Eco-consciousness seems to be catching on all over the world, with individuals and businesses adopting new earth-friendly initiatives every day. The good news is that you can contribute to the movement by making small changes in your own home. Make every room of your house more efficient following these eco-friendly guidelines:
Replace the incandescent bulbs you’ve been using for your bedside lamps with LED or CFL light bulbs. This type of bulb will use energy more efficiently, which will end up saving you money. Also, remember to unplug your cell phone charger from the outlet when your phone is fully charged or not charging at all. Since remembering to unplug all of your electronics when they’re not in use can be difficult or inconvenient, consider getting a smart power strip. A smart strip will help manage energy consumption by discontinuing power to electronics that enter “sleep” mode, which cuts down on “phantom” energy use.
You may also want to look into buying blackout or energy efficient curtains for your bedroom windows. Thick, insulating curtains can help lower utility bills. They can also block light from streetlamps, which will help improve the quality of your sleep!
First, make sure your bathroom is a no-drip zone! Fix leaky faucet heads right away to prevent the senseless wasting of water.
According to the EPA, the average household uses about 30 gallons of water a day in the shower, so look into installing a water-efficient shower head. Shop for fixtures with WaterSense labeling to be sure that they meet EPA efficiency standards. Taking shorter showers will also conserve water. This can also improve the health of your skin, since prolonged exposure to hot water can make skin dry and itchy. Finally, while brushing your teeth or washing your face, remember to turn off the faucet so that it’s not needlessly running.
Since the living room is where you spend most of your time, you want it to be as comfortable as possible. This being so, it may be tempting to crank up the heat in your living space to make shorts-and-t-shirt wearing possible. However, turning up the thermostat results in higher energy use (and higher energy bills!) when there are some simple, green ways to keep your home warm.
First, fix drafty windows and doors. Air leaks can significantly decrease the energy efficiency of your home and are a particular nuisance in older homes. You need to first locate the leaks and then either fix them by adding foam insulation or caulking, or replace the inefficient window or door with a newer, energy-saving model. Additionally, staying warm can be as simple as throwing on a sweater or wrapping up in mom’s crocheted afghan.
In the summer months, reevaluate the use of your air conditioner. If you absolutely have to have a room air conditioner, consider buying one with an EnergyStar label. To go even greener, bypass the air conditioner all together. Use a fan and/or open windows to allow a cool breeze into your home.
Also, save paper by recycling redundant mail and brochures rather than throwing them in the garbage. Consider opting for online billing and banking through your financial institution. This will save trees and cut down on clutter caused by piles of unnecessary mail. To further go paperless, you can even decline your magazine and newspaper subscriptions and read them online instead.
Both water and energy are frequently wasted in the kitchen. One device that uses an abundance of both of these resources is the dishwasher. It uses water to wash the dishes while simultaneously using energy to heat the water to an acceptable temperature. However, washing dishes by hand does not necessarily use less water than a dishwasher, unless the human laborer is conscientious. If a person fills the wash and rinse basins with water rather than running the tap, then the “by hand” method can actually be more efficient. If you’re attached to the idea of having a dishwasher machine, invest in one that is EnergyStar labeled. Also, make sure that the machine is fully loaded for each and every wash. Running it half-empty can be very wasteful.
These are just a few ideas to help make every room in your home a little greener. Keep in mind that there are new home improvement innovations coming out all the time that can help you both save the environment and save some hard-earned cash.