5 Ways to Make Your Home More Eco Friendly


Lisa Barton



5 Ways to Make Your Home More Eco Friendly

What can we, as individuals, do to lessen our impact on the environment? Actions like using electric cars, carpooling to and from work, recycling, etc. are easy ways to contribute.  There are other things you can do at home to help protect the environment. 

Solar Panels

Florida is the Sunshine State with an average of 230 sunny days a year. One of the most impactful eco-friendly actions you can take is to install solar panels. In recent years, solar panels have become a popular alternative to fossil fuels. Using electricity on a grid burns fossil fuels, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Solar power is much cleaner and can be stored right in your home via solar batteries for days the sun is not shining. Solar panels do not release any emissions and also do not produce noise or air pollution. 

The installation of solar panels can be expensive, and isn’t a good fit for some properties, but solar is definitely worth investigating. Installation, prices can range from $10,000 - $12,600. However, the net 20 year savings can be anywhere between $30,600 and $41,500 depending on the size of the home/amount of electricity used. 

The process for installation will be different depending on your living situation. If you live in a condo or apartment, installation may be difficult. Single family homes are usually ideal for solar panels. If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association you'll be pleased to know that Florida Statute 163.04 forbids HOAs to prohibit a property owner from installing solar. An HOA may restrict where you place your solar panels, but not if the system's performance suffers as a result. 


On average 40% of the air produced in a home is lost through gaps and open spaces in doors, floors, and windows, and a lot of this boils down to a home’s insulation. Keeping cold air inside your home is essential, especially in the Florida heat. There are a variety of ways in which you can effectively insulate your home:

  • Cavity walls have an air gap in between the inside and outside walls that are great for keeping heat from leaving a house. 
  • Laying down insulation rolls in the attic can keep air and heat from exiting your home through the roof, which is how a quarter of the air leaves. 
  • Blown-in insulation is also effective in roof/attic spaces. In this case, insulation material such as fiber glass is sprayed into walls and other space to keep the air inside your home. 
  • Spray foam insulation is another good option. Insulation is sprayed into the attic space, and expands when sprayed. The insulation adheres to walls, ceilings and fills-in cracks or holes in your home. 

Smart Home Features

Smart home features can also be very helpful in reducing your carbon emissions. For example, LED light bulbs last much longer and are much more efficient than normal light bulbs. LEDs can last up to twelve times as long! They also have much higher energy efficiency, meaning you do not lose nearly as much heat energy. Normal light bulbs release significantly more carbon emissions due to this greater amount of heat energy.

Smart thermostats are another appliance that can greatly reduce your emissions. They detect patterns in your heating and cooling and respond based on outside temperatures, whether you are home or not.  The system can shut itself off when not needed. 


Composting is a process in which you put natural organic materials back into soil, and instead of releasing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, the material decomposes and is eaten by microorganisms. Composting is a great way to reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides as composted materials can help revitalize the soil. Here’s a list of things that can go in a compost pile:

  • fruit and vegetable peels and scraps
  • rotten fruit and veggies
  • houseplant trimmings
  • coffee grounds and paper filters
  • tea leaves
  • eggshells
  • nutshells (apart from walnuts)
  • hair and fur
  • paper, cardboard, and shredded newspaper
  • napkins, paper towels, and unused toilet paper
  • grass clippings
  • leaves
  • flowers
  • sawdust
  • wood chips

Items that are composted stay out of our local landfills, so this is a win-win for the environment. There are several types of  inexpensive compost bins available at the local hardware store to help you get started. 

Home Gardening

Planting a home garden and changing the way you take care of your yard is another effective way to release good organic material back into the environment. Climate resilient gardening is the process of planting native crops in your garden, which improves soil health, makes crops tolerant to the heat (especially in Florida), and allows your garden to flourish with rain/stormwater. The native plants can help store carbon and convert it back into oxygen. You also might want to consider alternatives to grass like xeriscaping which requires less water and no need for pesticides and fertilizers.

Author: Gavin Schauble, Summer Intern

Lisa Barton

Lisa Barton

Lisa Barton, the owner of Lisa Barton Team Ponte Vedra Beach - Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners, is a top real estate agent in Ponte Vedra Beach and the surrounding communities. Lisa specializes in luxury real estate sales, including gated communities, waterfront properties, and estate homes. A graduate from the University of Florida and George Mason University, Lisa currently resides in Sawgrass Players Club with her husband.

The Lisa Barton Real Estate Team in Ponte Vedra Beach

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