If you’re thinking of going green, you may be wondering where to start or how you can have the biggest impact. There are many things that you can do to live a more sustainable lifestyle, from driving less to recycling more, but if you are looking to really change how you use resources, consider making a few small alterations in your home.
From using electricity-saving bulbs in your lamps to installing faucet accessories to help curb water usage, you can make simple and affordable updates in your house that will have big environmental payoffs – and what’s even better? When you go green in your home, you’ll save greenbacks annually; conserving resources means keeping more money in your wallet. So in honor of doing better for the planet and for your own finances, here are four ways to make your home more environmentally friendly.
Replace old light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps: Also known as CFLs, compact fluorescent lamps not only have a longer lifespan, but they use less energy overall. With the right CFL, you can cut down your energy use by as much as 75 percent, and when you are using less electricity overall, your energy bills will reflect that.
Update home insulation: Another way to cut back on energy use is by ensuring your home is properly insulated. When your home is well insulated, you will be able to better control in-home temperatures. For example, if you use double-glazed windows in your home, it will help keep rooms warm during the winter months. Also, if you ensure doors and windows are properly sealed, in the summer you can keep cool air inside instead of leaking out.
Reuse, recycle and compost: From plastic containers to food waste, people throw out a great deal. Cut back on how much you dispose of by reusing materials, recycling when appropriate and keeping a compost bin. Compost is an excellent natural fertilizer for personal gardens.
Invest in water-saving devices: From the bathroom to the kitchen to the laundry room and garden, water use is excessive in the average American home. But when you install water conservation devices in your home, you can easily save thousands of gallons a year and hundreds of dollars annually on water and electricity bills. For example, when you install a high-efficiency shower head, your family can save an average of 2,900 gallons of water a year. That may come as a surprise, but standard shower heads release an average of 2.5 gallons of water per minute, while eco-shower heads use from 1.5 to 2.0 gallons of water per minute. What that means is that on average, for every 15-minute shower, you can use as little as 22.5 gallons of water compared to 37.5 gallons. When you reduce water use every time you shower, you not only will save money on water, but you will save money on electricity and heating because you will use less to heat water.
It may surprise you how much money you can save when you choose to live a more eco-friendly life.
Anika, an environmentalist, writer and brand new homeowner, was enthusiastic to make her house as green-friendly as possible as soon as she moved in. She was excited to learn about the great water-saving products and other solutions available, and hopes others will check them out, too.