A great resolution for 2016 may be to have a “greener” home – one that uses fewer natural resources. Houses and commercial buildings use 40 percent of the energy consumed in the United States. If we all take small steps toward sustainable living, we could reduce that number.
“Going green” does not have to mean purchasing expensive solar panels or sustainable wood flooring. There are many simple, effective things you can do to make your home greener in the New Year:
Use compact fluorescent bulbs – Trading just one incandescent bulb for a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) prevents the emissions of over 400 pounds of greenhouse gasses! Make an effort to transition the bulbs in your home to CFL bulbs. Many power companies will even send you free CFL bulbs. Contact your local power provider to see if they offer this program.
Give up bottled water – Most bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to biodegrade and produce toxic fumes if burned. Install a filter under your sink at home. Purchase a BPA-free water bottle with a removable lid and refill it with the filtered water.
Enroll in online statements – Deforestation is responsible for 25 percent of all carbon emissions released into the atmosphere through burning and cutting down trees. Opt for the paperless program for your utility, phone and other bills.
Seal gaps around windows and doors – As homes age, they can acquire gaps around windows and doors. These gaps let out air causing homeowners to overpay for heating and cooling their homes. Placing weather stripping around doors and windows can prevent energy from being wasted.
Use appliances efficiently – Try to wait for a full load before running your washing machine, dryer or dishwasher. Clean the lint filter after each time you use your dryer and air-dry clothing when weather allows. Use the air-dry setting on your dishwasher to conserve energy.
Set appliance temperatures correctly – Refrigerators and freezers are likely the appliances using the largest amount of energy in your home. Check the temperatures they are set at to make sure they aren’t working any harder than they need to. Refrigerators can do their job efficiently around 37° F and freezers at -3° F.
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