Home Improvement Tricks and Tips For Greener Living
Building a green home is great, but actually living a lifestyle within that home that is environmentally friendly is even better. Every home requires upkeep and maintenance to ensure that everything is running smoothly, and home built around the idea of energy efficiency and environmental well-being is no different. When it comes to typical household maintenance, such as heating and cooling your house and keeping your lawn green, household maintenance can use up a lot of energy and cost your family a lot of money. Many major cities like San Francisco, Washington D.C and Miami (think Golden Beach and Green-Mar Acres) are actively taking steps to be more eco-friendly places to work and live, and can make accessing these alternative technologies easy and for the most part, affordable.
For those serious about reducing their carbon footprint and running a home that harnesses natural resources to do the job, these helpful home improvement technologies will keep your home running smoothly, in a way that Mother Nature will thank you for. Some of these are easy and quick changes you can make today to start saving energy, and others take a little more time, effort and yes, money.
Install Smart Power Strips- this is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to save money on your electricity bill. Leaving your phone plugged in all night, even if it is turned off or fully charged, sucks up a lot of energy (studies say up to 20% of energy wasted in our country is because of little things like this!) Smart Power Strips can sense when your device is fully charged and shuts off the energy source. A typical smart power strip is $30 and can be found at any local hardware store.
Use Energy Efficient Appliances- When the fridge goes out, the microwave blows up, or some other kitchen appliance calls it quits, replacing it with an energy-efficient model can really make a big difference. They use a lot less power and water and use about 15% less energy than your typical appliances. But the kitchen isn’t the only place where you can swap energy sucking appliances for greener ones. Using an energy efficient washer not only saves energy but washes clhuothes more effectively. This way, you’re helping the planet and your clothes look good while you’re doing it. Save water by installing low flow toilets or flow reducers on the showers and sinks in your bathrooms so you cut down on water usage.
Think Twice About Materials- The next time you have a DIY project around the house, consider using materials that are recycled or raw materials. Remodeling your outdoor living space? Using soy concrete stain. Thinking about new flooring inside? Bamboo, cork or reclaimed woods are better options than hardwood or carpet. If you do decide to use carpet, there are many non-toxic versions to pick from. Does the kitchen need an upgrade? Try recycled glass countertops or use linoleum for the floors, If you’re adding a new coat of paint to a room, using low or No-VOC paints can get the job done without all of the harmful chemicals
Make Big Changes, See Big Results- When you’re ready to make big changes to your home to reduce your family’s carbon footprint, look into installing solar panels to decrease your power usage. Although not cheap to install (average cost is around $30,000,) you can get some help via green energy tax credits and rebates. Buying a solar water heater, using a tankless heater, investing in double paned windows, and make sure your home is properly insulated so energy is not, escaping and being wasted are all excellent ways to keep your home running in top shape while reducing energy usage at the same time.
To keep your green home working at its best, performing routine maintenance, using environmentally friendly alternatives, and taking advantage of eco-conscious technologies can make a difference, for both the planet and your pocket.