There are many ways to make your home green, eco-friendly and healthier for your family. Here are some practical tips keeping each area of the home greener all year long.
1. Native Plants and Xeriscaping
Re-naturalizing a lawn can create a beautiful and natural landscape, but can also reduce the need for watering. Choose climate-appropriate native plants to take advantage of the natural environment. Try to choose plants that require little maintenance and are drought-tolerant. Where possible, reduce grassy areas and consider xeriscaping or putting in grass that can resist periods of drought.
2. Water Conservation
Increase the green factor of your landscaping and save water by watering manually in the early morning or late afternoon.
3. Only Use Organic Pest Control Methods
Avoid using chemical fertilizers that can pollute streams and oceans. Only use organic pesticides or natural methods of pest prevention in your yard.
4. Energy Efficient ENERGY STAR® Appliances and Lighting
Save energy on outdoor and indoor lighting by using energy-saving bulbs, motion sensors, or solar-powered lights. Choosing ENERGY STAR® labeled products is the best way to conserve energy on indoor appliances and electronics, from your refrigerator to your television and stereo.
5. Choose Low-VOC Paints and Other Pre-Finished Home Furnishings
Look for items that improve indoor air quality by limiting volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Check the labels on upholstery, paints, adhesives, solvents, mattresses, or anything you bring into your home. You can find a database of products listed in the EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program to help you buy green.
6. Upgrade Your Heating and Cooling System
Heating and air conditioning is one of the largest energy energy users in most homes. There are many new systems that are more efficient and can pay for themselves over time. Some simple maintenance can also help like:
Sealing air ducts
If your heating and cooling system is old, replace it with an ENERGY STAR® products can save you up to 30 percent.
7. Variable Speed Pool Pumps
Replacing your pool pump with a multi-speed unit can saving you in energy cost. Also, running your pump at night, when energy is at a lower tear yield substantial savings.
8. Seal Cracks Around Windows and Doors
Weather-stripping is another way to increase energy efficiency and also reduce your monthly bill. Much of your monthly energy dollars may be literally slipping away under door cracks and through window seals. Take some time to check the home and re-caulk windows and doors, seal leaky areas, install storm doors and windows, and add weather-stripping where appropriate.
9. Reclaim Your Power
Electricity is another area where one can build a greener home. Buy green power and use solar panels to reduce pollutants and lower your carbon footprint. Solar and wind energy systems have come a long way and can help you go green and also save significantly on your monthly energy bill.
There are a great many ways to go green in the home. From the simple act of turning off a light when you’re not using it to harnessing the power of the sun, opportunities to go green abound. Going “green” might sound like an overwhelming task. Just make an effort to make changes over time and you will reap the benefits.