We all want our dream home…and, that dream home can be everything your family, the environment, and future generations need it to be by making simple changes in your everyday life. These changes will save you money over the course of your life in your home, and you will be living in a healthier home that is not detrimental to the environment. A green home has a significantly lower impact on our environment then the standard buildings we see. Green homes are not a passing trend. However, there is so much information out there that the concept can seem a bit daunting. The good news is that there are many small things you can do in your home right now that will help tremendously. For instance:
- Use materials that require less energy to extract and produce if you are building a new home.
- Minimize your reliance on energy
- Reduce water use and waste…conserve where ever possible…your toilets, shower heads, leaky faucets; use instant hot water heaters or insulate your current hot water heater well, and turn down your water heater temp to 120
- Use biodegradable products for general house cleaning including laundry and dish detergent as well as personal soaps
- Use recycled paper products and recycle your waste as much as possible, including printer cartridges, cans, plastics, packing materials and florescent light bulbs
- Reduce paper use by printing less, and paying bills on line
- Opt out of junk mail and catalogs.
- Use organic fibers where ever possible, for your home upholstery, bedding, towels, and clothes
- Use low VOC and natural paints…including insulating paints, particularly as your primer
- Use energy efficient light bulbs, primarily halogen and LED EVEN over florescent due to the mercury content. If you use florescent please recycle and don’t send to a landfill in your trash
- Use dimmers and motion detectors for lighting inside and out
- Buy energy efficient appliances when it’s time to replace your old ones. Look for the energy star label on ALL appliances
- Limit the amount of clothes you wash; only use washing machine when it’s full; wash on cold cycle when ever possible
- Dry your clothes naturally when ever possible so as not to have to use dryers as often…it’s one of the highest energy usage appliances
- Put your flat screen TV’s, computers and microwaves on power strips and shut down the power strip when not in use. This will save quite a bit of energy and money on your electric bill as even when turned off normally these items continue to suck electricity.
- Insulate your home and seal leaks, use double pained windows when building or replacing
- Protect large windows from sun’s rays and UBV damage with overhangs and UBV protective film
- Turn off lights, fans, air conditioners, heaters and all appliances when not in use
- And…turn your heat down a degree for everyday use and even lower when you are not home or sleeping. Turn your air conditioner up, closer to the outdoor temp
- Use re-chargable batteries-recycle when not
- Say no to plastic bags and plastic packaging.
- Use reusable containers instead of plastic for left overs and personal cloth shopping bags when grocery shopping
- Shop consciously
- Use renewable energy sources such as solar , geothermal heat pumps and compact wind turbines where it makes sense and you can
With our new economy, we really only want to spend money when we know it can add value. Greening your home in small and large ways all add value to your home…whether you choose to live in it for a long period of time, or sell it tomorrow. So, start making conscious choices about how you want to live your life and how you contribute back to your environment and future generations. It really is time to save Green by going Green.
Change Starts at Home! What can you do, and where will you start in Greening your home?