One of the best parts of owning a home is the freedom to make it truly your own with design choices that reflect your personality and lifestyle. Whether you lean toward contemporary design or a farmhouse aesthetic, your home is your canvas.

Even so, it’s always smart to think about the long-term impact those decisions might have on your home’s value. Choosing over-personalized or unpopular materials and finishes could make your home less appealing to future buyers. And selecting out-of-style or overly-trendy elements could cause your home to feel dated quickly.

To help inspire your design choices, we’ve rounded up some of the top trends we’re watching in 2024. Keep in mind, not all of these will work well in every house. If you plan to list or renovate your property, give us a call. We can help you realize your vision and maximize the impact of your investment.

 

      1. Spa-Like Bathrooms

We could all use a little more relaxation in our lives—so why not bring the spa into your home? In 2024, more homeowners will remodel their bathrooms to turn them into personal oases.1,2

If you’re undertaking a renovation, consider upgrading fixtures and materials. Handmade tile and custom cabinetry can add a touch of style and luxury. Trade stark whites for warm neutrals to create a more relaxed feel—think light wood tones, creams, and beiges.3 Complete the look with soft ambient lighting from a backlit mirror or pair of decorative sconces.2,3

If you want to maximize the mind-body benefits of a relaxing bathroom (and have the budget to spare), you might consider installing a steam shower, infrared sauna, or cold plunge tub.3 Not looking to spend as much? Even minor upgrades like a massaging showerhead or heated towel bar can add some pampering to your morning routine.3

But remember, if you’re modifying your bathroom, it’s always wise to work with experienced and licensed professionals to avoid water damage that could lead to costly repairs. We can refer you to a trusted contractor for help.

 

 

      2. Maximalist Decor

In 2024, maximalism is back in vogue, contrasting the neutral aesthetic that dominated design in recent years. While maximalism can be summed up as “more is more,” there’s nothing sloppy or cluttered about this look. Instead, it’s all about intentional curation.4

Hallmarks of maximalist style include rich and saturated colors, bold wallpaper, statement rugs and furniture, and lots of art. And forget matching—maximalist interiors often include plenty of contrasting colors, textures, and patterns selected to complement one another.4

If you’re trying to embrace maximalism on a budget, check out thrift stores. They’re often a great place to find unique furniture, colorful rugs, and interesting art or collectibles. Before you invest in rolls of vintage wallpaper, though, it’s important to note—if you plan to sell your home in the near future, the maximalist look won’t appeal to every buyer.

We typically advise sellers to remove clutter and personal items to help buyers imagine their own future lives within the home. Sometimes, that means repainting or redecorating in a more neutral palette. Of course, this shouldn’t stop you from embracing your own style now—just be aware that you may need to walk back your aesthetic prior to selling. We can advise you when the time comes.

 

 

      3. Japandi Style

Not quite ready to embrace maximalism? Japandi style, which blends Japanese and Scandinavian influences, offers a more subdued approach that still has plenty of character. The look dates back about 150 years to a time when many Scandinavian designers were traveling to Japan for inspiration.5

Japandi style brings together clean lines, simplicity, and a focus on natural elements and light. It emphasizes the beauty in imperfection, or “wabi sabi,” and a deep connection to Mother Earth. And like Scandinavian decor, the look prioritizes comfort and a sense of sanctuary in the home.5

Interested in playing with Japandi? Common features include calming color palettes and organic materials like raw wood and bamboo. Try softening harsh edges with softer textures, like cozy blankets and ceramic pieces.

The look also minimizes clutter, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a minimalist. Instead, Japandi style embraces storage solutions like baskets, folding screens, and sofas with built-in storage to give everything a place.6 If you’d like some help implementing Japandi-style organization in your home, contact us for a list of recommended professionals.

 

 

      4. Mixed Metals

Mixing metals used to be a “no-no.” But in 2024, it’s definitely a “yes.”

According to designers, mixing the colors and finishes of metal fixtures and hardware can bring visual interest to a room—as long as you go about it the right way.1,7

The most important rule to keep in mind is to stay away from near matches, like brass and gold—that’s more likely to look accidental than intentional. Instead, go for bold contrast: Think polished nickel and matte black.7

Some designers recommend using each metal at least twice in a room to make it look cohesive. Another good rule of thumb is to stick to two types of metals in a small room and two to three in a larger space.7

Finally, you might think about playing with undertones (brass is warm, chrome is cool) to change the “temperature” of a room. And don’t be afraid of a little shine—many designers predict that a retro, high-polished look will replace matte finishes in 2024.8

Want some help sourcing fixtures and hardware in a variety of finishes? Reach out for a list of our favorite retailers.

 

 

      5. Wood Cabinetry And Accents

The all-white kitchen has been ubiquitous in recent years. But in 2024, classic wood cabinetry is back in a big way.9 In fact, industry professionals surveyed by the National Kitchen & Bath Association predict that wood cabinets will be more popular than white in the next three years.10

Natural wood tones offer a sense of warmth and natural beauty.11 And today’s cabinets aren’t anything like the heavy, dated versions of the past. Instead, light to medium versions—like white oak and walnut—and warmer undertones are trending.9

The addition of wood-grain accents to painted kitchen cabinets—like with a contrasting island or range hood—is another popular option.12 And wood continues to be a favored choice for flooring. A recent survey found that 40% of homeowners opted for either hardwood or engineered wood when renovating their kitchen floors.13

You can also expect to see more wood in bathrooms in 2024. According to Houzz, last year, wood vanities surpassed white in popularity for the first time in recent years, and designers expect the trend to continue.12 While white countertops and walls still dominate bathrooms, a wood-grained vanity brings a relaxed, organic element into the space.

Dreaming about new cabinets or hardwood floors? We’d be happy to share a list of recommended trade professionals who can help.

 

 

      6. Timeless Renovations

In its latest Kitchen Trends Study, Houzz found that “nearly half of homeowners (47%) opt for a timeless design as a sustainable choice during renovations.” Respondents cited long-term cost effectiveness and environmental consciousness as their main motivators.14

In a rapidly changing, technology-driven world, it’s no surprise that homeowners want a nurturing space with lasting appeal—especially if they plan to stay in their homes for years to come.12

Traditional materials and quality craftsmanship lie at the core of timeless design, which some designers are calling “quiet luxury.”15 Think of enduring classics, like hardwood floors, hand-crafted tiles, and marble countertops.12 A timeless color palette will also often include warm neutrals and muted shades of blue and green.15

If you’re thinking about remodeling, it’s wise to incorporate as many classic elements as you can. These stylistic choices tend to hold up well over time, which can prolong the life of your investment and make it easier to sell your home down the road. If you’d like advice on an upcoming project, contact us for a free consultation.

 

 

BEAUTIFY YOUR HOME WHILE BOOSTING ITS VALUE

If you’re thinking about making design changes—whether that’s repainting or a full remodel—it’s important to be informed about how your choices could impact your home’s resale potential. Buyer preferences can vary significantly based on your home’s neighborhood and price point. Before you begin your project, reach out to discuss your plans and how they could impact the value of your home.

 

 

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

 

Sources:

  1. HGTV –
    https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/2024-home-and-garden-design-trends
  2. The Spruce –
    https://www.thespruce.com/2024-design-trends-8411457 
  3. The Spruce –
    https://www.thespruce.com/2024-bathroom-design-trends-8380169 
  4. Homes and Gardens –
    https://www.homesandgardens.com/interior-design/maximalist-decor-ideas 
  5. The Spruce –
    https://www.thespruce.com/japandi-design-4782478 
  6. House Beautiful –
    https://www.housebeautiful.com/room-decorating/a45851530/japandi-interior-design-style/ 
  7. The Spruce –
    https://www.thespruce.com/4-rules-designers-say-you-should-follow-or-ignore-when-mixing-metals-in-a-room-5199031 
  8. The Spruce –
    https://www.thespruce.com/2024-lighting-trends-8365056 
  9. Good Housekeeping –
    https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/decorating-ideas/a45576463/wood-kitchen-cabinet-trend-2023/ 
  10. Better Homes and Gardens –
    https://www.bhg.com/2024-kitchen-trends-840656
  11. Real Simple –
    https://www.realsimple.com/2024-kitchen-cabinet-trends-masterbrand-7974600 
  12. Houzz –
    https://www.houzz.com/magazine/28-home-design-trends-that-will-define-2024-stsetivw-vs~172317389 
  13. Houzz –
    https://www.houzz.com/magazine/10-kitchen-trends-to-watch-in-layouts-features-and-more-stsetivw-vs~165050822 
  14. Houzz –
    https://www.houzz.com/magazine/2023-u-s-houzz-kitchen-trends-study-stsetivw-vs~164970160
  15. Better Homes and Gardens –
    https://www.bhg.com/quiet-luxury-home-trend-7554026

A growing share of home buyers and sellers sat on the sidelines last year as the pace of home sales continued its downward trajectory.1 In fact, since the Federal Reserve began its series of interest rate hikes in 2022, the combination of higher borrowing costs and record-high home prices has fostered the steepest real estate market slowdown since the 2008 recession.2 

Priced out of the market, a generation of would-be buyers has been forced to delay their plans for homeownership.3  At the same time, current owners—reluctant to give up their pandemic-era mortgage rates—are waiting to sell, which has resulted in a sharp drop in listings.4

But there may be some relief in sight: In December, the Fed signaled that it was done raising interest rates—and suggested that it could cut rates by 0.75% over the coming year. While mortgages don’t directly follow the federal funds rate, they typically move in tandem—so cheaper home loans may finally be on the horizon.5

Lower mortgage rates should bring some much-needed movement back into the real estate sector. But with a market this fluid, the home buyers and sellers with an edge will be those who proactively leverage a real estate agent’s on-the-ground expertise and stay flexible so that they can quickly adapt to changes.

What does that mean for you? Read on to learn more about the current state of the U.S. housing market, the potential opportunities for buyers and sellers, and economists’ predictions for the year ahead.

 

HOME PRICES WILL REMAIN RELATIVELY STABLE

Not even 8% mortgage rates could bring home prices crashing down in 2023, as some prospective home buyers may have hoped. In fact, on average, U.S. property values ended the year higher—with declines in some areas of the country offset by appreciation in others.6

Prices typically fall when rising interest rates drive down demand. So what’s keeping home values high? 

Mike Simonsen at Altos Research points to a nationwide housing shortage: “Declining home prices probably require that supply-and-demand imbalance, and what we have is really a balance. There’s a balance between low demand and low supply.”7

Analysts expect that equilibrium to continue to prop up home prices in 2024, although the specific forecasts vary. For example, economists at Realtor.com predict that the median home price will fall slightly, by 1.7%, while those at Fannie Mae project modest price growth of 2.8%.6,8

However, experts widely agree: Mortgage rates will be the largest driver of property values. If rates fall faster than expected, more buyers will enter the market—which could send home prices soaring higher.

What does it mean for you?  There’s no evidence that home prices are headed for a major decline. So if you’re ready and able to afford a home, this is a great time to test the waters. The best bargains are often found in a slower market, like the one we’re experiencing right now. Contact us to discuss your goals and budget. We can help you make an informed decision about the right time to buy.

And if you’ve been waiting to sell your home, this could be your year. Price growth has slowed, so now is the time to maximize your equity gains while minimizing your competition. Contact us for recommendations and to find out what your home could sell for in today’s market.

 

MORTGAGE RATES SHOULD FINALLY TREND DOWN

The best news we’ve got incoming for 2024? The extra-high mortgage rates that have weighed heavily on the real estate market may finally be headed south.

At its December meeting, the Fed signaled that the worst is likely behind us and that it expects to cut its overnight rate in 2024. Analysts predict that mortgage rates will fall in lockstep.5

“Given inflation continues to decelerate and the Federal Reserve Board’s current expectations that they will lower the federal funds target rate next year, we likely will see a gradual thawing of the housing market in the new year,” said Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater following the announcement.9

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has already declined from an October high of around 8%, and analysts at Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and Realtor.com all forecast that rates will trend down this year, ending 2024 closer to 6%.7

However, it’s not all good news: It appears that the days of 3% mortgage rates are firmly behind us. “As long as the economy continues to motor along, the new normal of higher rates is here to stay,” explains Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.4 So, when it comes to a home loan, borrowers may need to adjust their expectations.

What does it mean for you?  If you’re a prospective home buyer, declining mortgage rates could give you the opportunity to lock in a more affordable monthly payment. And if you purchase before the market reheats, you could secure an especially good deal. To find the lowest rate, it pays to compare lenders. Ask us to refer you to a mortgage broker who can help you shop around for the best option.

Sellers also have reason to celebrate buyers’ lower interest rates: As the barriers to entry to the housing market decline, they could enjoy more or better offers. Reach out to discuss how we can help you maximize your home’s sales potential.

 

LOWER RATES WILL BRING SOME BUYERS AND SELLERS BACK TO THE MARKET

Over the past couple of years, higher mortgage rates have cooled home buyer demand. They’ve also delayed the plans of many home sellers, who have been reluctant to trade in their current mortgages for loans that are several points higher. 

With so many market participants playing the waiting game, the real estate sector has slowed significantly. National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun estimates that the number of existing home sales fell by 18% last year following a 17% decline in 2022.10

However, as financing costs tick down, sales volume is expected to rise. “Lower mortgage rates would help spur home sales activity, which [is] expected to increase in 2024 compared to 2023,” explains Selma Hepp, chief economist at CoreLogic. “Declines in mortgage rates will drive more sellers to trade their existing home and help add much-needed inventory to the market, leading to more transactions.”4

There’s also evidence that the patience of holdout home buyers may be waning, despite higher borrowing costs. A recent survey by Bank of America found that the number who are willing to wait for prices or mortgage rates to decline before making a purchase fell from 85% to 62% in just six months.11

“When it comes down to it, if buying a home is your goal and within your budget, the best time to buy is when you’re ready financially and you can find a home that fits your needs,” Matt Vernon, head of consumer lending at Bank of America, advised in a recent release. “Even in the current interest rate environment, there are clear benefits to purchasing a home and beginning to build equity.”11

What does it mean for you?  If you’ve been waiting to buy a home, you might want to consider purchasing before the competition picks up. Pent-up demand could bring a flood of buyers back into the market as mortgage rates decline. Contact us if you’re ready to begin your home search.

If you’re hoping to sell this year, you may also want to act fast. An increase in listings will make it harder for your home to stand out. We can help you chart the best course to maximize your profits, starting with a professional assessment of your home’s current market value. Reach out to schedule a free consultation.

 

THE HOUSING SUPPLY SHORTAGE WILL PERSIST

Will home buyers who are eager for options have more homes to choose from this year?

Yun thinks so. He believes sellers will soon grow weary of waiting to list. “Pent-up sellers cannot wait any longer. People will begin to say, ‘life goes on,’” the NAR economist speculated at a November conference. “Listings will steadily show up, and new home sales will continue to do well.”10

But not everyone agrees. Economists at Realtor.com forecast that inventory could drop by as much as 14% this year. The decline in existing homes for sale has been compounded by a persistent shortage of new construction, with single-family housing starts falling 10.3% in 2023 and 11.2% in 2022.6

Even so, newly-built homes are playing an increased role in easing the supply crunch, accounting for around one-third of all homes for sale in 2023—which was twice the historical average.12 But new construction alone isn’t expected to fill the inventory gap.

According to First American Financial Corporation’s Chief Economist Mark Fleming, the U.S. currently has a shortfall of around one million homes, and conditions won’t ease until individual owners re-enter the market. “Only when more homeowners decide to sell, and then buy again, will housing supply and the pace of sales return to anything resembling normal.”13

What does it mean for you?  Inventory remains tight, but buyers can benefit from the search expertise of a real estate professional. We can tap our extensive network to access off-market and pre-market listings while helping you explore both new construction and existing homes in our area.

While sellers will continue to benefit from the low-inventory environment, they should be prepared to compete against brand-new homes. We can help you prep your property for the market and highlight the features most likely to appeal to today’s buyers.

 

WE’RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU 

While national real estate forecasts can give you a “big picture” outlook, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we know what’s most likely to impact sales and drive home values in your neighborhood. As a trusted partner in your real estate journey, we’ll keep our ears to the ground so that we can guide you through the market’s twists and turns.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2024, contact us now to schedule a free consultation. Let’s work together and craft an action plan to meet your real estate goals.

 


The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

 

Sources:

  1. CNN –
    https://www.cnn.com/2023/10/19/homes/existing-home-sales-september/index.html
  2. Goldman Sachs –
    https://www.gspublishing.com/content/research/en/reports/2023/10/23/2d814362-a656-4cb3-8586-bea8591188e3.html
  3. ABC News –
    https://abcnews.go.com/US/millennials-priced-homeownership-feeling-pressure/story?id=105032436
  4. Bankrate –
    https://www.bankrate.com/real-estate/housing-market-2024/
  5. CBS News –
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/interest-rates-are-paused-heres-why-thats-good-news-for-homebuyers/
  6. Realtor.com –
    https://www.realtor.com/research/2024-national-housing-forecast
  7. NerdWallet –
    https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/mortgages/2024-homebuying-trends-property-line-november-2023
  8. Fast Company –
    https://www.fastcompany.com/90991612/home-price-2024-outlook-fannie-mae
  9. Freddie Mac –
    https://freddiemac.gcs-web.com/news-releases/news-release-details/mortgage-rates-drop-below-seven-percent
  10. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/nar-chief-economist-lawrence-yun-forecasts-existing-home-sales-will-rise-by-15-percent-next-year
  11. Bank of America –
    https://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/content/newsroom/press-releases/2023/12/bofa-report-shows-fewer-prospective-homebuyers-willing-to-wait-f.html
  12. Marketplace –
    https://www.marketplace.org/2023/11/27/mortgage-rates-new-home-sales/
  13. First American –
    https://blog.firstam.com/economics/whats-the-outlook-for-the-housing-market-in-2024

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But for many families with festive plans and hectic schedules, it’s also the most wasteful. 

According to one survey, for example, 60% of respondents admitted to throwing away more than usual during the holiday months as they filled up their trash bins with uneaten food, wrapping paper, gift bags, and commercial packaging.1

The reality is, Americans routinely toss about 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than at any other time of year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.2 In fact, we throw away so much ribbon during the holidays—around 38,000 miles’ worth—that the discarded material could easily run more than one and a half times around the Earth.3

As our holiday schedules grow busier, many of us also forget to take simple steps at home to shrink our carbon footprints or prepare for a more energy-efficient winter. 

Luckily, it’s not that hard to shift our habits and plan for a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly celebration. Here are five ideas for ringing in the holidays this year without overstressing Mother Nature.

 

1. PREP YOUR HOME FOR WINTER

Depending on the amount of time and resources you have available, you could cut your carbon emissions significantly this season just by winterizing your home.

Investing in a more sustainable way to warm up your surroundings—such as a geothermal heat pump or solar heating—could be especially impactful if your current HVAC is underperforming and you can afford a more expensive system.4 Replacing old appliances or things like chronically leaking windows with newer, more energy-efficient solutions can also save you money over the long term.5 Plus, you may be able to claim a federal energy-efficient tax credit for up to 30% of your investment.6

You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot upfront, though, to prep your home for winter. Even simple tweaks—such as sealing windows and doors or upgrading to more energy-efficient window coverings—can lower your energy consumption and reduce your carbon footprint.7

Incorporating environmentally healthier habits into your routine can also make a meaningful difference. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, for example, dialing back your thermostat by as little as seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day can trim up to 10% from your bills.8 

Consider a home energy assessment to help you pinpoint what needs fixing. Depending on your comfort level, you can audit your home’s energy efficiency yourself with the help of the Department of Energy’s DIY Guide.9 Or you can hire a professional, such as a home energy auditor or weatherization contractor.10 Call us for a recommendation or personal referral.

 

2. DECORATE SUSTAINABLY

Decking your home’s halls is one of the most jolly seasonal activities of all. There’s something special about gathering ’round with friends and family and relaxing in the comforting glow of a festively decorated space. 

But since so much of the holiday-themed decor that’s sold in stores is notoriously disposable, it can be a challenge to spruce up your home sustainably. Cheaply produced and rarely recyclable, store-bought decorations are often made with plastic, styrofoam, and other environmentally unfriendly materials that can crowd landfills for generations.2 

Luckily, you don’t have to trade style for sustainability when making your holiday decor. Thrifting is still in vogue, so consider crafting new and on-trend decorations out of secondhand finds or upcycling items already in your closet. 

For example, you could transform an ill-fitting sweater into a holiday-themed pillow, turn teacups into candles, or turn leftover shipping boxes into creative decorations. Alternatively, natural decor foraged from your yard—such as dried leaves, flowers, pine cones, and branches—can make for especially beautiful wreaths and centerpieces. 

If you do purchase store-bought decor, proactively look for the most environmentally friendly options. LED lights are now ubiquitous in stores and use far less energy than incandescent versions.11 Similarly, if you celebrate with a Christmas tree, think twice about choosing an artificial option. Plastic trees may be reusable, but natural trees are generally thought to have a smaller carbon footprint.1

 

3. CUT BACK ON HOLIDAY SHOPPING

Shopping online or at the mall may be convenient, but it can be costly for the environment. The greenhouse emissions from shipping and transportation alone add up fast, as do the emissions that are produced when an item is first made. According to the online consignment and thrift store, thredUp, 4.5 billion pounds of carbon emissions could be saved if every American bought just one used item instead of new this year.12 

Splurging on brand-new products also makes it more likely that the gently used but still functional items that you’ve got at home will wind up in the trash. 

Rather than buy new, check vintage stores and consignment shops for unique gifts that you and your recipient can both feel good about. According to research by thredUp, most people are open to receiving gently-used presents, especially if they’re socially-conscious members of Gen Z.12 Alternatively, consider regifting items that you haven’t used, upcycling something you own, or try crafting gifts by hand. 

Giving away special experiences, such as concert tickets or community memberships, may also be a more eco-friendly option. So is donating to a favorite charity in a gift recipient’s name or offering gifts of time, such as promising to help a loved one clean out their garage or fill their freezer with home-cooked meals. 

Research shows that gift recipients often value thoughtful gifts with sentimental value, especially if they’re homemade or nostalgic or will provide them with a unique experience.13 

And if you prefer to buy something tangible, look to local businesses that source or manufacture their goods nearby. Craft fairs and community markets are a great place to start. Or, give us a call and we’d be happy to share a list of our favorite local stores, depending on the type of gift and your budget. We make an effort to patronize the independently-owned shops and restaurants around town and would love to share our recommendations.

 

4. GREEN YOUR HOLIDAY DINNER

Do you hail from a family of passionate carnivores? If so, trading your meat for a vegetarian option may seem like a step too far—especially for a holiday dinner. 

But swapping your meat for beans isn’t the only way to “’green” your holiday meal. For example, you can consciously source your meat from ethical sellers, prioritize local producers for seasonal sides, and serve enough filling vegetables to satisfy a large portion of your appetite.14 

You can also minimize food waste by planning ahead so that you don’t cook more than necessary. Check out the Natural Resources Defense Council’s dinner party “Guest-Imator” to help you narrow down how much food you and your guests will actually need.15 In addition, consider using the USDA’s FoodKeeper App to help track safety recalls and set up calendar reminders for expired food.16 

Once you’re finished eating, clear the table immediately and either freeze the leftovers you’d like to keep or send guests home with reusable containers. Or, if you have untouched food that’s still whole or in unopened packaging, take it to a local food bank or homeless shelter. We’d be happy to share a list of options in our area.

 

5. DONATE OR RECYCLE WHAT YOU CAN

Once the festivities are over, the real work on behalf of Mother Nature begins. This is the time when taking a few minutes at the end of your holiday celebration to swiftly collect wrapping paper and ribbons, unwanted packaging, and other discarded items can make a real environmental difference by reducing what you send to landfills. Your goal should be to reuse what you can and compost or recycle what’s left over. 

For example, if you upgrade any electronic gadgets over the holidays, you can conserve resources and limit pollution by donating or properly recycling your old versions. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated that recycling a million laptop computers could help save the energy equivalent of 3,500 homes’ annual usage of electricity.16 Similarly, the EPA says that recycling one million phones can help salvage 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium.17

It can also help to reimagine new ways to make old traditions more eco-friendly. For instance, if lighting candles is part of your holiday celebration, consider choosing beeswax candles this year instead of the typical paraffin wax, which is a petroleum derivative. Not only are they cleaner burning and less toxic, but the leftover wax is biodegradable and can be composted, unlike traditional candle wax.18

There are also plenty of earth-friendly ways to dispose of a natural Christmas tree without kicking it to the curb. Trees that are sent to landfills release a potent greenhouse gas called methane.19 So, it’s important to properly dispose of a live tree, if you have one, so it can be recycled or composted. If you’re not sure how, reach out for a list of local options.

 

BOTTOMLINE

We can still celebrate a fun and festive season without draining our community’s resources or sending leftovers to the landfill. And remember, we’re here to lend a helping hand, now or in the new year. This is the perfect time to strategize your next move or set some real estate resolutions with personalized guidance from an expert. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation.

 


The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

 

Sources:

  1. Eco Watch –
    https://www.ecowatch.com/sustainable-decor-winter-holidays.html
  2. Architectural Digest –
    https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/best-holiday-and-seasonal-decor-for-the-environment 
  3. The New York Times –
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/18/style/zero-waste-holiday.html 
  4. Environmental Protection Agency –
    https://www.epa.gov/burnwise/heat-pumps  
  5. U.S. Department of Energy –
    https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/articles/appliance-and-equipment-standards-fact-sheet 
  6. IRS –
    https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/energy-efficient-home-improvement-credit 
  7. Energy Star –
    https://www.energystar.gov/saveathome/seal_insulate/sealing_window_door 
  8. U.S. Department of Energy –
    https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/programmable-thermostats 
  9. U.S. Department of Energy –
    https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/do-it-yourself-home-energy-assessments
  10. Kiplinger –
    https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/real-estate/t029-s001-12-ways-to-prepare-your-home-for-winter/index.html 
  11. U.S. Department of Energy –
    https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/reduce-waste-and-save-energy-holiday-season# 
  12. Thred Up –
    https://newsroom.thredup.com/news/thredup-releases-thrift-for-the-holidays-report-revealing-that-new-waves-of-consumers-are-planning-to-gift-secondhand-this-year
  13. The Conversation –
    https://theconversation.com/the-4-biggest-gift-giving-mistakes-according-to-a-consumer-psychologist-195169 
  14. Popular Science –
    https://www.popsci.com/story/diy/sustainable-holiday-strategies/ 
  15. Natural Resources Defense Council –
    https://savethefood.com/guestimator 
  16. USDA –
    https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2018/10/04/usda-updates-foodkeeper-app-include-new-food-items 
  17. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency –
    https://www.epa.gov/recycle/electronics-donation-and-recycling
  18. CanICompostIt.com –
    https://canicompostit.com/candle-wax/
  19. CNN –
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/25/us/real-or-artificial-christmas-tree-climate/index.html