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  1. In the past few decades, home improvement has taken on more and more of an emphasis on green remodeling. To help protect the environment, these remodeling strategies are focused on lowering energy consumption and improving resource management. Here are four of the most popular green home updates and how they benefit the environment. Purchased Reclaimed Supplies The materials that you need for your home improvement project, such as wood and tiles, are likely available as reclaimed components of previous construction projects. Even your countertops and insulation can be made from recycled materials. Reclaimed materials are becoming all the rage with homeowners who want to minimize their environmental footprint. In addition to being a healthier alternative from an environmental perspective, these reclaimed materials are often more affordable than new ones. Plug the Leaks With Better Insulation One of the biggest environmental burdens that American homes pose is the energy that is lost around poorly insulated windows and doorways. In the summertime, too much precious air-conditioned air can escape through cracks around the windows and doors, and in the wintertime, warm air can seep out. You can cut down on your energy consumption and save substantial money on your heating and cooling bills by filling the cracks around windows and doors and by checking the insulation in these areas. Update Your Windows In addition to the heat lost through worn or poorly sealed door and window frames, you may also be losing warmth through your old windows. Traditional windows are single-paned, which provides very little insulation against summer’s heat or winter’s cold. When it’s time to update your home, choosing replacement windows with two panes of glass can go a long way in helping you lower your energy usage. Use Eco-Friendly Paint Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are fumes that are commonly found in commercial paints. They can be dangerous for humans as they can cause nausea and difficulty breathing as well as many other health problems. They can also cause ozone pollution as well as other environmental hazards. However, the trend is reversing as many manufacturers now produce low or no-VOC paints for the environmentally-conscious consumer. Low and no-VOC paints represent a superior alternative to paints containing VOCs because the compounds can leak into the nearby soil and water supplies, endangering both human and animal life alike. Solar Energy The sun is indisputably the greatest source of energy that we have. Until now, though, harnessing the power of the sun to power our homes was overly expensive and just not feasible for most homeowners. However, that is rapidly changing as more and more tech companies pour money into developing solar technologies into viable consumer products. Now, more solar-powered home appliances are available than ever before, at prices that can fit even a modest budget. You don’t have to do a complete overhaul of your home all at once to make it more eco-friendly. However, when it comes time to make normal repairs or renovations, consider choosing the greener option. The great thing about making these changes is that, in addition to doing your part to conserve resources, they also come with significant cost-savings that make good economic sense as well.