As time goes on and technology advances, everyone is interested in being more efficient and environmentally friendly when it comes to their homes. However, it isn’t always easy being green. With several options available today, it can be overwhelming to know where to start and how to go about implementing some of today’s options. Here are some ways to begin which can also help save you money.
Small changes for big results - A simple way of cutting down on the pollution in your home is to just take off your shoes. This is because 30 - 40% of indoor contaminants are brought in by your shoes. Pick out a fun or decorative door mat and take off your shoes by the door. Other small changes include turning off lights when you leave a room, set your water heater to a max of 120 degrees and install a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature.
Beware of becoming “greenwashed” - Not every product out there is environmentally friendly. Some claim to have a concern for being eco friendly yet still have harmful chemicals in their ingredients. Always read the labels and if in doubt, do some quick research online to verify.
Don’t forget your landscaping - Too often people focus on the interior of their homes when choosing to make green changes. However, your landscaping can have a big effect as well on the environment. Your landscaping can be environmentally friendly and sustainable. Replacing a traditional lawn with native grasses can require 50% to 70% less water, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. That can save you nearly 60 hours a year in maintenance.
Green upgrades pay off - If you are interested in getting started a great place to start is with your local utility company to check for any savings or incentives. Also, check for any tax incentives should you be interested in upgrading any of your systems to energy efficient ones including adding solar panels. Even smaller changes like planting trees for shading your home can reduce cooling costs or replacing bulbs with EnergyStar ones can save a quite a bit over time.
Purchase a LEED certified home - If you are in the market for a new home and don’t wish to add green features on your own, consider purchasing a LEED certified home. These homes do typically come at a premium, yet you realize the savings over time with considerable savings and efficiency all while being environmentally friendly.