If you’re in a position to build or buy a new home, you have the opportunity to make an environment-friendly choice. There are a multitude of ways you can make your next home friendlier to the environment, thereby making a positive impact on your local and worldwide community. Here are some ideas you should try!
Insulation can reduce your dependence on your thermostat to heat or cool your home. This helps keep utility expenditures low. Electricity comes from coal fired plants, so the less electricity you use, the greener your home will be. Additionally, insulation benefits the environment by keeping emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur oxide, and nitrogen oxide lower. Consider upgrading your insulation to make your home friendlier to the environment and reduce your utility bill.
Custom Build It
Custom building your home is a great way to go green. Choosing to custom build your home gives you the opportunity to use sustainable building materials and energy efficient designs. There are many green benefits to building a home from scratch. Green homes consume less energy, have a reduced environmental impact, are healthier for the inhabitants, save the forests, and have a higher resale value. These are only a few of the many amazing benefits of building a home from scratch.
Install Solar Panels
Solar panels are the most effective way to get green energy for your home. The sun is a reliable source of power, especially in desert areas. Energy from the sun is clean, pure, and free. Solar panels on your roof are an investment that will pay off over time. These panels have low maintenance costs and will help decrease your utility spending and create a more earth friendly and renewable house climate. Installing solar panels is one great way to do your part to reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Use Efficient Light Bulbs
Using energy efficient lightbulbs can cut your power bill substantially. All light bulbs need energy to burn; the more efficient your bulb is, the less energy it will burn. More efficient electricity use not only cuts down the demand on local coal fired plants, but it also allows for home installed renewable energy sources like solar panels to step in and produce enough energy to match your demand. Less efficient light fixtures in a home could easily create enough of an electrical burden that solar panels simply wouldn’t keep up with.
Replace an Old Appliance
Old appliances are some of the biggest energy guzzlers in existence. Appliances often use more power than they need to run, resulting in a waste of energy. Newer, more streamlined appliances are much more efficient in their power usage. Old appliances that use water could be using too much water, therefore wasting that precious resource.
Use Low-Flow Water Fixtures
Water is the Earth’s most precious resource. It is vital to all life, so it is important not to waste it. Older fixtures like toilets and dishwashers can waste a surprising amount of water. Investing in smart water technologies is a good way to ensure that water is not being pointlessly wasted. Consider installing low-flow toilets, faucets, shower-heads, and other appliances to save water. Toilets and other appliances and fixtures often come in gallons or liters/use classifications, so make sure you are investing in the best equipment possible.
Invest in New Windows
New windows can really make a difference in your utility bill. Glass heats up and cools down very quickly, and that heat/cold can get transferred inside your home. This temperature transfer can result in more thermostat usage and a higher utility bill. Many old windows are single paned, which means that air can escape (or come in) at an uncontrollable level.
By contrast, new windows will often have two panes of glass with a gas-filled space between. This gap allows for a buffer zone between the inside and the outside, so there is less heat transfer happening on the glass surface. New window systems will keep the air inside your house from escaping, therefore keeping your utility costs down. Additionally, most modern windows are made out of recyclable materials. Invest in new windows for improved air quality and a lower energy consumption.
Go Green in Landscaping Your Yard
Another way you can make your home more environment-friendly is by literally going green through planting trees. Trees are powerful tools in the fight against climate change. They remove carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen into the atmosphere. They also attract birds and wildlife, prevent soil erosion, clean our water, and add aesthetic beauty to homes and communities. Planting trees in strategic places throughout your yard can also reduce your AC bill.
On the other hand, yard landscaping can be a big waste of water and electricity. When you landscape your yard, consider installing in LED or solar power lights in order to save energy. Install efficient sprinkler systems to maximize water usage efficiency. Avoid watering your lawn every day if possible.
Start a Garden
Planting a garden is a fabulous way to help the environment. Like trees, many of the plants in a garden can fight climate change through their process of organic photosynthesis. When you plant your garden, try to choose species native to your local environment. These native species will thrive better and will not require the host of potentially harmful fertilizers and pesticides to survive.
Additionally, growing your own fruits and vegetables will allow you to start living a more sustainable lifestyle. The produce sold in most supermarkets has traveled thousands of miles to reach your local store, thereby using up a substantial amount of energy. Planting, growing, and eating your own produce will lower your carbon footprint. It will help you live a healthier lifestyle through the physical work of gardening, as well as the mental satisfaction of preparing and eating your own food.
These are only a few ways to make your home friendlier to the environment. As you make intentional, environmentally-friendly choices, you and your family will be healthier, happier, and safer.
Here’s another article you might like: How to Finally Complete the Renovation You’ve Always Wanted
(BPT) - Log onto almost any news website and in just a few clicks you’ll probably come across some story about the environment. Whether it involves international agreements, alternative energy sources or fuel-efficient cars, the discussion is often abstract and far removed from our everyday lives.
Consumers want to know what they can do and how they can contribute to making a cleaner, greener planet.
Minor changes can make a significant difference, particularly with cleaning your home. You can trade in harsh chemicals and wasteful cleaning products for sustainable methods that are just as clean, if not cleaner. Here are five ways you can clean your home the eco-friendly way.
1. Your own all-purpose cleaner. One of the easiest solutions is to make your own all-purpose cleaner. This effective solution only requires three ingredients: Two cups of distilled water, half a cup of white vinegar and 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix all the ingredients into a spray bottle and voila! The vinegar is a natural antifungal that effectively kills germs and bacteria, and an essential oil like lavender will leave your house smelling great.
2. A cleaner way to mop. Unfortunately, many of the most effective ways to sweep and mop are also incredibly wasteful, requiring you to use a new disposable pad with each cleaning. The new O-Cedar ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop features a reusable microfiber mop head that can be machine washed up to 100 times. Plus, the reusable bottle allows you to clean with any solution you choose — whether you DIY or buy your favorite brand. Its double-sided mop head flips and covers a surface area that is over twice the size of the previous version.
3. A sparkling toilet. Many of the harshest products under your counter are probably there to get your toilet sparkling clean. But you don’t need chlorine or bleach to disinfect your toilet and leave it looking like new. Instead, once or twice a week, pour a few tablespoons of baking soda into the bowl and scrub it with a toilet brush. In addition, make a toilet cleaner out of one ounce of eucalyptus oil — a natural disinfectant — and a quart of water.
4. Want clean air? Think green, literally. Especially in the winter, smells around your house can become stagnant and it can be a real challenge to chase them away. One of the most effective and visually pleasing ways to freshen up your air quality is with selective house plants, such as:
* Rubber plants thrive in rooms that don’t get much sunlight.
* Boston ferns are some of the best indoor plants for removing pollutants such as formaldehyde.
* Peace lilies are one of the few flowering indoor plants. As such, they bring a little spring to your room and naturally remove VOCs and more from the air.
5. Castile soap. In certain sectors, castile soap enjoys a virtual cult following. This olive oil-based soap is incredibly versatile and can be used as a furniture polish, window cleaner, dish soap and more. Best of all, most varieties you find in stores are all natural and free of toxins.
Though many of the environmental issues we read about may seem like insurmountable obstacles, it is possible to make a difference just by changing how you clean your house.
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