Spending Green to Go Green: Sustainable Home Improvements Are Top of Mind for Homeowners and Pros

Brad Jamison
Written by Brad Jamison
Updated April 12, 2022
A young woman living a sustainable way of life
Photo: LeoPatrizi / E+ / Getty Images


  • Housing accounts for 16% of the global warming greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

  • 92% of homeowners want sustainable solutions for their homes.

  • 63% of pros have made eco-friendly changes to their business.

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During the past two years, homeowners have had lots of time to think about what matters most. And, for virtually all of them, sustainability sits top of mind—especially regarding their homes’ environmental footprints. As of 2020, housing was producing nearly 16% of the United States’ global warming greenhouse gas emissions. However, homeowners and pros alike have committed to reducing their contributions by investing in more eco-friendly home improvement projects. 

From larger projects, like energy-efficient appliance installation, to making greener lifestyle changes, like improving their recycling habits, homeowners invested heavily: 92% of homeowners are now adamant about finding more sustainable ways to elevate their living spaces, and 63% of pros have made changes to make their businesses more eco-friendly.

Why Homeowners Chose Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Projects 

From minor upgrades to five-figure investments, homeowners shared similar motivations for going green, including:

  • Believing it’s important (55%)

  • Saving money in the long run (50%)

  • Increasing their home’s resale value (38%)

But across these reasons for going green, many homeowners made substantial eco-friendly renovations:

  • 68% spent around $5,000 on eco-friendly home improvements

  • 24% spent more than $5,000

  • 14% of those who invested more than $5,000 spent more than $10,000

Whether they spent well under $5,000 or surpassed $10,000, homeowners had a lot of wiggle room with their eco-friendly improvement projects. According to homeowners and pros, the most common eco-friendly home projects within the past year were:

However, homeowners didn’t need to make sizable investments to make a positive impact. Many reevaluated their lifestyles and took simple steps to reduce their footprints, including:

  • Washing clothes on cold (47%)

  • Replacing regular light bulbs with LED bulbs (42%)

  • Improving their recycling habits (39%)

  • Switching to more eco-friendly cleaners and detergents (31%)

  • Spending less time in the shower (29%)

Of these top five projects, two signaled a flood of water-wise home projects, highlighting homeowners’ collective recognition of water’s vital role in, well, everything. That’s why many chose to make eco-friendly lifestyle changes to support household water conservation

These seemingly small tweaks add up; roughly 18% of home energy use comes from water heating. Homeowners looking to radically reduce their water consumption can speak with a local landscaper or other pros to learn more about installing rain barrels, xeriscaping and low-water landscape design, eco-friendly basement waterproofing, and other water-saving solutions.

1,000 homeowners surveyed, with 92% of homeowners saying they invested in eco-friendly home improvements last year
Photos by kate_sept2004/E+ via Getty Images, Panuwach/iStock via Getty Images, RossHelen/iStock via Getty Images, Tasha Vector/iStock via Getty Images, Five/Moment via Getty Images (from top to bottom)

More Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Projects Are on the Horizon 

A woman holding the laundry basket in front of the washing machine
Photo: LaylaBird / E+ / Getty Images

Much of the past two years has (hopefully) been an anomaly—but eco-friendly home improvement projects and lifestyle changes are here to stay. Both homeowners and pros signaled a significant uptick in interest in green projects. The top three projects for pros and homeowners were:

  • Installing smart thermostats (#2 for homeowners, #3 for pros)

  • Using only eco-friendly cleaners and detergents (#4 for pros, #5 lifestyle change for homeowners)

  • Improving insulation (#1 for homeowners, #6 for pros)

Pros also reported a substantial change in homeowners' attitudes towards recycled materials, with more homeowners willing to use repurposed materials in addition to upgrading to smart, multi-paneled, dark-tinted, or thermal options. 

Home Pros Are Committed to Going Greener

Many pros share homeowners’ appetites for more eco-friendly home improvement solutions. Of polled pros, 46% reported they have already incorporated multiple eco-friendly changes into their businesses, while 17% said they’d made at least one green update. Encouragingly, 26% reported that they’re evaluating making changes in the coming year. 

Of those who have already made eco-friendly changes, the top updates for home pros were:

  • Using only eco-friendly cleaners and detergents (66%)

  • Recommending Energy Star appliances (63%)

  • Using sustainable packing/shipping materials (49%)

  • Driving electric/hybrid vehicles to worksites (38%)

This data is based on surveys commissioned by Angi Inc. and conducted using the online survey platform Pollfish. The consumer sample of 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide who claim to be homeowners was surveyed between March 23, 2022 and March 24, 2022. The pro sample of 600 U.S. home service professionals nationwide was surveyed between March 23, 2022, and March 27, 2022. 

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