Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Guest Post: Tips on How to Make Your Household Greener

A famous reptilian puppet once lamented that “it’s not easy being green,” but that sentiment does not hold true when it comes to green living. That’s because you can create a big environmental difference with a few small changes—reusing or repurposing an item you already own, or paying more attention to the way you use energy in your home.  Follow these tips to do your part as a good global citizen:
  1. Go Paperless
    In an increasingly electronic world, paper is becoming less and less of an everyday necessity. You can reduce paper usage by doing your banking and your bill paying online. If you need to print something, use the backs of old letterheads, cover sheets, and other scrap paper; once you’ve used both sides, be sure to recycle. Beyond your home office, reduce your reliance on paper by replacing paper napkins with cloth napkins and paper towels with washable cloths to do your cleaning. Finally, when you must buy paper, try to buy paper products that are unbleached.

  2. Power Down
    To reduce the amount of electricity you use, simply remember to turn off and unplug appliances when they are not in use. Switch your incandescent lamps to compact florescent lamps (CFL), or even better, open the curtains to maximize your use of natural light during the daytime. Turn the lights, TV, or computer off whenever you leave the room and before bed. After all, why shouldn’t your appliances get some rest, too?

  3. Know  When To Heat Up and Cool Down
    You can reduce your energy consumption by keeping a close eye on your thermostat. On humid summer days, fight the temptation to nudge the air conditioning above 25°C and make use of ceiling fans instead.  Likewise, in the wintertime, throw on an extra sweater or blanket and keep the thermostat at or below 20°C—the lower you set your thermostat, the more energy you’ll save. Two other ways to conserve heat are to clean your furnace’s air filter each month and wash your clothes in cold water instead of warm water.

  4. Switch Energy Companies
    Companies such as Good energy offer green energy. That means replacing energy generated from fossil fuels to energy generated from renewable sources—water, wind, and sun. Making the switch now will reduce your carbon footprint and your utility bills, as well as help renewable energy companies  to continue to invest in the future of green energy.

  5. Do a Quick Energy Audit of Your Home
    Make sure your home has adequate insulation to prevent heat loss. Look for air leaks in your home and fix them immediately—window frames, attic hatches, electrical outlets, switch plates, and skirting boards. Most of these leaks can be fixed with good caulking and plugging and can dramatically reduce the amount of energy you consume. Finally, consider replacing old appliances—boilers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and freezers—with newer, more energy efficient models. Make sure to buy appliances with the “Energy Star” logo on them and you could reduce your energy usage on major household appliances by 10-15%. 
This is a guest post by Good Energy.

*Disclaimer: I received a payment for publishing this guest post.  

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