You know the global benefits of conserving energy and water — including saving on your own costs. But maybe you're not sure where to start. Here are a few ways to embrace earth-friendly practices in your own home and routine. Remember, even the smallest steps help make a difference.
1. Upgrade to green
With new government standards and technology, modern faucets are more efficient than ever. Saving up to 32% on your water usage, WaterSense certified faucets make going green practically effortless.
2. Look, no hands
Homeowners waste gallons of water everyday by leaving their sink faucets running, but with hands-free electronic faucets you will ensure water is used only when needed.
3. On-demand hot water
Tank-less water heaters offer a great way to cut home energy costs without impacting performance. By flash heating water and eliminating tank-water heaters' long cycles you can cut your energy use by 20%.
4. Optimal clean
Flow optimized showerheads can help further reduce water usage in the bathroom. With a 1.75 gpm, versus the industry standard of 2.5, cutting water consumption and energy costs by up to 30%.
5. Cost effective green
A quick, first step toward going green, flow optimized aerators can add highly effective performance to older faucets with out much cost to you.
6. Ditch the bottle
Avoid the need of plastic bottles with water filtering faucets. You will save both your wallet from the cost of purchasing bottled water and help unclog waste disposal sites of these increasingly hazardous items.
7. Keep water in check
It's important to check all water-using products regularly, with the bathroom accounting for roughly 60% of a home's water usage a leaky toilet or faucet can waste thousands of gallons a year without you knowing it.
1. Green illumination
Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) offer a great, eco-conscious way to shed light on your newly remodeled spaces, and by using 75% less energy and having a longer life the cost benefits outweigh the initial price.
2. Eco-friendly wall to wall
Water-based and low VOC paints take away the environmental hazards usually associated painting, leaving your walls green… no matter what color you choose.
3. Close the curtain on plastic
New Hemp shower curtains eliminate the need for plastic-lined fabric options cutting PVC usage. In addition, hemp options are also mildew resistant meaning you won't need to continually replace it.
4. Smart storage
When it comes to cabinetry in the kitchen and bath, look for certified eco-friendly wood to ensure these product were not made from the rainforest or other endangered woods.
5. Naturally green
Materials like Zodiac® Quartz and ceramic tiles are safe alternative to granite and artificial materials for kitchen and bath countertops.
6. Healthy flooring
Bamboo is a smart, wood-like option for flooring, and because it requires no replanting and little fertilization or pesticides it is a healthy alternative to traditional hard-wood floors.
Tips Around the House
1. Seal up cracks around doors and windows in your home
Did you know if you add all the neglected cracks and leaks in the average home, it equals the space of a two-foot by two-foot hole?
Heat may be inadvertently seeping out, driving up your energy consumption and bills this winter. Take time to check for gaps around doors and windows and seal them up by caulking or installing weather stripping.
2. Wait until you have a full load to do laundry
Washing one large load of laundry will take less energy than washing two smaller loads. Most people tend to "under load," rather than overload, their washers. Before washing, check your machine's capacity in pounds and weigh your dirty clothes to ensure that you have a full load.
3. Re-arrange your furniture to take advantage of natural light
By positioning furniture to maximize light from windows and doors, you'll use less energy to brighten your home. To bring more light in, make sure your window coverings are sheer or pulled back.
4. Make your own household cleaners using natural ingredients
Make your own cleaning products for a safer alternative for furniture polish, all-purpose cleaner. Visit the EPA's Safer Choice alternatives to commercial products that you can whip up yourself using borax, washing soda, distilled white vinegar, baking soda, salt, club soda, cooking oil or lemons.
5. Water your yard or garden in the early morning or evening when it's cooler
By watering during cooler hours, you can discourage excessive evaporation from your lawn and garden since the sun won't be able to burn off the moisture, therefore saving hundreds of gallons of water. Also, remember to adjust sprinkler heads and water flow to avoid "watering" those surfaces and structures that don't need H2O.
6. Check out the Energy Star Home Advisor to get green advice
Visit http://www.energystar.gov/ to learn how to make your home greener. Just enter your ZIP code and basic information about your heating and cooing system, and the Home Advisor will provide you with home improvement projects to increase your energy efficiency and comfort.
7. Wash your clothes on the cold or warm cycle for energy savings
Stay away from the hot cycle and you'll save on energy — between 80 and 85 percent. And be sure to clean out your dryer's lint filter after each load — it helps it run more efficiently and saves you $40 a year in electricity costs.
8. Look for Long-Lasting Cleaning Supplies
Forgo single-use products, such as disinfectant wipes or dusting sheets, for reusable options. Invest in cotton washrags and natural-bristle brushes that can be cleaned and used longer.
9. Use less energy for holiday lights
Choose strings with fewer bulbs and the fewest watts per bulb to cut back on energy usage this holiday season. Look for LED lights, which are more efficient than incandescent, and be sure to operate lights on a programmable timer so they don't accidentally stay on all day and night.