What does it really mean to stay current and trendy? It depends on who you ask. However, many people have seen the value in sustainability and the opportunity we each individually have to make a positive impact on the environment.
Regardless of whether you’re an avid home designer or someone who just cares about having a home that looks nice and is environmentally mindful—if you’re forward-thinking in the slightest—chances are, you’ve probably considered ways to make your home a ‘home of the future.’
Unfortunately, some of these shifts come with a price tag… or a lot of massive renovations.
The good news? They don’t have to. You can find ways to upgrade and modernize your space without breaking the bank. Here are a few of our top suggestions:
1. Start With Your Lighting
One of the easiest ways to make your home a ‘home of the future’ is to prioritize conservation and minimize your carbon footprint. Although this may sound a little complicated, it’s actually not. Start small—with your interior and exterior lighting.
Nowadays, you can purchase motion-activated lights or make the switch to ‘smart lights’ or app-operated lighting systems that can be turned on and off remotely. The perk to making this investment (which isn’t too terrible) is that you can conserve energy and electricity without all the extra work.
It’s as easy as hitting a button on your phone or walking out of an unused room to trigger the ‘turn off’ feature. Some lights are easy to self-install, and some companies even offer perks or discounts if you decide to make the switch.
The bottom line: changing your lighting is one of the easiest steps, but it makes a big difference.
2. Invest in Solar (It’s Easier Than You Think)
Solar panels have been around for quite a while, but many people haven’t converted over (or haven’t even considered this as an option) simply because of the hefty price tag.
Fortunately, solar has become far more affordable in recent years. With legislation in many states creating incentives or even tax deductions for homes that switch to solar, the option has become more affordable and even necessary.
Solar panels use the sun’s natural light to create electricity. This is a (literally) no-brainer way to reduce unneeded electricity costs and conserve energy in warmer months. It’s truly the way of the future—especially now that it’s more realistic for the everyday consumer.
3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and DIY
Okay, so you’ve probably heard of the catchphrase: “Reduce, reuse, and recycle” before. But this phrase takes on a whole new meaning when we think about our homes and taking steps to conserve and upgrade in the long run.
‘Reducing’ goes beyond limiting the trash we produce. It’s also about striving to remove harmful emissions, lowering our carbon footprints, and saving energy where we can. ‘Recycling’ is more than simply separating items that don’t have to hit the dumpster—you can also recycle and reuse items. Take glass jars from sauces, for example, and reuse them for cups. Or, take your eggshells and other fruit/vegetable waste and create your own compost for a garden.
And finally, DIY (Do It Yourself), which is essentially thinking about making your home more sustainable (without the added costs). For example, instead of hiring someone to mow your lawn and having them drive to your home, you can do it yourself and reduce those unnecessary car emissions. Or, you can hang-dry clothing items rather than running dryer cycles.
These examples may sound simple or even silly, but they are ways to reduce and consider the long-term impact your home has on the environment. Not to mention what you can actively do about it, right here and right now.
4. Consider Relevant (But Not Too Extravagant Upgrades)
It goes without saying that making your home a ‘home of the future’ might cause you to incur some added expenses. However, you don’t have to go all out in order for your home to be forward-focused and trendy.
Rather than redoing your entire roof to incorporate solar, for example, you could start by installing some panels on your garage roof or shed. Another example: instead of ripping out all the interior lighting in your living spaces, you can start by switching a few of the lights in the main areas to smart lights.
Another option to consider is making small upgrades over time. For example, an awesome addition to your bathroom space could be a smart mirror that assesses your health or a scale that can measure your body fat percentage. These aren’t huge upgrades—in fact, they’re pretty small—but they can truly help to modernize your home and save time, money, and energy in the long run.