In a discussion with a friend about greening our home and property.. He said" I don't do that stuff."
However, once we got talking I asked him, " Did he not put in new windows in the last year." to which he replied "Yes." Then I asked him did he not just put in Energy Saver Appliances." To which he also answered "yes."
Then I asked him why? His answer was he "wanted to lower his costs and save energy."
Myself.. I have been doing similar hings. A couple of years ago when energy audits were just starting, I had one done on my home, and came in a 78. Which is not bad for a 25 year old home.
But I found out where I was losing energy. It started out by the electrical outlets and checking the caulking. This audit got me thinking and so whenever I do any retrofitting I think if it will cut down on using energy.
This was the start, from increasing my insulation to R50, insulating my hot tub, putting in a new front door, changing my gas fireplace to a more efficient model. I had taps in my bathroom dripping, now new taps, a toilet that was forever getting fixed and change it to a dual flush toilet, changing light bulbs to CFLs.
Just with these few changes I have found drastic changes in my hydro and gas bills.
I have a lot more to do on my enviro bucket list, like replacing two more toilets, getting some rain barrels, getting some plants local to the area for near my downspouts and making gardens, replacing a few windows with low-e glass or getting California shutters, getting possibly bamboo flooring in bedrooms or local wood floors.
I am getting on in life and have seen many changes along the way and my fear is that of my grandchildren. If we each do a little bit, hopefully this earth will be sustainable for them.
I have a list below of Low Costs, Medium Cost and High Cost items that one can do in their home.
This list was from a course that I took thru NAR on Greening.
I would love to hear your input on this subject and you can contact me at Lydia.Ingles@century21.ca
- Use CFL or LED light bulbs
- Install low flow shower heads and faucet aerators
- Start a compost pile
- Plant trees
- Insulate hot water heater
- install a programmable thermostat
- plant a rain garden
- plant native plants
- place appliances or office equipment on power strips to reduce "phantom"load
- install motion sensors in office and other common areas to turn off lights when not in use
- weather strip and caulk doors and windows
- collect rainwater to water plants
- paint with low or no VOC paint
- replace filers
- install water efficient bathroom fixtures
- take advantage of day lighting
- provide recycling bins
- conduct and energy audit
- tune up HVAC
- replace carpet with no VOC style
- replace hardwood flooring with bamboo or cork floors
- install a tank less hot water heater
- consider drought resistant landscaping
- buy recycled office products and equipment
- Hire a consultant to conduct an assessment of lighting and heating and cooling systems for potential building upgrades and retrofits
- insulate attic and other areas
- install engineered window shading to manage heat loss or gain in commercial buildings
- provide a bike room to encourage environmentally friendly commuting
- buy ENERGY STAR appliances
- replace windows with double pane, low e models
- replace roof with reusable/recyclable materials
- install solar photovoltaic panels
- install a solar hot water heater
- install a green roof
- implement super energy efficient transformers
- use wind turbine systems to supplement common area electricity
- remodel kitchen or bathroom with sustainable materials and features
- replace cabinets with sustainably harvested wood and low VOC finishes
- implement a water reclamation system
- consider anaerobic digesters that use food waste and soil human waste to produce methane and generate power
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