With the rise of eco-awareness, more and more people are choosing to go green and make their homes eco-friendly and more efficient. However, to some, it still seems expensive, difficult and simply too much fuss, but it doesn’t have to be so. Even the smallest changes can make a big difference.
The notion of green homes is all about the efficient use of energy and having an overall low environmental impact while leading a green lifestyle. It starts with the use of energy-efficient appliances and it includes regular control of the consumption of electricity, water and fuel and the quality of your home insulation. These factors combined will contribute greatly to making your home as green as possible.
One simple advice is to follow the rule of three Rs: reuse, reduce and recycle. If you start reducing the number of things you buy each month, it will automatically reduce your consumption and your waste, and if you’re able to reuse certain items in your household, it will additionally lower your monthly expenses.
To help you simplify things, here are several tips how to make your home green.
Water and Electricity
Going green in your home starts with being energy-efficient so your first step is the choice of appliances. Go small and downsize as large appliance not only take up a lot of space, but they also consume much more energy than their smaller counterparts. Be sure to pick the ones which are star-certified, which guarantees their efficient use of energy.
Furthermore, switch to energy star-rated CFL bulbs since they use up to 75% less energy and have a much longer lifespan than standard bulbs. Installing dimmer switches in the living room will also cut down your electricity bill for about $37 a year. Check with your local council if there is an option of installing alternative and sustainable power sources, such as solar, biomass and wind turbines. Very often, there are funds and grants available to help you finance these upgrades.
Water consumption is another major issue in green homes. Harvesting rainwater can help you conserve and reuse it to water your backyard, garden and wash your car. Also, make sure you don’t have any leaks in your toilets, faucets, and tanks. Fixing these issues and possibly replacing your existing toilets and showerheads with water-saving ones, will help you save gallons of water each month. Furthermore, you should make sure no sinks or tubs have cracked because those can lead to leaks and even some bigger damages. So, make sure to do your research, check the fixtures and look for new bath tubs or sinks if you need to.
Inside your home
The key aspect of any green home is high-quality insulation, from the attic to the basement. A good trick is to wrap your water heater with a blanket to lower its running cost. Also, you can minimize the emission of harmful gases by painting the walls with no-VOC paint and by switching to non-chlorine based cleaning products.
Sometimes, there are more serious issues to consider and it’s advisable to consult the professionals. For instance, people often turn to experienced consulting agencies to get first-hand advice on how to properly dispose of waste, treat hazardous materials and solve problems with asbestos or mold.
One of the first things you can do in your backyard makes a good plan of planting strategically. Go for native plants as they need less water and maintenance. Plant the trees on the west and south sides and shade the AC units if possible. This will help you cut your cooling/heating bill by $1250 a year.
Start a composting pile. Composting gardening can help you save money and stay healthy by growing your own organic food. You will be minimizing your waste by turning it into compost and the by-product is healthy, organic food for your family.
Going green is not just a fashion trend but a serious commitment to our own health and the health of our planet. It only takes small changes and a shift in lifestyle to make an enormous difference. By being more careful about our daily habits regarding the consumption of water, power, and fuel, and by implementing the three Rs, we can significantly lower our carbon footprint and turn our homes into more durable and eco-friendly places.