New Homeowner Checklist: 12 Things You Need for a Safe, Healthy + Eco-Friendly Home

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 Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

We've been in our new house for just over 2 months now and let me be the first to say, dude! owning a home is stressful! 

This isn't our first rodeo–we owned a 1950s ranch when we first moved to Atlanta before we sold it and opted for the urban loft life for a bit–but just over a year of renting and I nearly forgot how overwhelming, expensive and freaking exciting being a homeowner can be. Yes, the good and bad can co-exist.

Now that we're mostly settled at our new digs, I'm reminded just how much there is to know and consider when we're making important decisions that will affect the health, security, and efficiency of our homes and families.

To make things easier, we've put together this new homeowner checklist to give you ideas you can either act on now, or plan for with future upgrades. Knowing that your home is optimized for your well-being, safety, and eco-friendliness – all while saving money in the long run! – will melt your stress away and allow you to actually enjoy all the pleasures of your newest investment!

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Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

New Homeowner Checklist: Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Save energy, money and help the environment by replacing any standard light bulbs with energy efficient ones like the Philips Hue White Smart Bulbs. We just got the Starter Kit and couldn't be more thrilled with it–not only are the bulbs Energy Star Certified (the estimated yearly energy cost is about $1 depending on use, with an estimated lifetime of 15,000 hours), but they're also

  1. Dimmable: you can select from 50,000 shades of white light – from daylight to a warm glow – to match your mood or activity
  2. Smart: connect your lights to the bridge and you can control your lights from home or away on your smartphone

This feature gives me incredible peace of mind because I can create light schedules so that I never come home to a dark house, turn lights off and on when we're out of town so it looks like someone is home, and even just ensure I never accidentally leave the lights on and waste energy.

Oh and did I mention LED lights save tons of money?!

Phillips even has an LED savings calculator on their website that you can use to find out how much money you can save by swapping to LED. Who doesn't love seeing tangible savings?!

Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

New Homeowner Checklist: Smart Thermostat

Did you know that your thermostat controls half your energy bill? Upgrade to a smart thermostat to keep your home at its perfect temperature while conserving energy use!

My father-in-law owns a HVAC company and he gifted us the ecobee3 Smart Thermostat–so you know it's a good one! We love it; it understands when to turn on your heating or cooling equipment based on thousands of data points and saves homeowners an average of 23% annually, paying for itself in energy savings! 

Plus, with the ecobee app, you can change the temperature from your phone, laptop or smart watch. How cool is that!?

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Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

New Homeowner Checklist: Safe, Clean Water

Drinking clean water is fundamental to good health, but sadly, a lot of our standard drinking water is contaminated. Buying bottled water isn't a good solution either – it's crazy expensive and the costs adds up quickly, not to mention that plastic water bottles create an estimated 1.5 million tons of trash per year and pollute the ocean.

Drinking home-filtered water is so much cheaper and better for our environment! Whole house filters like these ones from Aquasana give you the peace of mind that all of the water in your house is filtered, so you can brush your teeth, take a shower and grab a glass from any tap in your house without worry.

Aquasana uses best-in-class filtering technology to provide maximum reduction in water contaminants, while leaving beneficial minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium in the water. The filters are NSF Certified to reduce 66 common water contaminants including over 96% of chlorine and chloramines as well as over 99% of lead, asbestos, turbidity and VOCs.

This is a definite must for any home! If the whole house filter is out of budget, start with an under counter filter system or counter top filter. This way, you can at least rely on your main kitchen faucet being reliably clean, and simply fill up your drinking glasses and pitchers from there.

Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

New Homeowner Checklist: Home Security 

If you're anything like me, you find extreme peace of mind when you’re able to monitor and secure your home. I've recently been enjoying next-level security and convenience with Ring's Video Doorbell! Armed with motion-activated alerts, 1080HD video and two-way talk, Ring lets you watch over your home and answer the door from anywhere through the app. This means that – day or night, rain or shine – you’re always home and can monitor what's going on right at your doorstep.

I also got the Ring floodlight security camera, which we have in our backyard. It's amazing–not only does it provide lighting at night (which is motion activated), but there's even an alarm feature that you can sound if you catch somebody that shouldn't be there.

I'll admit, I also love using the camera to keep an eye on our puppy when she's outside without us.

Ring also sells spotlight security cameras and they're getting ready to launch a comprehensive whole-house security system, which I can't wait to get! Check out their website to discover all your options!

New Homeowner Checklist: Energy Monitor

Reduce your utility bill by measuring your power consumption in dollars and cents to see exactly how much particular devices are costing you! Devices like Sense Home Energy Monitor use remote monitoring of your power consumption, energy use and home activity to give you valuable insights into how your particular home operates. 

How does it work? The Sense Monitor connects to your home's Wi-Fi network and then reports your real-time and historical energy use to the app, so you can monitor your efficiency and home activity from anywhere. You can name and categorize different devices, set custom notifications for when they turn on or off, analyze how efficient they are, and see what's going on at home when you aren't there.

Cost calculations are built right in so you can find opportunities to save money and live more efficiently by identifying power hogs, vampire loads, and malfunctioning appliances. Hooray for technology, right?!

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Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

New Homeowner Checklist: Smart Switches

In addition to the energy efficient LED smart light bulbs we talked about before, there are also smart switches that can help you save.

Wemo is great brand that has a range of capabilities: smart dimmers, app or voice controlled timers, smart plugs where you can control your outlets from the app, and more, plus real-time energy reports on your devices to cut costs further. I love being able to turn appliances off from my phone adjust lighting with the click of a button.

Even better–I have a schedule set in my office so that lights go on at 9:30 in the morning and off at 5:30 at night to give me a gentle reminder when to start and stop working.

Another reputable company to check out is Lutron, a brand that specializes in helping you control lighting, temperature, shade and more.

Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

New Homeowner Checklist: Clean Air 

Don't take clean air for granted! Between our pets, mold, mildew and common allergens like pollen, it's easy for bacteria and spores to run rampant in the oxygen we breath. With air purifiers like Germ Guardian, we can rest assured that we're breathing clean air.

Germ guardian captures 99.97% of allergens including pet dander, dust mites and pollen. With an added antimicrobial agent to inhibit the growth of mold, mildew and odor-causing bacteria on the surface of the filter, you’ll be sure to keep your home and loved ones healthy with this device.

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New Homeowner Checklist: Energy-Efficient Appliances

Upgrade to ENERGY STAR certified appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, ceiling fans, heating and cooling and more! These appliances will help you save money on operating costs in the long run by reducing energy use, without sacrificing performance. Here's a list of ENERGY STAR's most efficient list of appliances for 2017.

Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

New Homeowner Checklist: Non-Toxic Bedding

We all know that sleep is one of the most important factors in health, and that simply getting more high-quality sleep can often help hormone problems, immune problems, stress levels and much more.

I've recently been researching and trying out many different brands of organic and natural sheets and mattresses for an upcoming comprehensive story on non-toxic bedding, and am shocked at some of the dangers lurking in our beds from chemical-laden sheets and mattresses. Given how much time we spend sleeping, upgrading to safe bedding is a big priority!

Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

A couple of my favorite mattress brands are Avocado Mattress and Loom & Leaf. Avocado Mattresses are made on-demand from 100% natural latex rubber, natural wool and certified organic cotton with no polyurethane foams or toxic fire retardants. They're also largely recyclable and biodegradable for when the time comes for a new mattress (after their 25-year warranty)! We've got one of their queen mattresses in our guest room and it's so plush and comfy with the added pillow top.

Loom & Leaf’s ultra-luxury eco-friendly memory foam mattresses are made in the USA with a breathable, organic cotton covering and natural thistle flame retardant to keep you comfortable, cool and safe. You get to pick from two firmness levels and the mattresses all work with traditional and adjustable bases for support at all angles.

We've got Loom & Leaf's King mattress in our master bedroom and I've never slept so soundly–we went for the firm, which is still soft and cozy, but with plenty of support. On my wishlist is their adjustable bed base, which allows you to raise your feet and head for optimal TV watching and reading, without the neck pain.

For sheets, there are many I've recently tried out that I love, but my favorite is Cariloha's sustainable Resort Bamboo Bed Sheets with an ultra-soft sateen finish and thermal regulation to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer (yes, really!). These sheets are seriously so soft, comfortable and luxurious! And their Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam pillow is seriously the most comfortable pillow I've ever used!

BONUS: Cariloha is giving R+R readers an exclusive 20% discount site-wide, now through February 28th! Use the code ROOTANDREVEL20 at checkout. 

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Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

New Homeowner Checklist: Sustainable Gardening 

Attention all gardeners: this CompoKeeper Food Scrap Collector is for you! This innovative kitchen compost bin keeps odors in and bugs out. Hands-free with interlocking bag clamps and a removable tote to take out waste without dripping, this scrap collector is a sustainable gardener’s dream.

I know it might sound crazy, but we've been composting for a few years now and even without a garden to use the compost on, I feel so great knowing that I'm repurposing our waste and reducing our carbon footprint.

Not sure what composting means, or why you should do it? The benefits of using this natural fertilizer are vast: it builds good soil structure; enables soil to retain nutrients, water, and air; protects against drought; helps maintain a neutral pH, and protects plants from many diseases commonly found in the garden. It also feeds earthworms and other microbial life in the soil. (source)

Not only that, but it reduces landfill waste and incineration, in turn reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Amazing what simply throwing your banana peels in the backyard can do, right?

New Homeowner Checklist: Smart Sprinkler

Want a stellar looking yard but don't want to waste water? Enter smart sprinklers. On my wishlist: Rachio's Smart Sprinkler Control, which is wi-fi enabled, allowing you to control your sprinklers through the app.

Enjoy customizable and automated schedules based on your unique yard’s needs, and even save water with auto-skips when rain is predicted. Save up to 50% on your outdoor watering bill with this WaterSense certified technology and check with your local water provider for rebates (often up to 100% of retail value!).

Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

New Homeowner Checklist: Keyless Smart Deadbolts

I don't know about you, but fumbling with my keys at the front door while my hands are full of grocery bags and my yoga mat is a real pain the arse. Never mind the fact that I can never find mine keys in the black abyss that is my purse.

That's why we upgraded our door locks with with smart deadbolts–I'm obsessed with our Schlage Sense. Simply enter an access code on the touchscreen to unlock the door.

You can share access with trusted friends and family with just a few taps – no more keeping track of spare keys – plus you can lock and unlock your Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt from anywhere using their app. Hello, convenience!

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Whether you're a new homeowner or simply want to make sure that your current home is optimized to support your health, safety and its maximum eco efficiency, this new homeowner checklist has got your back! Read on to discover ways you can create your healthiest home while also saving money, protecting your family, conserving energy and supporting the environment.

What are your must-haves as a new homeowner, or for smart, sustainable and safe home upgrades? Let us know your tips in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “New Homeowner Checklist: 12 Things You Need for a Safe, Healthy + Eco-Friendly Home”

  1. Gosh – so much to think about! I have never owned a home but recently helped my parents move and we’re going through so much of this – whole house water filter, Nest for a smart thermostat, etc. This guide is really helpful for other things we can consider to help save money in the long run! I’m also coveting those Cariloha sheets – they sound so luxurious! 😀

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Tips for a healthier home

Here are some eco-friendly home care tips for a healthy and green living:
  • Switch your cleaning products to eco-friendly options. You can find many of these in the grocery store and online.
  • Use sustainable materials for furniture, such as wood instead of plastic or metal. This will help create less waste and reduce the amount of natural resources that are used to produce them.
  • Choose lightbulbs with little or no mercury. These not only create less waste but also have an impact on climate change by using less electricity.
  • Plant trees around your property. Trees benefit the environment by providing shade, absorbing carbon dioxide, and purifying the air with their leaves. They also provide fuel for firewood during colder months and a habitat for wildlife. The benefits of planting trees go far beyond what you see right in front of you!

Green cleaning products

One way to make your home more eco-friendly is by switching over to green cleaning products. These products aren’t as harsh on the environment as traditional household cleaners and are less likely to cause allergies or other health issues. Plus, you can find a variety of green cleaning products that work for every type of surface in your home.

Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products

There are many cleaning products that you can use in your home that are environmentally friendly. One of the best ways to start is by switching to eco-friendly cleaning products. Many people don’t know that there are many types of eco-friendly cleaning products on the market today, including laundry detergent and dishwasher soap. A switch to green cleaners can be a simple way to create an environmentally friendly living environment.

Safer and more environmentally friendly ways to clean your home

If you want to make your home safer and more environmentally friendly, then you can switch from using toxic cleaning products to using eco-friendly alternatives. For example, if you want to clean your toilet, then you could use vinegar instead of bleach or other harsh chemicals. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer, so it will do the job without harming the environment. You can also use baking soda as a healthy alternative to many household cleaners. Baking soda is an abrasive cleaner that breaks down dirt and grime; it’s also non-toxic, so it won’t harm people or the environment. It’s also inexpensive, so you can use it liberally without worrying about running out of supply too quickly.

Sustainable living

Most people are more aware of the environment these days and want to do their part to make it a better place. Homeowners and renters alike are doing everything from switching to environmentally friendly cleaning products, to using sustainable materials for furniture. Here are some tips for living an eco-friendly lifestyle in your home:
    • Clean with white vinegar – You can use this as a natural disinfectant that is also eco-friendly. It is also inexpensive and easy on your pipes because you won’t be putting harsh chemicals down the drain.
    • Avoid aerosol cans – Aerosol cans contain harmful chemicals that will release into the air when sprayed. Try switching to an eco-friendly product or find another way to clean.
    • Use reusable napkins – Napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, even facial tissue all come wrapped in paper (or other packaging). Reusable napkins or dish towels will give you one less thing you need to throw away every day!
    • Put up a clothesline – Even if you live in an apartment or condo where putting up a clothesline isn’t possible, there are many ways you can still dry your clothes without using electricity or gas. For example, hang them outside on a sunny day or turn your oven on low heat and hang them from the top rack.

Living with less waste in your home

One of the best ways to reduce your ecological footprint is by reducing the amount of waste that your household produces. Take a look at what you’re throwing away and try to find alternatives.
For example, instead of buying disposable napkins, use cloth napkins that you can throw into the wash. If you need face wipes for removing makeup, consider making them yourself from reusable materials like cotton rounds. And if you want to stop using plastic bags, use canvas bags or have bags made from recycled material. There are many other ideas for eco-friendly alternatives in your home as well.

Sustainable materials for furniture

Did you know that the average American generates over 4 pounds of waste every day? This means that we are throwing away a lot of furniture and other items in our homes. To stop contributing to this problem, it is best to use sustainable materials for furniture. Sustainable materials are made from recycled materials which can be up-cycled into new products. Not only are these items better for the environment, but they also save money because the items will last longer.
Sustainable materials for furniture include:
      • Recycled plastic
      • MDF
      • Plywood
      • Timber reclaimed from old buildings or driftwood
      • Bamboo
      • Faux leather (made from cotton)
The pursuit of a healthy, green and sustainable home is achievable for anyone. It will require more time and effort, but the payoff will be worth it.
Start with the small things. Make a conscious effort to recycle, turn off appliances and lights when you’re not using them, and check your thermostat. It’s easy to get into a routine of living without giving it much thought, but the more you make an effort, the easier it will be to live sustainably.
After you’ve made changes in your everyday life, look for furniture that is made with sustainable materials. You can also buy an eco-friendly houseplant for your home that requires little care.
    1. Tips for a healthier home:
      • Turn off appliances and lights when you’re not using them
      • Check your thermostat
      • Make a conscious effort to recycle
    2. Green cleaning products:
      • Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products
      • Safer and more environmentally friendly ways to clean
      • Sustainable living:
      • Living with less waste in your home
      • Sustainable materials for furniture
  • Sustainable materials for furniture:
    • Consider buying furniture made with sustainable
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