Want a more sustainable home, but not quite sure where to start? Try these 5 energy-efficient tips…
We may be enjoying the heat of summer right now, but colder days are just a few months away. Now is a great time to make energy-efficient updates to your home, while it’s still nice enough outside to get things done outdoors, and before cold winter temperatures set in.
The question is, where do you start? While there are plenty of major upgrades that can make a big difference in how “green” your home is, there are also lots of smaller, easier projects that can really make an impact.
Here are 5 ways to make your home more sustainable, starting right now – ranging from big projects, to simple habit changes:
1. Go solar.
Installing the average solar-power system offsets as much carbon as planting 141 acres of forests or removing 63 tons of garbage from the landfill. You can often get solar panels installed for free, and some states even offer cash incentives to invest in panels. The Federal tax credit for energy-efficient improvements (including solar power systems) has also recently been extended through 2021.
2. Swap out your light bulbs.
Use energy-efficient bulbs to light your home rather than traditional incandescent ones. Energy-efficient bulbs use 25 to 80 percent less energy and can last 3 to 25 times longer….
3. Green your kitchen.
Because the kitchen is a central household hub that contains many electrical appliances, it is often not the most eco-friendly room in the home….
To reduce unnecessary electricity usage, consider a more efficient dishwasher that requires less water and energy…. Green your kitchenware by replacing plastic with more sustainable alternatives like glass….
4. Reduce your air conditioning.
Avoid using air conditioning once temperatures start to heat up. Instead, make sure to keep the windows open at night when it’s cool and closed during the day when it’s hot. Fans are incredibly effective at cooling your home, but make sure to turn them off when you leave the room….
5. Remember that not all waste is waste.
The average person generates over 4 pounds of trash every day, and it’s estimated that 75 percent of the American waste stream is recyclable but only 30 percent is actually recycled. Similarly, America wastes 21.5 million tons of food each year, which, if composted, would have the same effect on greenhouse gas emissions as removing 2 million cars from the road.
Educate yourself and your family members about what can be recycled or composted. Start a compost bin and turn your leftover banana peels, orange rinds, and extra food into dirt instead of throwing them into the landfill….