Between rising energy costs and the effects of global warming, going green and helping the environment has become increasingly more important.
One of best ways to help the environment and go green is to do it a home. There are a number of easy steps and many a green building product that can make your home more environmentally sound and help you cut down on energy use. Here are eight steps you can take to make your home greener.
- Improve the insulation: Adding insulation helps cut down on leaks in walls, windows, doors and ducts. This can also help lower energy costs.
- Donate clothes: Donating old clothes you don’t want or need, cuts down on carbon emissions since the clothes will be reused on not sitting in a landfill.
- Remove Your Shoes: Taking your shoes off at the door helps prevent outside dirt and chemicals from spreading throughout your home.
Americans spent up to 90 percent of their time indoors, but that comes with a cost. The concentrations of pollutants are sometimes as much as five percent higher than outdoor concentrations.
Indoor concentrations of some pollutants have increased over the last several decades due to several factors. These include increased use of synthetic building materials, furnishings, personal care products and pesticides.
- Go paperless: Getting off junk mail lists and choosing paperless options for your bills reduces the number of trees used to make paper for the mail. It also eliminates paper in landfills and on a larger scale, it helps cut down on auto exhaust that comes with carriers delivering mail.
- Switch your lights: A good chunk of your monthly energy bill goes toward lighting and an easy fix for that is LED lights. These lights last longer, save money on energy bills and cut down on heat emissions.
- Fix leaks and switch appliances: It seems that in every home there’s a leaky faucet somewhere. Whether it’s a leaky bathtub or a slow drip from a sink, it’s a very common household problem.
But all these leaks can add up. Each American uses an average of 88 gallons of water each day at home. Additionally, the average family spends more than $1,000 dollars a year in water costs.
A family can save nearly 300 dollars a year by retrofitting a house with WaterSense fixtures and ENERGY STAR appliances. That includes toilets as a family can save 13,000 gallons of water and $130 in water costs per year by replacing an older toilet.
- Solar Panels: One useful green product is a solar panel, which traps solar energy and uses it to heat a home. While the upfront cost of installing one can be pricey, there are tax rebates and incentives available and overtime, the lower energy costs will make it all worth it.
- Use low-VOC products: An important step in making your home green is choosing a green building product that’s going to cut down on chemicals. A fresh coat of paint may look good and a new carpet might liven up a room, but without the right green building product, it could harm your home.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be irritants during whatever home repair you might be working on using those chemicals can ratchet up the number of pollutants in your home very easily and quickly. Consider low VOC bonding adhesives, non toxic wood sealers, safe paint removers when making your home greener. If you are using these products, make sure to air out your house and dispose of the materials correctly.
There are many simple steps you can take to making your home greener. Doing so in the long run will save you money, leave you healthier and ultimately be a big help to the environment.