When you think about the sheer number of households in the world today, then your efforts at making your home greener can feel like a drop in the ocean. Yet, changing the world in any respect always happens one person at a time.
So by making your home greener, you’ll have played a crucial role in making the world a better place now and for future generations. The good thing about greening your home is you often won’t even notice any changes to your everyday routine (if anything, your costs reduce and quality of life improves).
There are dozens of ways in making your home greener. Some such as choosing the cheapest electricity provider via a service like texaselectricityplans.com, don’t require any material change to your home. Most though call for some reorganization, replacement and reengineering. We’ll cover some of the changes we deem would have the greatest impact.
1. Solar Water Heater
Traditional water heaters use natural gas or electric power. Each time you open the hot water tap in your home, that’s an additional cost on your power bill. A solar water heater can slash your energy expenditure drastically. It uses the sun’s energy to heat the water and could save you anywhere between 50 and 80 percent of your hot water costs.
Of course, a solar water heater may not address all the hot water needs of the average home. In that case, it can be supplemented by gas or electric heating. Even then, the savings realized from moving most of the heating to solar are substantial.
2. Rain Barrels
Do you grow fruits and vegetables in your backyard? Do you have a green lawn? If you are growing any type of plant in your compound, you’ll need to water the plant if you want it to thrive. However, garden and lawn watering can quickly add up and become a large part of your property’s overall water usage. That means more cash going to your water bill.
This is a fairly easy problem to fix. Simply install one or more rain barrels that can capture rainwater runoff from your gutters. You can then feed the water into your garden or lawn irrigation system. To give the water some pressure, raise the barrels a foot or two above the ground on concrete blocks.
3. Dual Flush Toilet
For the typical home, no other fixture uses as much water as the toilet. It can be as much as a quarter of all the water you use. You therefore cannot really contain your water consumption if you don’t do something about the toilet. Fortunately, there’s a way. Enter the dual flush toilet.
The dual flush loo derives its name from having two flush levers or buttons—one is for solid waste (i.e. stool) and the other for liquid waste (i.e. urine). You don’t require as much water to flush away urine as you would stool so why give them equal weight in a single flush? In a dual flush toilet, much more water is ejected when you operate the stool flush and much less water when you trigger the urine flush. That can raise your toilet’s efficiency substantially.
You don’t have to replace your plumbing to fit a dual flush loo. Better yet, there are kits on the market that can convert an ordinary toilet into a dual flush.
4. Appliances with an Energy Star Rating
The modern home is replete with electric appliances. From washing machines and dishwashers to computers and microwaves. Together, these appliances are responsible for a large proportion of your home’s power bill.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy run the Energy Star program that assigns energy use ratings to electric appliances. To receive a rating, an appliance must prove to be more energy efficient than its traditional counterparts. For instance, for a refrigerator to receive an Energy Star, it must use at least 20 percent less electricity than the conventional fridges in the market.
The best case scenario would be to replace all your current electric appliances at one go with Energy Star ones. Nevertheless, given the cost involved, this may not be practical for most households. Instead, you can gradually phase out your old appliances. The savings from one Energy Star item may not seem like much but can run into the hundreds of dollars per year when you have multiple Energy Star appliances.
You’ve probably been thinking about making your home green but have somehow never gotten around to actually doing it. Procrastinate no more. By applying these four solutions, you can finally get your eco-friendly home project moving in the right direction. Making your home greener never seems so difficult after all.