HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOME GREENER
It all started when………….
Guest Blogger: Jackie Waters
By now, every single one of us knows that we could do more for the environment. While the bulk of the responsibility for a eco-friendlier world lies with governments and corporations, we can still do our part by making some simple changes to our home and our habits. Here are a few ways you can make your home greener and lead by example within your community.
Install Solar Panels
Installing solar panels for renewable energy is one of the most obvious ways a homeowner can make their home greener, but it is also amongst the priciest. According to EnergySage, solar panels will cost an American homeowner between $11,214 and $14,406 to install (after tax credits).
Aside from having the budget, there are a few things you should consider before investing in solar power. Firstly, what do your current energy bills look like? If you live somewhere with high energy costs, solar power may be the most financially sound option in the long run. Secondly, how much sun does your house get? People living in sunny regions will get a lot more from their solar panels than those in cloudy regions.
In this day and age, there is really no reason to keep receiving paper statements and bills. Contact your bank and anyone else who regularly sends you a bill and ask them about their paperless options.
According to Forbes, only 12 to 15 percent of bills and statements are delivered electronically. For the most part, people stick to paper because of convenience. They feel they are more likely to forget or ignore an email with a link than a physical letter. Additionally, they don’t want to remember a thousand passwords to log into every online portal to pay a bill.
Luckily, technology is once again the solution. Set reminders on your phone to check your statements and pay your bills. Familiarize yourself with your banking app if your bank has one, as many of these are extremely user-friendly. Store all your passwords securely on a password manager like LastPass. You no longer have any excuses to keep getting all that paper.
Switch to LED or CFL lights
Using fluorescent or incandescent lights? It’s time to switch things up. LED lights are 80 percent more efficient, only losing 5 percent of their energy as heat (compared to 95 percent for fluorescent lights). CFL lights are also good options, using 60 to 80 percent less energy than an incandescent.
Fix Your Leaky Plumbing
You may think of a leaky toilet or faucet as a mere annoyance, but it can actually represent a huge waste of money and water. It is approximated that the average leaky faucet wastes five gallons of water per day, or 2,082 per year. Once you add up any other leaks around the house, the implications for both the environment and your water bill are potentially huge.
Make Your Yard Eco-friendly
If you love your beautiful green yard, the words “saving water” may scare you, but they don’t have to. Invest in a rainwater tank to make the best of nature’s resources while saving your drinking water and reducing pressure on the local water supply. If you live in a dry area with little rain, find out how you can create a beautiful garden using xeriscaping, which promotes water efficiency.
Finally, do your best to educate those around you on the importance of sustainability. You don’t have to be that person who is always preaching about the environment, but you can lead by example in your own habits and talk to your friends, family, and neighbors about why you made those choices. The more people visibly make an effort to live eco-consciously, the more it will become the standard.
As we become increasingly aware of the impacts of global warming, it is more imperative than ever to make our everyday habits more sustainable. Big moves like installing renewable energy panels or buying an electric car can take time to become practical, but in the meantime there are plenty of smaller, easier things we all can do at home to be kinder to the planet.