In Western North Carolina, we know that to Live Abundantly means enjoying our mountains as the wonderful natural greenscape that supports us all. And that also means doing our part to ensure our mountains remain beautiful and green for generations to come.
The first steps toward a sustainable environment begin in the home.
Arguably, the best way to have a sustainable home is to build one. From building with reclaimed hardwoods and sustainable flooring to earning LEED certification, it’s easy to create a green home when you’re building from the ground up. But the core tenets of environmentalism are “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” So what are the best ways to reduce your footprint in an already existing luxury home?
You already know the common tricks of switching out light bulbs and changing your filters. Here are five more high-impact ways to make your luxury home more sustainable.
Bring the Farm Directly to Your Table
Vegetable gardens (or flower gardens and orchards) are as good for the planet as they are for the gardener and the dining room table. They offer you a space to clear your mind and literally get your hands dirty. They allow you to create your own scaled-down version of the “farm-to-table” concept. Best of all, gardening promotes the cycle of growth and decomposition that maintains healthy soil and helps pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, if you choose to go this route, be sure to do so sustainably. Some gardens require a lot of irrigation, fertilizing, and tending, which can counteract your intended goal. Explore native plants, and consult your local garden centers about what is best to add to your home garden.
Soak in the Sun
Beside the pool, the sun is good in moderation. As a sustainable energy source, it pays to absorb as much as you can! Converting your home’s electrical system to solar power is one of the best ways to cut down on your environmental impact. Plus, the addition of a home battery or two means that you’ll never have to worry about losing power to a pesky mountain freeze. Most luxury homes are large enough to house panels on the roof or elsewhere. But if you don’t like the look of traditional solar panels, there are companies that produce more aesthetically pleasing glass roof tiles. These solar roof tiles allow you to match your home’s architectural style while still using the sun to generate your own energy.
Create an Even More Cozy Environment
A roaring fire makes for beautiful ambiance, but you shouldn’t have to rely on it to supplement your home’s heating system. If you think your HVAC system has been working too hard, it could be because it’s time to replace your windows and reapply your insulation. Almost half of all home energy consumption is spent on heating and cooling, and some of this precious energy gets wasted thanks to improper insulation. Make sure your home is properly sealed, especially in the attic and basement. Invest in double- or triple-glazed windows to reduce heat loss and eliminate cold spots at home. New windows can provide you with amazing views and energy efficiency all in one.
Upgrade Your Kitchen
Other big energy wasters in your home are your appliances. New regulations and a shift towards environmental consciousness mean that today’s appliances are considerably more efficient that those built even a few years ago. So, outfit your luxury home with the newest and coolest appliances while also investing in its green impact. (And while you’re at it, upgrade to LED lightbulbs!) If you only live in your home part of the year, think about which appliances can be fully unplugged while you are away. Not only will it save energy, but it could extend the lives of your appliances, further reducing your long-term strain on the environment.
Bring it All Together
Lastly, the best way to make your luxury home more sustainable is to make it a smarter home. Smart thermostats and other technology can help you manage the lighting, heating, cooling, and irrigation of your home from anywhere in the world. Digital fire detectors, security cameras, and door locks offer you peace of mind to enjoy all the amenities of your luxury home. If you can, integrate all the features together under one ecosystem for ease of use. This is ideal for homeowners who split their time between several residences.
Ready to Discover a More Sustainable Luxury Home?
As the market leader in luxury sales for WNC, we at Beverly-Hanks have the local and professional expertise you need to discover your ideal luxury property. As a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of The World®, we’re proud to work with the very best companies across the globe. With professional connections to 565 market-leading real estate firms in 65 countries, we can make a world-class introduction for you. We have the ability to truthfully declare, “We’re Local. We’re Global®.”
Live Abundantly in WNC. Contact us today to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent about buying luxury homes and land in Western North Carolina.