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Dec
23

Go Green at your Home

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Climate change is in the newsflash. It seems like everyone’s going green. Much of what we do to live green isn’t something that fits on a list of ideas. In our every choice, we attempt to decrease our footprint by turning off the outlet a few seconds faster or choosing not to use a light when possible. We may buy the smaller laptop to save resources or make sacrifices that aren’t necessary to our lives. All of these daily choices may seem awesome, but with time they work together to simplify our lives. Many of the steps we can take to stop climate change can make our lives better. Our grandchildren-and their children-will thank us for living more sustainably. The more energy efficient your home is, the more money you’ll save and the bigger your positive impact on the environment. Let’s start now.

Go green at home is often one of the first steps to an ecological lifestyle. It’s where we eat and sleep, where we bond to our loved ones or center ourselves. It’s only natural that it be the first thing to which we turn our attentions.

Conservation begins at home by considering the true value of what we use, how we use it and why. It’s important to understand the sources of energy and natural resources, like water, and it’s also important to consider the affects our over-consumption causes to our environment.

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Save Water:

Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too. Install a low-flow showerhead. They don’t cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment. Plant drought tolerant native trees in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering. Find out which occur naturally in your area.

A dripping faucet may seem harmless, but you’d be surprised at how much water is lost. According to the Survey, one faucet that drips 4 drips per minute wastes 138 gallons of water a year. Another point is, Toilets manufactured before 1994 use up to five gallons per flush compared to 1.6 gallons for newer toilets. According to Savingwater.org, replacing an old toilet can save up to 10,500 gallons of water each year, depending on utility rates and usage habits.

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Save energy:

The price of energy is going up and our natural resource reserve is dwindling. It’s not possible for everyone to pull off the energy grid but it is possible for everyone to reduce their personal consumption. Switch to a laptop instead of using a desktop computer and cut three-quarters off your electrical use. Turn off the laptop at the end of the day. Switch to cold water washing and save 80 percent on energy used for laundry. Turn off the lights when you aren’t using them and reduce your direct lighting energy use by 45 percent. Stop using heat-producing halogen lamps (they can also be fire hazards). Install occupancy or motion sensors on outdoor lights. Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Or, use a “smart” power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts “phantom” or “vampire” energy use.

Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to save on heating and cooling costs. Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine wash clothes goes to heating the water.

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Eat smart:

If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it’s even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs. Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can. Purchasing from local farmers keeps money in the local economy. You can watch videos about why local food and sustainable seafood are so great. Whatever your diet, eat low on the food chain. This is especially true for seafood.

Think before you buy:

Go online to find new or gently used secondhand products. Whether you’ve just moved or are looking to redecorate, consider a service like craigslist or Free Sharing to track down furniture, appliances, and other items cheaply or for free. Check out garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for clothing and other everyday items. When making purchases, make sure you know what “Good Stuff” is and what isn’t.

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Skip the bottled water:

Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste. Bring a reusable water bottle, preferably aluminum rather than plastic, with you when traveling or at work.

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Keep electronics out of the trash:

Keep your cell phones, computers, and other electronics as long as possible. Donate or recycle them responsibly when the time comes. E-waste contains mercury and other toxics and is a growing environmental problem. Ask your local government to set up an electronics recycling and hazardous waste collection event.

Go Solar:

When it comes to powering your home, solar energy may be a possibility. You must live in an area that receives adequate sunlight and have a roof that isn’t shaded. The cost of converting to solar can also be prohibitive, but there are currently federal, state and local tax credits and rebates available for those who choose to go solar, and the overall price is expected to continue to drop.

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Category : Flatons Advisors Blog

 

 

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