If you are interested in living a greener life but don’t want to move to a commune, there is good news: There is plenty you can do to live a greener life and reduce your carbon footprint – all from the comfort of your own home.
Most people think that living a more environmentally-friendly life is hard. Actually, it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it and become aware of the alternatives. There are a million different ways to live a greener life, but three areas are the easiest to control: water usage, appliances and heating and cooling. We’ll examine these three.
We waster millions of gallons of water annually without even realizing it. But you’re thinking, “But its water, it’s just recycled and given back to us. And there’s an ocean full of it!” Well, yes and no. Yes water which is consumed or used is recycled, but that process required energy (electricity, gas, coal) and often chemicals. So, if we could use it right the first time, there is less work that has to be done to get the water back. That said, here are some ways you can save water.
Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth. Just this one step will save 4.5 gallons each time your brush your teeth. So, if you follow your dentist’s advice and brush three times a day, you can save 13.5 gallons of water a day, or almost 5,000 gallons of water a year.
Install low-flow toilets. Instead of the toilets which take forever and 3.5 gallons a flush, low-flow toilets are faster and consume 1.9 gallons less water.
Instead of hosing down your driveway to rid it of dirt and leaves, sweep it. Face it, your driveway is outside where nature is and that includes dirt. So, sweep and save 80 gallons of water each time you skip the hose.
Take shorter showers. Shaving even just one or two minutes off your shower will save 100 to 150 gallons of water per month.
Green Your Appliances
Appliances are huge energy wasters, so if you can swap out your older appliances for newer ones, you will be enjoying energy savings in no time. Wondering where to start? The refrigerator is the biggest culprit in the house. If you replace your refrigerator with one which has the Energy Star symbol, your energy usage will decrease. Replace all of your appliances with Energy Star appliances and you could see substantial savings, between 10 percent and 50 percent in energy and water.
Green Your Furnace
This might sound counter-productive, but turn up the heat in the summer and turn it down in the winter. The cooler your house is in the colder months, the less energy your furnace will use. So, try setting your furnace at 68 degrees and throwing on a sweater if you’re chilly. In the warmer months, setting the thermostat at 78 degrees will decrease energy usage. Installing ceiling fans and upping the temperature to 82 degrees will result in energy savings of 3 to 5 percent.
These are a few ways you can make your home and you life, a greener place to be. Once you start, you will continue to look for ways to live a greener life, and that is better for you, and everyone else on the planet.
Brandon Leister is passionate about the environment. He frequently shares his expertise on living a green lifestyle on eco friendly blogs. Click the linkwww.pennsylvaniaelectricitycompanies.com to find green electricity providers in your community.