Greening your home to make it more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Use these 10 ideas to get started on going green.
- Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. Replacing just five incandescent bulbs with CFLs can save you $100 per year on electricity bills.
- Plug air leaks around doors, windows and other spots with weather-stripping and caulk.
- Use a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature at 78 degrees in summer and 62 degrees in winter when no one is home or everyone is sleeping.
- Buy Energy Star appliances.
- Reduce water waste by adding inexpensive aerators to your sink faucets, changing to low-flow showerheads and dual-flush or no-flush toilets.
- Use no- or low-Volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and cleaning products. VOCs can cause many short- and long-term adverse health effects.
- Use wood alternatives or sustainable wood products, such as rapidly renewable bamboo flooring or wood cabinets certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
- Plant trees to provide shade and wind protection for your home, which will reduce heating and cooling costs, and pick native plants that need less water, fertilizer and pesticides.
- Make sure your HVAC system is running efficiently. Change filters monthly during peak usage periods.
- Switch to clean and renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, geothermal heating units or even wind turbines. If that isn’t feasible, you can also sign up for green power through your local utility to help expand the development of these technologies.