusable cloths for free by cutting up old t-shirts or using old bath towels that you’d normally throw away.
Repurpose Jar Glasses
Another freebie you already have in your home are glass jars. Your pickles, favorite jam, and cocktail olives all have something in common. They all come in a reusable glass jar. In my family, we’ve used these jars for drink glasses (great in summer for a big mason jar full of sweet tea), and I even use them to grow my avocado plants from the seed. So many ways to use them as they make great storage containers too! Simply remove the sticker on the outside of the jar and you have yourself a perfectly good storage container.
Resell Those Clothes
In recent years, thrift and resell clothing has made a huge comeback. Besides your local thrift and consignment stores, there are digital marketplaces such as Poshmark and ThredUp which make buying and selling gently used clothes convenient and lucrative. One of my favorite resell companies is The Real Real. The Real Real is a luxury consignment store with online and brick and mortar store fronts. They specialize in verified luxury brand deals and their consigners can earn a hefty commission.
Next time you’re culling your closet, consider one of these platforms to sell your gently used designer clothing to help someone give it new life and earn some extra cash. Who knew shopping could be fun AND eco-friendly?
Mend and Dry Clean
In the days of old, it was very common for clothes to be repurposed and worn by numerous members of the family. Women were often equipped with the skills to sew and make minor alterations helping preserve and extend the life of everything from socks to jackets. In our fast paced modern society, oftentimes our immediate reaction to a ripped shirt or a broken heel is to toss it in the trash. Why throw it away when you can have it mended by a tailor or shoe cobbler (yes they still exist)? I recently had the soles repaired on my favorite pair of ballet flat for a reasonable cost. Do a quick google search to find your area tailor or shoe cobbler and get your clothes repaired. They’re begging you to give them a new lease on life.
Install Efficient Toilet
A great way to make an energy efficient upgrade in your bathroom is to install and efficient toilet. A toilet that constantly runs water is a waste of water and your money! An energy efficient toilet will allow you to control the amount of water flushed each time the toilet is used. This reasonable investment can save you hundreds of dollars a year in the long run.
I hope this article was helpful in inspiring new ways to be more earth friendly. For more great sustainable living articles, visit Mybrownsparklez.com. If you saw something that you liked, please share it with a friend and pass along these great tips!
Recently, I had the pleasure of touring model homes of two featured builders in the eco-smart master planned community of Whisper Valley. AHA Dream Homes and Terrata Homes are just two of six builders breaking ground in phase two of this master planned community. Both have a modern feel and functional living spaces with the perks of Smart Home technology. Still you might be wondering, “What is Whisper Valley”? Some might say, it’s a small housing development in east Austin/Manor. Yet to others, it is the next big “mini” city in between Austin, Manor, and Del Valle and it’s making a buzz!
To Infinity and Beyond…
Whisper Valley touts itself as Austin’s first zero-energy community. What does that mean? It means that each home in this community is connected to a GeoGrid powered by a geothermal heat pump. This technology works with the earths natural cooling and heating capabilities reducing energy consumption by up to 70%. Each home is equipped with solar panels and can run on solar energy for many of life’s daily tasks. You can learn more about it here. Along with it’s energy conservation efforts, I was intrigued by the sustainability efforts advertised by the community. One of my favorite features about the community are their organic gardens. Several gardens are maintained by a master gardener with an option for residents to volunteer. The harvested foods are available for residents for free in the community center fridge.
If you’re not a green freak such as myself, there is more exciting news. Though small right now, this community which is only in phase 2, is expected to expand to up to 50 phases! There are plans for two schools, and multi-family and commercial properties will eventually fill out the expansive 2,067 acre complex. Within all of this acreage, the community will maintain 700 acres of green space including hiking trails, pocket parks, and streams. It will also eventually include retail centers, and an emergency room making this a one stop shop community with an eco-friendly twist.
- Organic Community Garden
- EV Charging equipped garages
- Community EV Charging Stations
- Hiking and Biking Trails
- Community Gym
- Community Geothermal heated pool
- 700 acres of green space
- Smart Thermostats
- Smart Home Technology Equipped
- Easy Access to Telsa GigaFactory
- 15 Minutes from Samsung
- 20 Minutes from Dell
- and More…
The first comparison that comes to mind is the Mueller area in North Central Austin. However, the developers at Whisper Valley are making an extra effort to incorporate more green space and highlight eco-smart living as an overall lifestyle. In the ideal scenario, residents wouldn’t need to travel far for entertainment and exercise and might just opt to walk or bike to their destination of choice within the community. I’m excited to see how this all turns out as I’ve been watching it develop over the past 7 years since they broke ground in the fall of 2015. It’s about 15 minutes from where I grew up in rural Elgin, Texas.
AHA Dream Home Virtual Tour | Whisper Valley
The final plan for this community is still 10 years away from complete fruition. But, home buyers looking for a slower pace and a quality home can still stake their claim at a slice of the Whisper Valley lifestyle. The VIP list for Homes in Phase Two of this development is open with closings expected as early as fall of 2022.
If you are a home buyer or owner in need of assistance in purchasing or selling a home in the Austin metro area, please reach out! You can contact me here and we can setup a time to discuss your needs, goals, and create an action plan.
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