Making Your Garage Eco-Friendly

Garages are a great place for all those projects and home improvement ideas that you're working on. But what if your garage could help improve the environment and protect the earth? Now that's what I call a project! Here are a few ways your small garage could be the start of big changes for the environment.

Sealing from the elements

Having a two-car garage usually gives you around 400 square feet of space on average. Sometimes this space is even heated to protect the valuable items and belongings inside. The only issue is that the garage can be notorious for being havens for wasted energy. Find those locations where energy is escaping from such as through thin walls, around doors, or near windows, then use weather stripping and insulation on those walls, doors, and windows to put an end to energy from escaping your garage and money from escaping your wallet.

Electric Usage

If you have lots of light sources throughout your garage, there's still more ways to help conserve energy. Instead of that hanging incandescent light in the middle of everything, a bright idea would be to add some LED lights around your working area. LED lights chase away shadows using less energy than incandescent bulbs, and LEDs run much cooler, avoiding a potential fire hazard. If your garage is really large and if you're feeling particularly enlightened, perhaps consider a sunroof in the garage to get more natural light so you can spend the day inside without flipping a switch.

Garage Door

If you'd like an eco-friendly update to your garage that'll also add some curb appeal to your house, maybe you'll be open to the idea of an eco-friendly garage door. Where eco-friendly garage doors differ from standard ones is in their biodegradable building materials. Eco-friendly doors can be crafted from aluminum and recycled steel, so their environmental footprint won't be the size of, well, a garage door. Eco-friendly garage doors are also highly insulated to prevent heating and cooling loss, so you'll effectively close the door on wasted energy and save money in energy costs at the same time.

Recycling Fluids

If you do a lot of your own car's maintenance from your garage, be sure to have some containers rated for storing used fluids from your car. Fluids such as oil, brake fluid, and antifreeze are harmful to the environment and too often are discarded into drains instead of properly disposed of in a safe, environmental way. With containers that can handle dangerous fluids, you can easily transport them to a mechanic's garage or other location for safe disposal. Just make sure your containers are kept away from where young children can reach them.

Recycling Everything

In fact, why stop at recycling only used vehicle fluid? With a large amount of space at your disposal, you can set up your own mini-recycling center, complete with a biodegradable trash bag for aluminum and glass and a place for all the extra paper from newsprint and junk mail. If word gets out, don't be surprised if eco-conscious friends and coworkers start bringing you their own recyclables. Soon you may be the go-to person in your neighborhood when it comes to recycling materials.

Charge It

Of course, for those really wanting to make the garage the greenest room in the house, they truly go all out with the purchase of an all-electric vehicle and then install their car charger inside their garage, effectively becoming their own private charging station. While this may seem a bit extreme, the number of people plugging in their electric automobiles steadily increases every year. So it might not be long before parking and charging becomes more commonplace within most garages.

Starting with these suggestions, you can open the door on new and greener ideas for creating a more eco-friendly garage. These ideas might not have much impact on how you use your garage, but they'll make a huge impact on the environment over the long run. As your garage becomes more eco and energy friendly, you may begin looking for ideas on how to make the rest of your home a greener place as well, and you'll have your trusty garage to thank for it.