The many ways you can go green

April 22, 2016 | Higgins Group Real Estate

Going green nowadays isn’t just one of those trends that might become outdated later on. Finding ways to become energy-efficient not only protects the environment, but should provide savings on your utility bills almost immediately, resulting in a win-win situation. Here are some basic tips on going green:

Reduce, reuse, and recycle

Go green button on keyboard backgroundPracticing the three R’s remains the best, most impactful way for you to reduce your carbon footprint. However, many people tend to ignore the first two and go straight to recycling, which drastically minimizes the impact.

Follow the hierarchy. The first thing to do is to reduce. Whenever you’re tempted to buy or eat something, it helps to ask yourself if you really need whatever it is you’re planning to buy or eat.

As for reusing, opting for items like coffee cups or water bottles that can be reused will drastically cut down the volume of your garbage. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that whenever something is reused, that means that you don’t have to buy something new. This translates not only to savings in money, but also in the huge amount of resources that the making of any item entails.

Don’t let it go down the drain

Every little drop counts. The United States Geological Survey Water Science School estimates that 4,000 drips from a leaky faucet equals about 1 liter of wasted water.

The solution is simple – change the washers on your faucets. But if you want to go even further and save more water, you can also opt for a low-flow showerhead. There are some EPA-approved WaterSense showerheads that can save you 2,900 gallons of water a year. You get to save on energy as well since you’ll be heating less water.

Another quick fix? How about taking shorter showers?

Get a handle on climate control

Show your thermostat who’s boss. When it’s warm, set it to 76 to 78 degrees and to 68 degrees when it’s cold. With better management, you can make a significant reduction in your utility bills, since heating and cooling is usually more than half of your total energy bill.

Time for a lighting change

Did you know that probably a quarter of your home utility bill is energy eaten up by lighting? You should definitely give your light sources a second look.

By simply changing the light bulbs, you can quickly lessen your energy usage. Energy Star-rated compact fluorescent bulbs use only 25% of the energy that incandescent lights do – and they last six to ten times longer. LED lights outperform both by using 80% less energy and lasting 25% longer than incandescent bulbs.

Unplug

Are your electronic devices and gadgets fully charged? Unplug them. Leaving them plugged in drains a significant amount of energy – up to 10% of your energy usage, in fact. You should also unplug chargers even if they’re not connected.

With some resourcefulness and awareness, you too can go green and start saving green!

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