Transform your home into the most eco-friendly house on the block by incorporating these green products and practices. Why is an eco-friendly home so important? According to Energy.gov, 40 percent of energy used annually in the United States is consumed by homes and buildings. The majority of this energy used comes from fossil fuels. In addition to the fossil fuels consumed, homes play a large role in polluting the environment. Pesticides, automobile fluids, trash, paints, animal waste and other pollutants can find their way from homes into a community’s storm drain systems, ultimately flowing into rivers, harbors and the ocean. Making eco-friendly changes to your home can not only reduce your waste and minimize pollutants, but also can cut the cost of your utility bills. Here are 5 things you can do to lessen your home’s impact on the environment:
1. Although a leaky toilet or faucet may not seem like a huge deal, they can actually waste a lot of water. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, about 10% of homes have leaks that waste more than 90 gallons of water per day. Every year, more than 1 trillion gallons of water is wasted from leaks. To create an eco-friendly home, be aware of and fix any leaks. Pay close attention to any dripping noises you may hear as well as your water bill. Most often a good way to discover a leak is by an unexplainable increase in your monthly bill.
2. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce your overall energy waste is by increasing your home’s insulation. In comparison to the rest of your home, an attic space can become much warmer because hot air rises and roofs are typically dark colored. A properly insulated attic will act as a tight seal in your home, keeping the air from escaping which ultimately cuts back on the work your heater or air conditioner has to do. Adding insulation to not only the attic, but also any crawl spaces, basements or exterior walls will help seal the air keeping your home cool in the warmer months and heated during the winter.
3. Keep your conditioned air in your homes and stop costly drafts from entering by replacing your faulty window treatments with energy and money saving insulated shades and drapery. Inadequate windows are the main culprits for wasted energy.4. If any of your home appliances need to be replaced, including dishwashers, washers/dryers, ovens or refrigerators, look to replace these appliances with environmentally friendly and energy saving ones. Home appliances account for about 15% of your home’s overall energy consumption. Many utility companies and even states offer tax rebates for replacing old appliances with energy saving ones
5. Another way to cut both your home’s energy bill and environmental footprint is through your home’s lighting, both inside and outside. Replace the energy guzzling light bulbs in your home with light emitting diode (LED) and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs, which use about 75% less energy than standard bulbs. Both LED and CFL bulbs last 10 to 25 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs. Contact your utility provider to find out if they offer rebate programs for eco-friendly lightening.
Environmentally friendly changes to your home are easier than you think. Small green changes really add up. By making these changes you not only lessen your environmental footprint but also save money in the long run. Be sure to contact your utility provider as well as your state for information on green initiatives and rebates.