With the topic of global warming sweeping headlines for the past several years, it’s to nobody’s surprise that we are polluting our earth at a dangerous rate and leaving it far worse off for future generations. Our every day actions may be harmful to our planet, and essentially our health. If we take a moment and consider our daily activities, most will include driving in gas-guzzling cars and SUVs, living in a home that is continuously heated or cooled, running power-hungry appliances, and discarding waste improperly...just to name a few. The truth is, we are over-populating and exhausting our natural resources at a rapid rate. With Earth Day on the horizon, we decided to share some ideas on how you can make a difference in your home. Not only will this contribute to helping to reduce your carbon footprint, but it will contribute positively to your family and community’s health. Not to mention, the resale value of small improvements to improve efficiency in your home can be significant when attempting to sell your home in today’s earth-conscious society. Here are some cost-effective ways to make your home more earth-friendly, energy efficient and might even save you money!:
- Find places around your home where indoor air may be escaping. Check floors, doors, windows, chimneys and the roof and if any air is escaping (a good indication is when a beam of light is shining in), install weather-stripping or caulking. Properly insulating your home cuts down significantly on heating and cooling demands and costs. *Hint: latex caulking is the least toxic!
- On average, 40% of all electricity is used to power home appliances when they are turned off. Unplugging things like blow dryers, toasters and lamps when not in use will save on electricity consumption.
- Shop locally when planning any renovations or remodelling, and try to support services that are non-polluting and encourage proper recycling of discarded material.
- Replace your older toilet with a more efficient model. Toilets purchased before 1992 can use as much as 5 gallons per flush, while newer toilets are required to use 1.6 gallons per flush, and some even give the option of a half or full flush. This will save on water consumption.
- How old are your appliances? Appliances over 10 years old tend to be considerably less-efficient than newer models. When shopping for new appliances, keep in mind that freezers placed on top of the fridge use 25% less energy than side-by-side models.
- Install a programmable thermostat in order to control heating and cooling temperatures when you’re not at home.
- Consider bamboo flooring when replacing hardwood. Bamboo is a rapidly-growing renewable resource, and some even say it’s more durable than hardwood!
- Choose your paint carefully: avoid caution labels and opt for eco-friendly paint, which is less toxic and can actually improve the air quality in your home.
The green movement is becoming more and more mainstream, and with these few small and inexpensive improvements to your home, you’ll keep up with the changing face of consumer priorities while also creating a healthier environment and reducing your carbon footprint. Good luck with your green projects!
Office Admin, Valley Ridge Realty