3 Eco-Friendly Ways to Make Your Home More Accessible

By Paul Denikin

MMaking a home environmentally friendly is often a separate topic from creating a disability-friendly home, but accessibility and eco-friendliness do not have to be mutually exclusive. It's entirely possible to make home modifications that benefit both your family and the environment. If you're looking to improve your home's impact on the planet as well as accommodate a disability and improve home safety, here are a few things you can do.

Eco Accessible Home

Replace Flooring with Bamboo to Improve Disability-Friendliness

Like hardwood, bamboo flooring offers a durable, low-glare surface that is easy to clean and is environmentally responsible. Hardwood takes many years to grow, and its cultivation is currently damaging the planet's forests. Bamboo, on the other hand, grows extraordinarily fast and is one of the most sustainable materials available. It is also very affordable.

Floors made of bamboo create the same classic look in your home without damaging a vital ecosystem. Furthermore, these floors are far easier to maintain than carpet which can be helpful to those with certain disabilities (not to mention caregivers). Wheelchair users can more easily traverse the surface. The low glare projected by bamboo flooring is beneficial for those with visual impairments. However, it should be noted that those at risk for falls may want to consider an alternative flooring due to the slick nature of finished wood.

Block Drafts Without Compromising Accessibility

If you have a drafty home, odds are you are using excess energy. Of course, many draft-blocking modifications would inhibit a home's accessibility by preventing those with mobility issues from entering doors. Many homes that have been adapted to retain warm or cool air have raised thresholds which can pose a tripping hazard or create wheelchair barrier for a person with disabilities.

Instead, there is a much cheaper and easier way to halt drafts and save energy. Draft-blocking pillows are simply long, sometimes weighted pillows that are placed in front of gaps under the door, providing a much simpler solution than modifying your doorway. They are also far easier to get out of the way if needed.

Replace Light Bulbs with LEDs to Boost Visibility

Having a bright home is often very important for people with disabilities. Lighting the home effectively helps prevent falls and improves visibility. LED bulbs are bright, long lasting and eco-friendly. They utilize less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and give off less heat. They are a little more expensive up front, but when considering how long they last and how much energy they save, you are actually saving money in the long run.

Traditional incandescent bulbs last about 1,200 hours while and LEDs will typically last 50,000 hours. With a difference like that, it is a mystery why so many people still use incandescent bulbs. Simply by swapping out your light bulbs, you are making your home more eco-friendly as well as more accessible.

Becoming environmentally conscientious is always a good idea, and creating a more accessible space is an excellent way to make anyone feel welcome in your home. Both forms of modification have the potential to increase your home's value and maybe even save you a little money on your bills. Fortunately, you don't have to pick just one or the other. You can help both the planet and the people you care about.

About the Author:

Paul Denikin is passionate about sharing his experiences working on DIY projects to benefit people with special needs children.

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