Whether you’re looking to buy a new home or wish to give your existing house a little upgrade, there are many things you can do to make it as environmentally-friendly as possible. Many people unfortunately think that by using renewable energy tech, it’s extra hassle and you lose out on efficiency, but that is far from the truth. There are many ways you can maintain your home and keep the environment in mind, and I want to give you some ideas on how you can begin today!

Research solar power

This one is perhaps one of the most obvious ones if you’re lucky enough to live in a hot, sunny climate. When I lived in Southern Europe, I was surprised that with over 300 days of sunshine a year, there aren’t more houses with built-in solar panels.

Some years ago, when this invention was just starting to hit the mainstream market, it was expensive, bulky, people didn’t know what to do with them and were put off by the idea that you had to install something odd on your roof to get hot water.

Thankfully, nowadays there are many different models to suit your needs for very reasonable prices. They are light and stylish, and if something goes wrong, there are now many specialists that can maintain them without you having to worry about it.

If helping reduce global warming isn’t enough of a reason to go solar, also consider that you can save yourself a fair amount of cash too! The average middle class American family saves $600 a year on electricity bills by switching to solar panels.

Change your light bulbs

This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways you can make your house more environmentally-friendly, and you can even do it today! Switch to LED lighting instead of CFLs or incandescent light bulbs. You can easily get them in most hardware shops, so there’s really no excuse not to use them.

Get an electric car

Perhaps one of the more expensive solutions, but so worth it in my opinion! When I first sat in a fully electric car, I was very impressed. From the way it felt and the quietness of the engine (you sometimes forget you’re even driving!), to the fact that my friends who owned the car said they pay about 1 euro per 130km, makes me wonder why some people still resist the idea.

Many countries give you benefits when you drive electric cars too, for example in Estonia the government helps you pay for it and allows you to use the bus lanes, which can be very handy when there is a lot of traffic in the city centre!

Recent predictions also show that electric vehicle charging stations in the United Kingdom will overtake gas stations by 2020, and hopefully other countries won’t be far behind.

Use your thermostat wisely

We all love to have the perfect climate in our homes. Unfortunately, many times we leave our heater or air conditioning on when we leave the house. Not only does it do a number on our bills, but it greatly contributes to global warming too…which is ironic if you’re using the air conditioner!

Consider investing in a “smart” thermostat that you can program to run at certain times of the day, or even with your phone, so you can turn it off after you’ve left the house.

Get a smart water tap

One of the key aspects of cleantech is saving water and distributing it wisely. What you can do to help with that would be to install a smart tap in your home, to help you reduce the amount of water you use on a daily basis. Every drop helps!