10 easy ways to go green

10 easy ways to go green

Greening your home to make it more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly doesn't have to be a difficult process. Use these 10 ideas to get started on going green.

  • Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. Replacing just five incandescent bulbs with CFLs can save you $100 per year on electricity bills.
  • Plug air leaks around doors, windows and other spots with weather-stripping and caulk.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature at 78 degrees in summer and 62 degrees in winter when no one is home or everyone is sleeping.
  • Buy Energy Star appliances.
  • Reduce water waste by adding inexpensive aerators to your sink faucets, changing to low-flow showerheads and dual-flush or no-flush toilets.
  • Use no- or low-Volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and cleaning products. VOCs can cause many short- and long-term adverse health effects.
  • Use wood alternatives or sustainable wood products, such as rapidly renewable bamboo flooring or wood cabinets certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
  • Plant trees to provide shade and wind protection for your home, which will reduce heating and cooling costs, and pick native plants that need less water, fertilizer and pesticides.
  • Make sure your HVAC system is running efficiently. Change filters monthly during peak usage periods.
  • Switch to clean and renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, geothermal heating units or even wind turbines. If that isn't feasible, you can also sign up for green power through your local utility to help expand the development of these technologies.

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Stuart Radcliffe

Subject:

many of the things mentioned are very good but before you purchase solar panels which are expensive... install radiant barrier which will reduce the radiant heat into the attic. Cost is typically $1 per square foot of attic space installed. This will pay for itself very quickly. In Charlotte call 704 634 8735

Elizabeth

Subject:

Please be aware that wood smoke is more of a health hazard than tobacco smoke. It is not romantic; the toxins cause false sense of wellbeing- stupor. Don't fall for the hype of stoves or patio burners. Gas is cleanest heat fuel. Wood is the dirtiest.

Jane

Subject:

Thanks for the specifics about temperature settings. These are fine during the day as well: put on some clothes! I keep my house 60 daytime turn down to 50 at nite. It's much healthier & saves $$. "Cold makes you smart" G.K.

George

Subject:

CFLs contain mercury so if it breaks in your house, you have a major project ahead of you to clean it up. Also, some brands are catching on fire. Google "are cfls dangerous?" and see for yourself.

Cablechewer

Subject:

62 isn't that bad. I set my own thermostate to 60 at night. If the bathroom is a concern running a small electric space heater for a few minutes costs a lot less than heating an entire zone of the house (be sure to keep it safely away from water). You might also be able to get a heated toilet seat :)

Solatubes are great not just for the power and energy efficiency. Bringing daylight into a space is always preferable to light bulbs.

luisa carrascal

Subject:

I like to read this kind of articles were green and energy conservation is promoted. But somehow, the natural light you can get with skylights and tubular skylights such as solatube are always left aside. Tubular skylights help save energy because you don't need to turn the light during the day, and if the sun is there, why not to use it, it's clean and free!

Astraea

Subject:

God help you if you have to go to the bathroom at night, if the house temperature is 62 degrees! Never mind "going green", at that temperature you'd be blue from the cold!

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