When you think about it, there are many ways to make your home more eco-friendly. Everyone who takes the trouble to green their home is contributing to making the world a better place.
Essentially, there are three good reasons to green your home. First, you will help reduce waste and conserve natural resources, and, as a result, you’ll be promoting biodiversity and protecting the ecosystem. Second, your health will improve because you’ll be improving the quality of air and water by reducing pollutants. Third, you will be wasting far less money on maintaining energy-wasting systems to power your home.
Let’s review a few steps you could take to go green:
- Use solar power.
Solar power is one of the most efficient ways to make your home more eco-friendly. Companies like Ion Solar can help you build a customized plan to use premium solar and electrical equipment to power your home. When you get clean energy from the sun, you’ll fight greenhouse gas emissions and reduce your dependence on fossil fuel because electricity is sourced from coal and natural gas.
- Reduce or eliminate VOC materials.
Many materials you use in your home contain volatile organic compounds (VOC). These can be harmful to your health. Harmful effects can affect eyes, respiratory tract, and the central nervous system. The smell of fresh paint, for example, is an off-gas, an evaporation of chemicals from VOC materials. You can find VOC materials in a wide assortment of things like furniture and building materials, carpets, household items, paints, and cleaning supplies. . Buy products that have been labeled as low-VOC or no-VOC.
The EPA’s guides to improving indoor air quality suggest the following steps:
- 1. Read all the labels and warnings on household products that you buy.
- 2. Open windows and improve ventilation when painting, remodeling, or using products that might release VOC.
- 3. Never mix household cleaners together.
- 4. Carefully store household cleaners according to manufacturer’s directions.
- 5. Keep all cleaning products away from children.
- Use energy efficient lights.
Using light emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) lights will reduce energy and reduce your environmental footprint. In fact, standard incandescent light bulbs use 75 percent more energy. In addition, LED or CFL lights will last ten, sometimes 25 times, longer.
- Seal gaps in windows and doors.
Gaps in windows and doors, a common problem with older homes, leak hot air out during the winter and cold air out during the summer. Collectively, all the small gaps can be the equivalent of living a big window open all year long. Gaps can be fixed by using weather stripping.
- Upgrade your attic.
A huge source of energy waste is the attic because heat rises. By insulating your attic and by installing an attic fan, you seal air in your home. Cooled air from your air conditioning or heated air from your heater will not escape. Unless you have professional skills when it comes to insulation, you should hire a contractor who will know how to properly use the right materials. Adding an attic fan will also help prevent waste of hot or cold air.
- Use native or adapted plants in your yard.
Growing the right fruits, vegetables or flowers will reduce fertilizer pollution, and you will also need less water because the plants will know how to use the water they receive efficiently. On average, homes use 30 percent of their water to green lawns and take care of shrubs and flowers. Native landscaping is a low maintenance way of still having a beautiful yard or growing an organic garden. Adaptive plants are your next best option.
- Use water-efficient appliances
Oven and refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers with an Energy Star label use low water and low energy. The label is based on a cooperative venture between industry and the EPA to reduced energy wastage. Additionally, get a tankless water heater, which only heats water when you need it. A traditional water heater uses gas to heat from 50 to 70 gallons of water all the time. Moreover since gas water heaters usually stop working after about a decade, they begin to fill up landfills, with millions being dumped every single year.