Feeling Green: Eco-friendly Updates Under $20

The eco-friendly, energy-saving trend is not new in real estate, but it has ramped up in recent years. One of the biggest pieces of the puzzle for a new homebuyer is efficiency and sustainability, two things you can easily incorporate into your home without breaking the bank.

Start a compost pile.
Composting is a great way to ensure your nutrient-rich food waste doesn’t end up sitting in a landfill, creating harmful methane gas. All you need is a large plastic bin that will keep animals at bay and some materials to get your pile started (e.g. egg shells, fruit peels, leaves, coffee grounds, twigs, etc.). Remember to turn the pile every few days to keep nutrients and moisture moving. The compost you generate can then be used in your garden! Estimated cost: $12–$13

Go reusable.
You would be surprised how much trash you generate by buying plastic water bottles instead of a reusable bottle or by packing your lunch in a paper bag instead of an insulated one. These items might seem overpriced initially, but they make up for higher costs and damage to the planet down the road. Estimated cost: $7-$15

Opt for paperless billing.
This is one most of us have already begun to do, but signing up to pay your bills and keep track of your finances online is a great way to reduce paper waste. Most companies already offer this feature, and you can save on stamps! Estimated cost: free
*Depending on the company, which may charge an online processing fee.

Make your own cleaning products.
Store-bought cleaning products can be expensive, not to mention full of chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Making your own supplies is relatively simple and can be done naturally with just a few ingredients. You can even personalize the scent to make sure your home smells light and fresh! Estimated cost: $15

Bring the outdoors, in.
Filling your home with flowers and houseplants is not only a great way to add beauty to your space, but also helps purify the air and is as inexpensive a fix as you can get. Just be sure to follow sunlight and watering instructions, and avoid plants harmful to pets, if you have any. Estimated cost: $5-$15