How socially conscious and eco-friendly are you? If you’re a soon-to-be home owner, or already own your own home, it’s mutually beneficial for your wallet as well as the environment to find out what your carbon footprint is.
When looking for a new home, there are several ways you can save green while staying green.
- Is the proximity of family and friends important to you? Check out a neighborhood’s walkability score before you buy. Not only will walking or riding your bicycle save you money while keeping our environment cleaner, you’ll be improving your overall health as well. Who doesn’t love a triple win?
- Did you know that a programmable thermostat can save $180+ per year in energy costs? While the cost of these thermostats range anywhere from $100-$300+, check out these Consumer Reports recommended models: Robert Shaw 9801i2 (approx $125) and best buy, Lux TX9600TS, (approx $70).
- Roof in rough condition? Thinking of adding solar panels? Adding solar panels while replacing your roof can be a smart move. Be sure to verify your roof warranty is not voided by adding solar panels. Additionally, it’s a good idea to make sure the fire rating of your solar panels and shingles is the same. Click here for more roofing tips & types.
- Invest in insulation for energy efficiency. Insulation, when installed correctly in your floors, walls and roof can help keep you comfortable through all seasons in any climate. Do you know what your home’s energy score is? Find out about the Federal tax credit insulation information for 2016.
- Replacing home appliances? Be sure to check the ENERGY STAR rating of all new appliances as not only will this save you money in efficiency, some items, such as water heaters, may also qualify for a federal tax credit.
- Faucets, shower heads and toilets are all items that will have to be installed or replaced. Check out “WaterSense“, a site where you can calculate your water savings, as well as find local “WaterSense” labeled homes.
Go Green Overnight
Looking for some really simple and quick tips to start making a difference right away?
- Invest in auto “on/off” light switches. Getting a light switch system that automatically turns off is a great way to save energy and help the environment. This is an especially good idea if you have a hard time remembering to turn off the lights or have children who aren’t in the habit of turning the lights off.
- Purchase energy saving light bulbs. Energy saving light bulbs use much less energy than the typical light bulb. They generate less heat and produce just as much light as the light bulbs you’re used to. Yes, they are slightly more expensive than the bulbs of the past. However, if you care about going green, this is a really simple way to do so.
- Buy a water-conserving shower head. Water conserving shower heads are very affordable, easy to install and can help you save a lot of money on your water bill. Essentially what they do is inject air inside the streams of water. It still feels like you’re getting a full blast of water on your body when you shower, but you’re actually using a lot less water. Check out this CR best buy shower head for under $20.
- Use green products wherever possible. There are many ways you can opt to go green in your house. You can buy:
- green dishwashing soap instead of commercial detergents. You can buy organic soap at your local Whole Foods instead of mass produced soap.
- biodegradable plastics instead of plastics that clog up landfills.
- products made from recyclable materials or which are themselves recyclable instead of products that contribute to our unsustainable waste growth.
These are just some of the many ways you can go green. Just about every room in your house can benefit from going green. It takes a little bit of effort in the beginning to set up your home properly, but the rewards more than justify the effort. (Find out how much you can save with this solar calculator).
Videos courtesy of Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports, “Energy-saving features your new home should have”, consumerreports.org:https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/11/energy-saving-features-your-new-home-should-have/index.htm. 3 November 2014. Accessed April 2016.