Easy Ways To Make A “Greener” Home

Greening a home is both environmentally responsible and fiscally responsible. Enacting green practices for the home lowers energy bills.

It can also be a great excuse to redecorate or add some landscaping. Even simple items like shade trees or blinds can make a big difference in regulating temperature naturally to reduce energy usage.

Following certain guidelines can also save water, reduce waste and make a tidier, greener home

How to Lower Energy Usage

Homeowners do not have to spend thousands of dollars on a solar power system for their home or live like an Amish family to lower their energy bills. A simple Home Energy Assesment can point out several ways to cut power usage, such as reducing drafts to save around 5 to 30 percent off energy bills.
People can reduce cooling costs by as much as 8 percent by creating more shade. Blinds on windows, particularly the west and east windows, helps to regulate temperature. Shade trees planted to block sunlight lower temperatures too.
Running appliances like dishwashers or clothes dryers generates heat too and should be done in the evenings when it is cooler. This makes the house cooler. Following cooler temperature guidelines decreases the need for air conditioners

With a home naturally cooler, people can turn up the thermostat. An ideal thermostat temperature for saving money without the home being too hot to be bearable when wearing light clothing during warm months is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Ceiling fans can make up the difference and drain less energy than air conditioners.

Turning down the thermostat when the weather is cold uses less energy too. For each degree a thermostat is set below 68 degrees reduces heating energy by 3 to 5 percent.
More ways to save energy include:

* Replace all appliances that are older than 10 years with newer appliances

* Buy Energy Star appliances that use less power

* Switch out light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs

* Use cold water only to wash clothes

* Switch off computers at night

* Turn lights off when not in the room

*  Reduce the temperature on hot water heaters

* Unplug all electronics when not in use

* Dry clothes on a clothesline

4 Ways to Save Water

Water conservation is a large part of being green. Fortunately there are simple ways to reduce water usage without bathing in your neighbor & #39;s sprinklers.

Installing aerators on all faucets can reduce water usage by 50 percent.

Low-flow toilets use only 1.6 gallons to flush, which is more than 50 percent less than older toilets.

Putting bins out to collect rainwater creates an extra water supply to give to indoor plants, gardens and lawns.

People can also cut their water consumption with simple lifestyle modifications, such as turning water off while brushing their teeth. This action saves 4.5 gallons of water every time someone brushes.

Sweeping walkways and driveways instead of using a hose saves up to 80 gallons of water, plus gives muscles some extra exercise.

Ways to Reduce Waste

Recycling and reusing materials are wonderful green practices for the home and office, but stopping waste before it gets created is even better. Unsolicited & junk  mail clogs mailboxes and recycling bins. People can opt out of annoying pre-approved credit card offers to significantly cut down on paper waste. Using cloth napkins, rags, printing on both sides of the paper and using cloth diapers cuts down on paper waste as well.

When people do need paper, there are plenty of products made from recycled papers, such as paper towels, toilet paper and even greeting cards. Other green items, like reusable water bottles and shopping bags, eliminate plastic waste like bottles and bags. Glass jars are reusable as containers for leftover food or for storing items like nails or bolts.

Get Green Materials and Reduce Toxins

Sprucing up a home can include fresh paint and new flooring, but to make a home more green select healthy paints and environmentally-friendly materials. Bamboo offers a green alternative to hardwood flooring. Bamboo is sustainable and matures decades faster than hardwoods. MSN.com recommends opting for formaldehyde-free glues.

Regular paint may contain toxic metals, solvents and volatile organic compounds that contribute to pollution and health problems, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A green alternative is zero- or low-VOC paint.

To make sure a home is truly free of toxins, people must also use eco-friendly cleaners. Regular cleaners contain toxic substances like butyl cellosolve, but many stores sell products made with safe, natural ingredients.

Another less expensive option is to make cleaners with green ingredients, such as lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda and borax. Homemade cleaners are simple and effective, plus they do not give off a chemical smell.

An environmentally-friendly home is energy efficient, comfortable, less expensive to maintain and just feels better. Cleaner air, nicer smells and lower bills are just some of the benefits of turning a regular home into a green home.

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