8 Surefire Ways to Turn Your Home Green
With everyone interested in "going
green" these days, it can be tough to separate the myths from
the facts. In order to really save on your utility bills and be
kind to the environment, rely on the tried-and-true practices and
products that really do turn your home a brighter shade of
Going Green in 8 Easy Steps
- Unplug it! Just because that
appliance is off does not mean it is not drawing power. These
"energy vampires" pull power continuously, even when they are not
in use. Unplug anything you can as soon as you are finished using
- Switch to new light bulbs.
Incandescent light bulbs pull a lot of power and produce enormous
amounts of heat. Make lights a non-issue by switching to
environmentally-friendly CFLs in all your fixtures.
- Use fireplace inserts. Keep your
beautiful old-fashioned fireplace but give it an energy-friendly
update with a fireplace insert. Available for both gas and wood
burning fireplaces, inserts can retain up to 60 percent of the heat
from your crackling beauty.
- Let your lawn go natural. Native
grasses and ground cover are meant to handle the conditions of your
particular climate, and are naturally resistant to bugs, drought,
and disease. That means you can cut out the pesticides and
fertilizer that non-native grasses usually require.
- Invest in dual-flush toilets.
Dual-flush toilets use less water but still do their job just fine.
If you don't want to replace your toilet, invest in a retrofit
device that makes your existing toilet more
environmentally-friendly. At about $100, the savings definitely
makes the initial cost worthwhile.
- Turn down the heat! When you're not
home, turn down the heat or the air conditioning. Set a
programmable thermostat to ramp the comfort back up about 30
minutes before you are scheduled to arrive home. In the wintertime,
opt to wrap up instead of turning up the temperature. In the
summer, use fans to move cool air around instead of cranking the
- Make your own compost. Keep your
garden productive by putting your organic waste to work. A good,
rich compost is as easy as a basic compost pile, and it prevents
the need for potentially dangerous fertilizers.
- Do your research. Not sure if an
appliance or material is as green as it claims? Research their
reputation, and look for the tried-and-true logos, such as the
Energy Star or Green Seal designations.
Having a greener home doesn't mean pricey changes. These
tried-and-true choices can assure more money in your pocket!
About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a
freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was
built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her
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