Many people don’t consider eco-friendliness and energy efficiency when they are building or designing their home. It’s possible that it’s a result of lack of understanding just how many benefits they could get if they do a house-building or designing project that has energy efficiency planned as a part of it.
Even though energy efficiency upgrades are not cheap, they definitely pay off in the long run when it comes to the price of the future electric bills, heating and a lot more. There are many options, some of them are bigger endeavors and some are simple, that can be used to make a home that is eco-friendly.
1. Switch to CFL bulbs
People are having a hard time giving up on the warm glow of incandescent bulbs, but the truth is – savings with CFL bulbs are huge and worth getting rid of the traditional bulbs. If you switch only one incandescent for a compact fluorescent (CFL), there will be 400 pounds of greenhouse gas less in the atmosphere. Of course, not all compact fluorescents are the same. You can do research on different types, shapes, color, and brightness and find the ones that fit you best. If even after you’ve tried all of them and still don’t like them, you can put a couple of them in places you don’t spend too much time in, like the basement and the halls. You’ll still make a difference.
2. Give up bottled water
Buying bottled water can be convenient, especially if you’re on the run or if you don’t want to drink tap water from your home. Still, there’s a solution: you can install a filter under the sink in the kitchen and use tap water freely. Get yourself a wide-mouth bottle made of stainless steel or a BPA-free bottle with a removable lid – they are even better, as they are easier to clean. Having a reusable bottle at home and in your bag is a practical solution, no need to spend money every day on a new plastic bottle.
3. Reduce the use of paper towels
This is a small sacrifice, but an important one. Of course, if there’s a really gross cleanup, you can have one paper roll just for emergencies, but otherwise, old cloth towels are perfect for cleaning your bathroom, kitchen and any other place that can get really dirty. Wash those towels only when you collect a lot of them on a pile. Microfiber towels are also practical for everyday use, as they can last for a couple of hundreds of wipe-ups. A full house cleaning can be done with an old T-shirt that can be washed together with your regular clothes.
4. Go solar
It’s important that your house is facing south and that you have the majority of your windows on that side. The materials used should be able to absorb the sun’s heat. Avoid a glass wall on this side because you’ll get the opposite effect. The long-term plan is to plant trees on southern sides to provide the house with natural shade and use the benefits of skylights for the maximum amount of the sun’s energy.
5. Adequate insulation
Home’s insulation is one of the most important factors in your savings. It may be costly in the beginning, but the benefits are enormous. An excellent insulation prevents huge heat loss and keeps its inside the house. It is responsible for heat retention, cutting you electrical bill considerably, as well as reducing the need to use air conditioning in the summer.
A lot of things from your home can be recycled, as well as things you consider trash. Many companies such as Pinkjunk are trying to help people to recycle things properly. Things like batteries should not be disposed of in regular trash but could be used again. In general, you shouldn’t put in the trash a single thing you wouldn’t want to have in your food, air or water. Different companies collect different objects and materials to be recycled again; you just need to Google a little to find out which ones are in your vicinity.
7. Use less water
We all enjoy taking a long bath, but… try to take a quick shower most of the days, and leave a bubble bath only for rare and special occasions. You can install a low-flow showerhead, which saves up to 25 gallons of water per day, depending on how many family members there are. Also, if you insulate your water tank properly, it will reduce your hot water bills. Another option is to install low-flow toilets and an aerator in every faucet, the results will be much more visible.
Of course, these are just a few of many tricks used for helping our Earth and saving money each month. The more you research on the web, the more useful tips you’ll find.