See if you check off all the boxes when it comes to creating an eco-friendly household.

Cor-Ten steel planters host a bounty of fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

Now more than ever, having a sustainable home that conserves resources and energy usage is paramount. Sustainable design and architecture has seen tremendous growth over the last decade—as has the number of professionals who specialize in designing and building green homes. While major sustainable features pertain to the initial design, planning, and building stages, there are still plenty of changes to make in your home for a greener lifestyle. Have you covered all your bases?

1. Recycle Responsibly 

This may seem like a no-brainer, but a recent Pew Research Center study reveals that only 28 percent of Americans live in areas that promote recycling, with education and access varying from community to community. Metals, paper and cardboard, glass, plastics, batteries and bulbs, and electronics all have a place in the recycling bin. Read up on what, and how, to recycle, and encourage your family members to follow suit.

Villa Welpeloo in Enschede, the Netherlands, doesn't look like a recycled building, but Jan Jongert and Jeroen Bergsma of 2012Architects began the design process by first scouting the local area for items to recycle. The

Villa Welpeloo in Enschede, the Netherlands, doesn’t look like a recycled building, but Jan Jongert and Jeroen Bergsma of 2012Architects began the design process by first scouting the local area for items to recycle. The “harvest map” of possible suppliers from within a nine-mile radius of the building site included Google Earth scans for brownfields and abandoned-looking buildings for scrap material.

Mark Seelen

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RE.BIN Modern Recycling Bin Set

They say two is better than one, right? With two RE.BINs, sorting your recyclables is as easy as it gets! Use your RE.BINs to recycle, sort your laundry, organize your clutter, or create a little extra storage…you decide! RE.BIN is the modern recycling bin that offers an easy way to recycle in style. Made in Vermont USA from 100% recycled plastic, the RE.BIN can be used with a paper grocery bag liner for an easy, clean, sustainable recycling experience.

2. Compost Organic Materials

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, food scraps and yard waste make up 20 percent of what we throw away. Composting organic materials keeps them out of the landfill, which cuts down on greenhouse gases, and enriches the soil. To compost at home, make a pile in your backyard, or introduce an indoor bin for throwaways like apple peels and eggshells.

The roof became the perfect location for their vegetable garden, as well as benches and a recreation space crowned by a hot tub powered by a four-kilowatt solar array.

Composting provides rich nutrients for your home garden.

Photo: Justin Fantl

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Small Noaway Walnut Compost Bin

The Small Noaway Compost Bin has all of the great features of the larger bin, but it is perfect for urban dwellers or anyone with a smaller kitchen. Now it doesn’t matter how much a person cooks, anyone can recycle their resources.

3. Choose Eco-Friendly Furniture

Whenever you can, choose environmentally friendly, VOC-free products to outfit your home, whether it be furniture or fit-outs. Look for companies committed to sustainably sourced materials and ethical production practices.

 Furniture by Gloster.

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