In honor of Earth Day, here are some tips to make your home more green. Not only will this impact your family, but also your wallet! According to Energy.gov, homes consume 40% of the energy used in the US and most of it comes from fossil fuels. Which, if you do your research, we don’t have a lot of it left. According to EPA.gov a family of four can use 400 gallons of water a day!!!! Crazy!!!! Not only that, but our homes pollute the environment. So if we can make our homes a little more green we can reduce waste, minimize pollutants, all while saving you money on your bills!
Step 1: Enroll in online statements and opt out of junk mail
Make sure to get your utility bills and statements in Email form. this will save on garbage . Then you can go an extra step and get off junk mailers lists!!! This website (click here) has great resources to get off their lists.
Step 2: Buy low or no-VOC materials and then dispose of them properly
Now some people, like myself, like the smell of fresh paint. I’m weird. But that smell is actually airborne toxins! The EPA estimates that indoor levels of pollutants are 2-5 times higher than outside. Make sure to open windows and doors to air out your house when you paint. Then when you are done painting and no longer need paints that you have had in your house forever, dispose of them properly. Check your city’s household hazardous waster collection sites for details.
Step 3: Leave your shoes at the door
You would not believe the nasty stuff out shoes pick up. Then if you wear them around your house you are spreading the nasty all over your house!
Step 4: Switch to LED or CFL
It seems like these bulbs are becoming so much more common. While they cost a bit more, they last longer, and they put off less heat. About 12% of your energy bill goes towards lighting.
Step 5: Collect rain water for your plants and grass
Here in the PNW we don’t have a shortage of rain, except in July and August. In one night, rain can dump up to 300 gallons of water. I suggest putting a barrel under your gutters in March. Once it fills up, you will have to empty it into another container and save for Summer. It may be a bit of a hassle, but think of the money and water you will save!
Step 6: Install low-flow shower heads and toilets
Now…this one is hard for me. I like a lot of pressure in the shower… I also know I need to take shorter showers…. But this is an easy way to save on water again AND the energy it takes to heat the water. Low flow toilets can be bought, but you can also install your own low flow flusher. It uses less water for liquid, and a bit more for solids. Toilets use up to 30% of America’s indoor water consumption!
Those are just a few tips I hope you and your family find helpful! Happy Earth Day Friends!
By: Caity Garness