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January 7, 2009

11:45 AM

10 Tips for Going Green in Your Home - And Save Too

Over the last few months my childrens' school has been teaching the students about the environment and the impact we have on it.  Now, I always thought I was pretty considerate of the planet: I recycle, turn off lights when not in use, and use refillable water bottles to name a few, but the more my children learned the more they pointed out I’m not so green after all.  So I decided for me, my children and my future grandchildren I would take more steps in reducing my carbon footprint. With the help of my children we did some research and found out that if you want to go green in your home, and save a little money at the same time, it's never been easier.

As the planet faces an uncertain future of global warming, which is believed to be the result of us all burning fossil fuels indiscriminately, we all have a duty to do the best we can to redress the balance. Here are some vital tips to help get started...

  1. Insulation
    Your home is where you spend a lot of your income, so it makes sense to be spending it as efficiently as possible. You can start to go green in your home by insulating the house.
    Heat leaks out of a house in winter and into the house in summer. Better insulation all round is a great way to go green in the home. Look at your loft, your wall cavities, your windows and your doors - it will all make a tremendous difference. Yes, there is an investment to consider, but you will save in the long term, and save a lot too.
  2. Use Less Water
    We all use too much water. Go green in the home by cutting back as much as you can. Use the shower not the bath. A typical bath uses approximately 75 litres of hot water, while a 5-minute shower with an efficient showerhead will use about half of that. Also fill up your sink when shaving instead of running the water for the duration of the time it takes you to shave. We could all, collectively, save one billion gallons of water a year by changing our old flush toilet cisterns. The old ones use three and a half gallons per flush and the new high-efficiency ones use just over one and a quarter gallon. It makes a big difference! If you did only this to go green in the home you would save 20,000 gallons of water every year, and pay a lot less in water bills.
  3. Change Your Light bulbs
    The standard light bulbs that most homes have are very inefficient. Compact fluorescent light bulbs burn around 5% of the old bulbs and they last 10 times longer. They may cost slightly more to buy initially, but this is an obvious way to go green in the home and save a bundle in the long run. However, if using compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) the life of a CFL is significantly shorter if it is only turned on for a few minutes at a time: 85% shorter, reducing its lifespan to the level of an incandescent lamp. The US Energy Star program says to leave them on at least 15 minutes at a time to alleviate this problem. But you can do even better, the new LED lights are almost twice as efficient as even the compact fluorescent light bulbs, and they will last even longer too.
  4. Wash clothes with cold water and only wash full load
    Home utilities are a drain on energy. Did you know that modern washing powders are so good that they don't really need hot water? Your washing machine uses most of its energy heating the water, so wash your clothes cold. They will clean great while you go green in the home. 
  5. Use your dishwasher
    You may think your dishwasher is also an energy drain, strangely, it isn't. If you use it fully filled it uses less resources than if you wash by hand. 
  6. Use Power Bars
    Plug your small appliances, TVs and computer into power bars. When not in use switch them off by the power bar, this will save you a lot of money on your electric bill and is very healthy for the environment.
  7. Cleaning Products
    Most of the products in the cleaning aisle of your supermarket contain toxic chemicals that can harm your health, the environment and your budget. Making your own green cleaning products from baking soda, vinegar, lemon & soap are just as effective as the store bought products but will cost far less and be kinder to your world. Some of the simplest ingredients can handle the dirtiest jobs: Baking soda is a non-abrasive scouring powder that deodorizes. A lemon repels fleas, deodorizes and also cuts grease. Olive oil is a great furniture polish. White vinegar removes hard water scale, tarnish and greasy build-up. It’s also great for cleaning wood and glass. Hydrogen peroxide is an antibacterial and bleaching agent.
  8. Use Reusable Water Bottles
    Instead of buying bottled water buy a water filter and an aluminum refillable water bottle. Bottled water is expensive, unnecessary and bad for the environment.
  9. Start borrowing
    You can borrow books and movies from the library for free or rent movies from a DVD rental store. You can even rent power tools and appliances from rental companies. You'll not only save yourself a fortune, you'll be helping our earth.
  10. Use your library
    You can read magazines for free at the library. And many magazines offer some or all of their content online for free.

Once you know these little tips and tricks, it's easy to go green in the home!

For more ways to go green and save visit: How to Save Power at Home, Eliminate Your Electricity Bill, and Go Green - Be Rich!

 

For all Loving Motherhood readers all new post will now be available at http://lovingmotherhood.wordpress.com
I am also transfering most of my older posts to this new address. See you there!

 

 


View my page on Moms Helping Moms

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