Tips for Going Green in 2014: In the Home

Just like our bodies need regular injections of good stuff and less of the bad, our home needs clean resources and good care in order to have a healthy, productive life. The basics are the same – reducing waste, supporting what works, and staying informed – so, here are a few green housekeeping habits you can start working on.

1) Wash in Cold Water

This can help Cut your energy use by 90% with every load of laundry. Your clothes will still be clean, and you’ll thank yourself once you see your monthly bill. You should also invest in an ENERGY STAR washer and dryer – sure, the initial purchase price is a bit higher, but you’ll use electricity and water more efficiently, which means you’re using (and wasting) less

2) Look for Air Leaks

Your plumbing isn’t the only thing that can spring a leak. If you feel cold drafts or dampness in certain areas of your home, you may have an air leak. Seal air leaks as soon as possible so your HVAC doesn’t waste energy and cost you money.

3) Schedule a Professional Home Energy Audit

Also known as a home energy assessment, this service is helpful even if you don’t detect any problems in your home. Just like a check-up with your doctor, a home energy audit is a good way to learn how you can make your home make the most of its energy, and stop small issues before they get a chance to become real problems.

This doesn’t just apply to the air leaks in your HVAC system. Getting an exterior and interior evaluation helps you locate trouble spots in your electrical and plumbing systems, too. To find out what you should expect in an auditor and where you can schedule an appointment, read Energy Circle’s breakdown of home energy audits.

4) Recycle

Cut down on the amount of waste that you’re placing in your trashcan and sending to the city landfill by setting into place the basic principles of recycling. Never recycled before? Well, start small by focusing on just one material – it could be glass, paper, plastic, or metal. Simply find a receptacle, place it beside your regular trash can, and ask everyone to place your recyclable of choice in that container.

Optimally, you’ll figure out how much you’re using of that material, find ways to reduce how much you use, and then start recycling something else as well. And if you need help figuring out where to bring your recycling, call your city’s sanitation department for help or visit earth911.com!

5) Use Green Energy

One of the best ways to go green in your home is to power it with renewable energy. This green electricity is generated from sources that will never go away, including wind, solar, geothermal, and more.

Check with your electricity company to learn what your options might be, and if they don’t have a green electricity plan for you, you should investigate another electricity company. And as more folks use green energy, more companies will begin to invest in the generation of renewable energy, which will ultimately bring down prices for customers.

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