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Go Green! Steps to Making Your House “Green”October 2nd, 2013 by
There are many ways to go “green,” and they range from simple changes to your everyday life to more conscientious decisions when buying new products. The easiest way to break down the concept behind the green movement is to reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle.
But in regard to creating a green home, homeowners wanting to implement an eco-friendly lifestyle should reduce the use of energy, excess water, and harmful chemicals and pollutants; improve energy efficiency and air quality; use environmentally friendly materials; and increase the use of sun, wind, and plants for energy.
These types of decisions can help preserve our planet for the future, and if you need any extra motivation, they can also help save you money.
Creating a green home will not happen overnight, but the list below includes things you can start doing today, while other tasks will take more time and research. Things like buying ENERGY STAR products should be done over time—these products will save you money, but there is no need to replace something that is already functioning properly.
Because this list is not entirely conclusive, remember the basic idea behind being eco-friendly—reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle. Take steps that will reduce waste and preserve the ecosystems around us.
If you would like to learn more about steps you can take to make your home environmentally friendly, we will be posting more blogs this month discussing different ways to create a green home.
Note: If you’re having trouble reading the infographic, see below:
Legend: $ Money Saver
Reduce Energy Use
- $ Turn off unused lights
- $ Unplug unused electronics
- $ Use fresh air or fans to cool the house before turning on the A/C
- $ Find eco-friendly alternatives to cool and warm your home
- $ Bundle up during cool months before turning on the heat
- Donate or sell used items
- $ Fix broken items before replacing them
- Ask your waste management company for a recycling bin
- $ Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)
- $ Buy ENERGY STAR products
Reduce Excess Water Use
- $ Wash clothes in cold water
- $ Fix leaks as soon as they happen
- $ Wash dishes only when the dishwasher is full
- $ Choose low-maintenance landscapes
- $ Install a water-saving showerhead
- $ Install an under-counter water filtration system to replace bottled water usage
- $ Install low-flow toilets
Improve Energy Efficiency
- $ Hire a professional to perform an energy audit on your home
- $ Hire a professional to insulate your home properly
Use Environmentally Friendly Materials
- Choose natural fibers for linens and upholstery
- Choose sustainably grown or harvested materials
- Buy used or repurposed materials for your home (furniture, cabinetry, countertops, etc.)
- Buy 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper
- Buy locally or regionally produced products
Reduce the Use of Harmful Chemicals and Pollutants
- Use hot water and vinegar for cleaning, or buy a green cleaning product
- Use green-labeled pesticides
Improve Air Quality
- Change your air filter per the manufacturer’s guidelines Buy a houseplant that filters out volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Test your home for radon
- Ban smoking in your home
- Avoid chemicals that contain VOCs
Increase the Use of Sun, Wind, and Plants for Energy
- $ Install solar panels on your roof for alternative energy
- $ Use a turbine ventilator to remove warm air during the summer and moist air during the winter
- $ Talk to an arborist about planting trees to shade your home during the summer