If you’ve been thinking about how you can go “green” at home, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s easier than you think. A few small changes can make a huge difference in your energy usage and the overall impact on the earth – and save you money in the process! Here are seven simple ways to contribute to a healthier planet in your day-to-day life:
- Change your light bulbs. Energy Star-certified light-emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, and even energy-saving incandescent bulbs use 25% less than traditional varieties. You’ll pay a little more upfront for these bulbs, but they last longer, use less energy, and are much better for the environment.
- Man the electronics. Turn off electronics all the way (rather than sleep or standby mode) and be sure to unplug electronic appliances and battery chargers when they are not in use, as they often draw power continuously. You can also plug them into a power strip that you turn on and off.
- Set your HVAC system on a schedule. You can program a digital thermostat back 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day and save as much as 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. In winter, for example, you might set the heat to 62 degrees while you’re at work, and 70 degrees starting when you return in the evenings.
- Wash clothes on cold. Switching your clothes washer’s temperature setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half. This is an easy way to save on that water bill, as is making sure to always do full loads of laundry (or using the appropriate water-level setting if doing smaller loads).
- Make your toilet “low flow.” Reducing the amount of water that your older toilets use will help conserve water. You can purchase a low-flow toilet, but you can also do it yourself by filling a half-gallon plastic bottle with some rocks (and the rest water) and placing it inside the toilet tank. This can save hundreds of gallons of water each day.
- Save on water temperature. Heating water can account for up to 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home. You can conserve by turning the temperature of your water heater down from 140 to 120 degrees and still keep water hot enough for showers and the dishwasher.
- Fix the leaks. Leaky ducts, a leaky attic, and improperly sealed windows and doors can cause your HVAC system to have to work harder. Make sure your hot water pipes are all intact as well. Finally, don’t forget to fix those leaky faucets. One drip per second wastes an astounding 1,661 gallons of water per year!
Of course, one of the easiest ways to lessen your impact on the environment is to purchase an energy-efficient home! When you purchase a Shea® Green Certified home, you’re getting the very best of energy-efficient living. Our SheaXero™ homes can lower electric bills by generating as much electricity as they consume, through a solar power system and energy-efficient features such as…
- High-efficiency HVAC systems
- Energy Star appliances
- Low-flow faucets, shower heads, and toilets
- Mastic-sealed ducts
- Blown-in cellulose wall insulation
- Dual-pane, low-e windows
- …and much more!
Trilogy® and Shea Homes® are very committed to building with the next generation in mind. If you’re considering purchasing a beautiful new home, check us out! Learn all about our Shea Green Certified homes and efforts to meet the most rigorous industry standards for green living.
For more tips on how to reduce your global impact, explore Energy Saver, the U.S. Department of Energy’s consumer resource website, from which the above statistics were drawn.