Saving the environment can be an overwhelming task. With everything in the news about how to make your home more energy efficient, it’s easy to become bewildered when thinking about all the improvements you could make. But there’s no need to worry, as you don’t have to make your home into a model for green living all at once.
In fact, if everyone did just a few little things, the earth would see a gigantic benefit, so you can still do your part even if it doesn’t mean retrofitting your entire home. And a few small measures, like taking the ENERGY STAR “Change the World” pledge, can result in you seeing immediate savings.
Some of the world’s leading brands recently teamed up with energy-savings experts to build an energy-neutral house to test earth-friendly practices in Boulder, Colo. Lifestyle experts were then invited to live in The Green House for three days, test its environmentally friendly products and experience the benefits of eco-friendly living.
The main takeaway from The Green House project is that there are a variety of steps you can take, big ones and smaller ones, to make each room in your home more eco-friendly:
Big: Install a low-flow aerating showerhead. Most models allow you to save around 30 percent on water usage without compromising on your shower experience.
Small: Avoid using toxic cleaning products, as chemicals find their way into the atmosphere and waterways. As you run out of old cleansers, replace with nontoxic cleaning products.
Big: Replace your old refrigerator or dishwasher with an energy-efficient model. Look for models that either meet or go beyond ENERGY STAR levels, like a new 4-Door French-door refrigerator that’s 20 percent more efficient than the minimum ENERGY STAR standard. The fridge achieves efficiency through linear compressor technology that alters output based on demand from the refrigerator. This means fewer temperature swings, ultimately using less energy and saving you money.
Small: Plant a garden, as the food out of your garden will be fresher and won’t need to be transported to the store or to your home.
Big: Buy all-natural bedding that is made from earth-friendly materials.
Small: Unplug gadgets like cell phone chargers and unused appliances before going to bed, since they can use energy even when they are plugged in and not in use.
Big: Buy an energy-efficient washer and dryer. Consider a high-efficiency, front-load steam washer machine. It uses more than 50 percent less water per load and is roughly 86 percent more energy-efficient than conventional top-load machines.
Small: Clean your dryer vent after each load, because even a partially clogged vent will hurt your dryer’s efficiency.
Big: Invest in a programmable thermostat, which can save you money by automatically managing home temperatures when you plan to be away or while you sleep. Some even can be controlled remotely while you are gone.
Small: Replace incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient CFL or LED bulbs.
Big: If you’re in the market for a new car, buy a gas-sipping hybrid.
Small: Take public transportation. Better yet, where possible, bike or walk on one trip each week where you would usually drive.
Big: Buy an ENERGY STAR-rated TV that will save you money when it’s both on and off. With very low standby and on-mode power consumption, some new LED HDTVs save only about 7 cents of electricity a day for average viewing of six hours daily.
Small: Unplug your DVD player or other accessories when they are not in use, especially when leaving for an extended time like a vacation.
Whether they are big or small, your energy-saving contributions won’t go unnoticed by Mother Nature or your pocketbook. The professionals at Handyman Matters can help take care of all of your interior projects – no matter how small! Click here to find a location near you or call 866-FIX MY HOME today.