Going Green at Home
It seems everyone is going green these days. Are you new to the green movement? Let’s face it, going green is a lifestyle choice. But if it is a lifestyle choice you are wary about, the beginning stages of a greener life won’t force you to abandon every creature custom you’ve now found to be normal. Here are ten simple changes even the most reluctant Green person can make at home to reduce energy consumption and improve the environment:
Take a look at this green home to see how far some people are taking this:
1. Simplest things make the different. Do you remember when your mum told you and turn off the lights if your going out or if you’ve left the room? This can make a staggering impact to a total yearly electric bill.
2. Change to compact florescent light bulbs. EnergyStar reports: “If every home replaced a light, we would save the amount of energy required to power three million other homes.” EnergyStar estimates that florescent bulbs use about 80% less energy and last 10 times longer than a typical light bulb. Three million homes is a staggering number. It’ll go a long way to reducing our carbon footprints.
3. Worried about security around your home? Rather than turning on lights outside all night long, install motion sensors on your floodlights. Better yet, purchase a solar flood light with a motion detector; no wires and no annual energy costs to consider which makes it a truly viable option.
4. Turn down the heat in the winter and wear a sweater or add a blanket. A great trick is to keep a blanket stuffed under the sofa when your watching TV. Rather than turn up the heating, why not get all snug in a blanket. IT’s much more comfy! Studies, such as those reported at the Energy Information Administration, show that a one degree drop in thermostat setting can save 5 – 6% reduction in energy consumption. Just imagine if you dropped the thermostat 3/4 degrees. You might wipe 20% off your annual heating bill!
Buy a programmable thermostat and you don’t even have to remember. Imagine what five degrees at night can accomplish!
5. You already know this one…you have the best of intentions…buy a roll of weather-stripping. Making sure your doors and windows seal tightly in the winter can result in huge energy savings (and save you money too). Old windows? Wrap them in plastic as part of your draught proofing campaign.
6. If you have electric baseboard heat or multiple thermostat zones, close off rooms you don’t use and turn their thermostats down (just not so low the pipes freeze). There’s plenty of other places you’ll be using electricity soon like the electric car.
7. Turn off appliances when not in use, particularly those that spend most of their time in “standby” mode like computers, printers, and DVD players – this is a big drain on your resources. Green Solutions says “8% of household electricity is wasted by the standby mode on appliances.” and they are not wrong, standby mode is a lazy option we all use. We must workout a way of improving standby efficiency or simply remove it.
8. Forget the clothes dryer for two loads a week. Your jeans will dry just fine if you lay them out flat or use a clothes line. Tie a rope between two trees; fashion an indoor clothes line or buy a retractable one. You may just find you hardly need your dryer. You just need to plan a little more time and in the winter rely on the dryer a little more, but the summer, why even use a dryer when you can get all of the sun freshness. According to Flex Your Power your dryer, dependent on age and energy source, likely costs you between 16 and 60 cents a load and burns between 30 and 140 kilowatts of energy a month. If you used your dryer once a day that could be 15$ wasted.
9. Don’t run the dishwasher unless it’s full or at the very least near full. This is the same for laundry loads mentioned above. And if it’s an easy clear up, you might find that doing those dishes by hand is just as fast.
10. Take a shower more quickly and make sure to set a timer a minute or two before you should jump out. If your really doing well you can shower in just 90 seconds but we all like a soak sometimes.
These are simple steps that won’t prove life-altering but they also won’t affect you that much either. But energy reduction adds up and each step you take here might cut your energy bill in half, overall that’s significant. If you start with easy steps such as these, you’ll soon find more simple ways that can help you lead a greener life and keep it greener for your grandchildren. Soon you’ll be turning in your olive drab for day-glow green.