Green fever is taking over the nation – and no, it’s not an illness. On the contrary, it’s a positive thing, and means consumers are now recycling and including more eco-friendly choices in their homes. However, there are many other ways to help the environment, and an eco-friendly garage is one of them.
When looking at green products and technology that can be utilized in the home, most people forget about their garage. It doesn’t seem like the space uses much energy or really affects the environment, but the opposite is true. It’s a large space, with the average size being the same as a typical American home in the 1950s.
Garages can utilize electricity and heat, and are attached to the home, which means they can affect indoor air quality. Looking into improving the environment around your garage is an excellent way to lift that carbon footprint and improve the safety of your garage.
Here are a few suggestions:
Protect Indoor Air
Fluids, dust, dirt and exhaust from the garage can easily enter your home if the two areas are connected. It’s important to air seal your garage in order to prevent the transfer of harmful air particles.
Install an Eco-Friendly Garage Door
You can make your garage more sustainable, improve the safety of the mechanism, add some curb appeal, conserve energy, prevent heating and cooling loss, and prevent theft all by installing an updated, environmentally-friendly garage door and mechanism.
Buy an Eco-Friendly Car
What’s inside your garage can be just as harmful as what it’s made of. If you drive a gas guzzling, high-exhaust vehicle, you’re doing more harm to the environment than you may realize. Switch to a fuel-efficient vehicle with a low EPA energy rating. You might also consider installing an electric vehicle charging port, which would enable you to upgrade to an electric vehicle.
Replace Your Light Bulbs
You’ve probably already replaced the light bulbs in your home with energy-efficient CFL or LED light bulbs, so now it’s time to do so in your garage. Even better, allow plenty of natural light to enter by adding windows so you don’t have to turn on lights in the garage during the day.
Use Sustainable Materials
Anytime you construct a garage or remodel it, use as many sustainable materials as possible. Choosing green concrete for your garage floor, for example, won’t harm the environment to install or remove. Recycled materials for the walls, insulation, and garage door are also highly recommended.
Insulate and Seal It from the Elements
If your garage is attached to the home or it has heating and cooling installed, it can cause your utility bills to skyrocket. Prevent this unnecessary cost by insulating the walls efficiently and air sealing them from the elements. The tighter the seal and thicker the insulation, the less the elements will permeate the walls and affect energy consumption.
Be Eco-Safe While Using the Garage
All activities inside the garage should be environmentally safe, as well. Any time you change the oil or deal with other fluids, recycle them in order to prevent build up in landfills. Other items that come from work done inside your garage, like wood scraps or broken tools, can also be recycled to help you reduce your environmental impact.
It doesn’t seem like such a small building could have such a big impact on the environment, but you’ll be amazed to see the good that comes from a green garage.