I’m always looking for new ways to make my house and life more environmentally friendly while also maintaining efficiency. “Going Green” is a phenomenon that has become very popular in the last couple years, but what does it mean to have a green home? In general, people living in a green home have sustainable living habits, recycle, reduce energy usage, and try to create a clean environment free of toxins. While you may think that going green is expensive and that you have to buy a million new products to help you, in reality, creating a green home is as easy as modifying just a few of your daily habits. Here are some helpful ways you can not only save money, but help the environment too:
1. Reduce your temperature to your water heater by 10 degrees. Just changing the temperature on your water heater can save you up to 5% on your energy bill.
2. Reduce your thermostat by 10 degrees. When your family leaves for the day, lowering your thermostat (even for 8 hours) can save you another 10% in your energy costs.
3. Buy a high-performance showerhead. This will use 60% less water and most are designed to produce the same amount of water pressure.
4. Clean your lint trap. If you remember to do this after you take out your laundry, you can reduce your family’s energy use by a whopping 30%!
5. Use natural cleaners. Do you use products that require you to put on a HAZMAT suit before you even open the bottle? If your cleaners are that harmful to your skin, chances are they’re bad for the environment, too. Luckily, there are a few natural cleansers that you already have on your shelves, like baking soda, salt, and vinegar, which you can use around the house. They are much healthier for your family than the chemicals in traditional home cleaners.
6. Buy houseplants. Plants are nature’s way of cleaning the air and producing oxygen. Plus, they’re so pretty!
Large Investment Options- The following tips require a little bit more money but also yield far better results in the long run. They truly help you become as energy efficient as possible and cut down on the amount of carbon released into the air.
7. Use Green Energy. More then 50% of U.S. retail customers have the option to choose green energy from their energy provider. When you choose this option, your energy will be directly created from renewable resources such as solar, wind, or hydroelectric power.
8. Replace major appliances with Energy Star Appliances. This means your washer and dryer, dishwasher, blender, coffee maker, etc. It’s costly, but will help you lower your energy bill and help the environment. Energy Star lightbulbs are a great option as well. Plus, they last years longer than traditional lightbulbs.
9. Install double-pane windows. Also a big investment, but doing this will increase the amount of heating or air-conditioning needed in your home.
10. Home Automation. This is probably the most costly green option on the list but also the one that reduces the amount of energy you use the most. Home automation allows you to control your lighting, small appliances, thermostat, and even your security all from
your smart phone or laptop. You can remotely turn your lamps, coffee pot, TV, and security system on and off no matter where you are in the world, meaning you reduce the amount of energy used. No longer do you drain energy and hike up your electricity bill by forgetting to turn something off.