Go Green The Easy Way
Saving energy at home, using resources efficiently and making use of green alternatives for material for building houses is a great way to start going green. In addition, you can mind a few simple steps such as using green electronics and using waste biomass for useful purposes. It's not that hard to start going green today.
1. Go for "Green" electronics:You can go for Energy Star rated appliances, energy-efficient computers, NAT's, smart devices that power down when not in use and other green electronics. Energy Star rated monitors, televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, microwave ovens, etc. generally use 20%-30% less energy and are all easily available at most stores.
2. Try CFL and LED lamps:A few years back, CFL's emerged as energy-saving bulbs and they still are, with prices dropping every few months. But this time a new competitor has emerged, the LED lamps. LED lamps usually cost $6 to $10 more than CFL's but LED lamps consume 33.3% to 44.5% less energy, not to mention they also last up to 5 times longer. The prices of LED lamps are also bound to come down in future. So a CFL will help you go green and an LED greener.
3. Let in natural light:You can design your windows and curtains in such a way that you let in maximum natural light during the day. This will help you turn off your lights during the day and greatly reduce your energy consumption. Besides, sunlight makes a room seem more airy and fresh. If you are going to build a new home, strategically placed large windows and skylights are the best ways to maximize the use of natural light in your home.
4. Utilize your rooftops:Unless you have a sloping roof and are adopting the Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting model in the rainy season, your rooftop can be populated with solar panels. They can be used for a wide variety of purposes ranging from water heating to lighting. They are most suitable for powering areas of your house that are lit by CFL's or LED's.
5. Smarten your energy-guzzlers:If you are living in areas of extreme or uncomfortable temperatures, you might have an HVAC system. In recent years, HVAC manufacturers are beginning to implement motion sensors, brushless DC motors and timers in their products. Along with their smart controllers, these HVAC systems can save 20%-40% energy over conventional HVAC systems.
6. Save that water:Using an aerator on all household faucets can reduce your annual water consumption by as much as 50%. By installing a low-flow toilet, you use about 1.9 gallons of water less per flush compared to older models. Using a broom instead of a garden hose to clean your driveway can go a long way in saving water.
7. Use Green Cleaners:Use household cleaners that are environmentally safe and start using less of those common household cleaners that are potentially toxic to both you and the environment. There are ways of knowing green alternatives for cleaners like reading the labels for specific, eco-friendly ingredients when buying them. In floor cleaners and some window cleaners, look for grain alcohol which substitutes the common butyl cellosolve, otherwise known by the names butyl glycol, Dowanol and EGBE. In detergents look for plant oils such as coconut oil, etc. instead of petroleum ingredient. If you plan on not buying cleaners, you can use simple ingredients such as plain soap, water, washing soda (sodium carbonate), vinegar, baking soda etc. though these may not clean as effectively.
8. Slash Paper Usage:You can buy recycled paper for use in almost everything from greeting cards to toilet paper, as these papers use less of new paper pulp which calls for less use of wood pulp and keeps more paper waste out of landfills. When shopping, carry your own cloth bags to the store and avoid using paper bags from the store, because less paper waste in the trash means less trees need to be cut for making new paper.
9. Compost your Garden:Use compost instead of synthetic fertilizers in your garden as compost is rich in nutrients. The compost is a natural soil conditioner, a fertilizer, a natural pesticide for soil and it also adds vital humidity to the soil. Compost has also been known to prevent soil erosion.
10. Use Healthier Paints:Many conventional paints contain high levels of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) to help them dry faster. However, these release smog-forming chemicals into the air and continue releasing low-level toxic emissions into the air years after application. You can opt for zero or low-VOC paints as most paint manufacturers now produce one or more varieties of non-VOC paints. Lower VOC paints preserve air quality indoors and outdoors and prevents the hazard of inhaling VOC fumes.
11. If you want Hardwood Floors, use Bamboo:Bamboo is a green and environment-friendly substitute for Hardwood for domestic flooring due to its ability to regenerate in a relatively short amount of time. Hardwoods take anywhere from 50-100 years to grow back but for bamboo it doesn't take more than 6 years. Just make sure that you look for the ones that use formaldehyde-free glues.
Finally, turn down your heating setting by about 1-2 degrees C. This will reduce your heating bill by about 8%. And remember to fill your kettle with only as much water as you need.
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rameng is a green technology enthusiast and a green lifestyle enthusiast who and has been helping people find the perfect ways to go green at home.
If you are interested in setting up a solar panel, wind turbine etc. for your home, check out Green Energy Projects @ Home.