In honor of Earth Week this week, I wanted to write a little bit on “going green,” or finding ways to conserve energy and save the environment. Esurance.com has some great tips for how to stay green in your own home. A lot of these ideas are even meant to save you money on your utility bills, and can help protect the environment by not emitting as many chemicals and poisons into the air.
1. Save gas by purchasing locally. This is true in any home improvement task. Try not to drive too far away to make any purchases. Even better if it can be ordered online and shipped to you!
2. Try to open windows when it’s sunny to allow for maximum sunlight. This will warm up the house during the day and save you money on heating bills. You’ll want to make sure windows and doors are well insulated to prevent drafts, as well. During the summer, try to open windows instead of constantly using the air conditioning.
3. Try to install hardwood flooring or laminate floors. Carpeting can emit harmful chemicals into the air. The Forest Stewardship Council will let you know if the wood you’re using came from a well-managed forest. Bamboo and cork floors are more “green.”
4. Recycle your paint and save money. This paint tends to be cheaper than purchasing it new. This paint is made from reprocessed latex and prevents chemicals from getting into landfills. If you’re going to purchase new, pick paints that are low in volatile organic compounds. Ask your hardware store what is best for the environment.
5. Buy CFL light bulbs. They not only last longer than regular light bulbs but they use a lot less energy.
6. Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use. Don’t just turn off, but unplug them! They still use energy while they’re plugged into the wall.
7. Take shorter showers and save water. You’ll also want to consider purchasing a lower-flow showerhead to maximize your water use. These can be found for less than $30.
Do you have more tips to go “green” in your home? Please leave a comment or visit me online so my other readers can benefit.