America contributes 100% more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than the global average.
Really, we have to do better. Right from our homes.
A greener house is not only better for the environment, but it’s also better for your wallet. Check out these simple and cost-efficient ways to an eco-friendly home.
1. Go Solar
The average American household emits, 7.5 tons of carbon dioxide per year the bulk of which results from electrical use.
Solar panels are a great way of reducing your carbon footprint. To sweeten the deal, the government offers substantial rebates and incentives to homeowners who switch to solar.
Installing solar power in your house significantly increases your home’s resale value and equity.
As more and more people become environmentally conscious, the demand for green homes is increasing. Home buyers are also drawn to lower energy costs that come with solar power.
While solar panels were bulky and costly in the past, today you can easily find a more compact, more affordable solar panel kit that is just right for your home.
2. Composting for a Greener House
Americans throw away 150,000 tons of food every day.
This food ends up in landfills that generate the greenhouse gas, methane, further contributing to the carbon footprint.
Composting is a better way to decompose and recycle organic material into a humus rich soil known as compost. Fruits, vegetables, plain paper napkins, and even eggshells can be composted.
This can then be used on your kitchen garden or your landscaping. If these are not viable options, you can send your compost to local farmers or to a central compost facility in your locality.
This reduces the levels of methane released into the atmosphere and reduces the number of fertilizers used on the soil as well.
3. Plant Trees and Shrubs
While trees and greenery can increase your home’s value, they do way more than that.
Trees and shrubbery reduce erosion and provide clean air.
You can also grow some indoor plants. Some of these work to absorb harmful emissions from your carpet and electronic equipment.
If you are unsure about which trees would do well in your area, your local arborist can recommend the right species.
4. Reduce Water Usage
Opting for low flow shower heads and installing aerators on your faucets can go a long way in reducing water wastage in your home.
Another great idea is to grow indigenous plants. These will generally do well in their environment, lessening the need to be watered and fertilized.
Similarly, you can save water by fixing leaks in your water system and faucets as soon as they occur. Also, emphasize the need for everyone in your household to close the taps tightly after use.
5. Sun Dry Your Clothes
When was the last time you wore fresh, sun-dried clothes? If you’re wondering about how to make your house greener, this is yet another way.
If you live in a State that enjoys regular sunny conditions, this is a great option for you.
Wash your clothes the usual way then hang them out to dry to save energy costs.
6. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
Most authorities today offer incentives to homeowners who trade in their old, inefficient appliances for newer energy efficient ones. This is one thing you can look into.
That aside, check for Energy Star rating when shopping for appliances. The star energy rating speaks to the energy efficiency level of an appliance.
Even with energy efficient appliances, go a step further to conserve power. For example, you can train everyone in your household to wait for a full load before using the dryer, washing machine or dishwasher.
Also, preheat your oven only when necessary.
7. Stop Leaks
Do you have leaks on your doors or windows? Ensure to replace, repair, plug or insulate them.
Leaks allow cold air in and allow warm air to escape. To compensate for this, your HVAC system has to work harder, consuming even more energy. Aside from wasting energy, such leakages result in higher utility bills.
In the same breath, checking the functioning of your water system should be a top priority on your home maintenance to do list.
8. Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
With these, you to get the same amount of light, but at a lower cost.
Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light, with the bulk of the energy being released as heat.
Granted, compact fluorescent lamps will cost more initially, but they will save you a substantial amount of money in their lifetime. This is because they use less energy.
These bulbs come in a range of colors, and some are dimmable as well.
9. Opt For Natural Cleaning Products
You will be amazed at all the harmful chemicals contained in your favorite household cleaning products.
These ultimately end up in the water supply system. The local water supplier will then have to spend more to make the water safe for household use again.
Some alternative cleaning products include vinegar, baking soda, lemons, hydrogen peroxide, and natural salts. You can also use natural microfiber cloths for your cleaning.
10. Unplug Electronics
Unbeknownst to many, some appliances continue to usurp energy even when turned off.
To curtail this, you can either unplug them or route them through a power strip. With the latter, just switch off the power strip when electronics are not in use.
On the other hand, installing a programmable AC thermostat can help you set optimal temperature for various times of day to prevent energy wastage.
Join the Movement
These simple tips will help you achieve a greener house.
You should, however, not stop there. Borrow some of these tips for your office or business premises as well and strive to make environmentally conscious purchase decisions.
Small as your efforts might seem, they have a ripple effect, and they matter.
Did you know that the right windows for your home can help you make substantial cost savings on your energy bills? But the big question is, should you replace or reglaze?
Check out our blog for insights to help you make the right decision.
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