This guest post is by Kelli Cooper of Accent Building Products.
There are lots of ways to be a better friend to the environment that can start right in your own home. If you are looking to make some improvements around your abode, consider the following tips that will help you be more ‘’green.’’ All of these tips too, have the added bonus of saving you some money. What could be better?
Use More Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Traditional light bulbs are real energy-suckers and they do not last that long. Compact fluorescent lights use up to 80 percent less energy; they also last up to 16 times longer. They offer a double punch when it comes to saving money—lower electric bills and less money spent on replacing bulbs!
Install an Automated Thermostat
Installing an automated thermostat is a cheap fix to reduce your energy bills. Regulating the temperature in your house based on whether you are home or not or the time of day helps you conserve energy, which leads to more money in your pocket. You can expect to save about 3 percent on your bill for every degree you lower the heat during the winter and 6 percent for every degree you raise the temperature in the summer. It may sound small but this adds up and makes a big difference when it comes to efficient energy use.
Install Low-Flow Toilets
Installing low-flow toilets is a powerful strategy for reducing water use. The standard toilet uses about 3.5 to 5 gallons for every flush, while low-flow toilets clock in at about 1.1 to 1.6. That is a huge difference. To give you an idea of the impact of this change, a family of four using this type of toilet could cut back on water use by 34,000 gallons annually! That is a lot of water.
Use Black Out Curtains and Shades
The story goes that black out curtains were originally used in Britain to make the Nazis think no one was there, reducing the chances of having a bomb dropped on the building. A big chunk of heat loss occurs through windows and black out curtains or shades can help keep it in. They are also a great for keeping heat out in the summer, allowing you to crank up the thermostat a few degrees and still be comfortable. Like any home décor item, there is a range available at different prices, some as cheap as 20 dollars. If you are handy with a sewing machine, you could make your own by putting the blackout liners on yourself.
Use Motion-Detector Lights
If you like keeping your yard lit to deter intruders, consider installing motion detector lights instead of leaving outdoor lights on all night long. You will accomplish the same goal without spending as much money. Leaving your lights on all night may also be disturbing to wildlife.
Use Glass Doors Instead of Fireplace Screens
If you have a fireplace, install glass doors instead of the traditional screens. This will cut back on heat escaping through the chimney and they are also safer. While on the subject of fireplaces, try to limit their use to special occasions as every time you use them, you are increasing heat loss.
Install a Water Aerator
Water aerators reduce the amount of water coming out of your faucets. The beauty is, they do not reduce water pressure though. You can buy them for as little as 2 dollars.
Not to sound all doom and gloom, but we have reached a point where we can no longer ignore the damage we have done to the planet. Over the next several years, 36 states are predicted to have water shortages. Resources that we take for granted are not finite. You may think that just one person cannot make an impact, but when all of us make small changes, it can lead to big results.
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