Greening Up Your Home
- Save water
“Save water, we’re in a drought” is not a foreign phrase in California. It’s more like a way of life every summer. You can conserve water and save money on utilities through big gestures and small. For example, if your toilet is older than 1994, you may be using twice as much water per flush than newer models. Installing a low-flow toilet solves this problem, as does adjusting the float valve in your current toilet to limit the water in the tank.
- Monitor the temperature
Constantly adjusting the thermostat to always keep it at a comfortable 74 degrees is easy with the click of a button, but it is also a huge energy sucks. Luckily, we live in a fairly moderate climate and rarely deal with extreme heat or cold. When the winter chill does come in, consider reaching for an extra sweater or blanket instead of the furnace. Likewise, shades on east and west-facing windows and a fan can help combat heat in the summer.
- Choose bamboo
You love hardwood floors. They’re easy to clean and look so polished. Instead of more traditional hardwoods, look into bamboo floors. Bamboo is a much more environmentally friendly material that only takes four to six years to mature. More traditional lumber floors take 50-100 years!
- Look for “Energy Star” appliances
Is your trusty fridge kind of lukewarm now? When shopping around for its replacement, look for energy-efficient appliances with the “Energy Star” logo. These EPA-approved models use 10%-50% less energy and water. Your refrigerator is a huge energy glutton so potentially saving 50% would have a drastic impact on your utilities bill!
- Move to better lighting
It’s time to dump the incandescent light bulbs. Switching to the fun-shaped compact fluorescent bulbs prevents 400 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per bulb. Imagine the enormous effect you’ll have on the environment if you replace every light in your home!
- Clean green
Traditional cleaners are full of toxic chemicals like ammonia that aren’t good for you or the environment. Instead, pick up cleaners that rely on natural ingredients from brands like Biokleen, Ecover and Seventh Generation. Or you could even make your own cleaners. Its amazing what everyday products from your pantry like baking soda and vinegar can do!
- Seal cracks and leaks
Go around your house and conduct the flashlight test on all your doors and windows. If the light can squeeze through, air can too. That means energy, and money, are literally slipping through the cracks. Add extra insulation where there are leaks. You should also consider replacing old windows and doors for ultimate energy efficiency.
- Keep a green garden
Planting your own garden is amazingly eco-friendly because it helps keep your produce local. The plants themselves add nutrients to the soil and oxygen to the air. However, it’s important to maintain the garden efficiently as well. This means skipping the synthetic fertilizers and composting your own food waste instead. And, please, no pesticides.
If you’re looking to remodel with a green outlook, contact us and we’ll help make your vision a reality.
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