The Minneapolis-St Paul area is known for its sustainability minded culture. Converting your home or condo into an eco-friendlier space with a smaller carbon footprint is not as difficult as you may think; changes can be made on any budget and within living spaces of all types and sizes. Perhaps you have a single family home and would like to invest in high efficiency appliances and other devices that reduce energy usage. Those on a smaller budget may wish to focus on simpler options such as the installation of low flow shower heads, switching over to non-toxic household products, working in a community garden and more.
Eco-Friendly Devices May Lead to Big Energy Savings
Individuals or families with an opportunity to upgrade older appliances with modern, high efficiency models will enjoy the significant savings on utility bills while helping to preserve our planet for younger generations. Today’s highest efficiency furnaces and air conditioners may save you thousands of dollars over the course of their lifespan. Solar energy is becoming an increasingly popular source of energy for domestic hot water needs, while low flush toilets and low flow shower heads and faucets conserve our most precious resource with a relatively low upfront investment.
Simple Changes for Every Household
Simple changes towards sustainability are appropriate to lighten the carbon footprint within every household. Make sure to follow the principles of the three R’s: reduce the number of new products you purchase, reuse products whenever you can, and finally, recycle all items accepted in your local community. You may want to switch to a non-toxic household by using eco-friendly cleaning supplies and personal care products, and support organic agriculture whenever possible. Every time you purchase an eco-friendly product, you send a message to producers that sustainability is important in your buying decisions.
Growing a portion of your own food is one of the most powerful action steps you can take towards a truly sustainable lifestyle. Community gardens are great ways to make use of vacant space and provide an opportunity to make new friends. Collecting rain water and turning food scraps into compost conserves resources and will reward you with healthy produce. You can also plant shade trees and vines to reduce your cooling expenses during the summer months. Remember, having fun is the best part of sustainability, so get outside and enjoy yourself!
Shannon Lindstrom, REALTOR®, AHWD, CRS, GREEN
3495 Northdale Blvd NW Ste 200
Minneapolis, MN 55448