What is Green Living?
There is no legal definition, although Archwood Properties defines it as a lifestyle to limit an individual’s carbon footprint. Simply put, a carbon footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, which is measured in unites of carbon dioxide. Archwood Properties provides homeowners and prospective homebuyers with ideas to limit their carbon footprint.
The realization is that no matter how complex we perceive our environment to be, there are simple choices we can make to improve the quality of it. Here are fifteen helpful green tips to get you started on your road to green living.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
It’s been available to you for years, start recycling today. Recycling cuts back on the amount of waste being taken to the landfill. When throwing out your trash, separate the plastic, paper, aluminum and glass, and place them in the recycling. If everyone in America did this, we could decrease the amount of waste being sent to the landfills by 75%.
Replace your incandescent light bulb with a compact florescent light bulb (CFL)
Most incandescent light bulbs are only 5% efficient, meaning 95% of the bulb’s energy is wasted on heat. CFLs are four times (20%) more efficient than incandescent light bulbs, and can last 10 times longer. To get started, replace the five most-used light bulbs in your home with an Energy Star-qualified CFL. If every American home would replace one incandescent light bulb with a Energy Star bulb, we could save enough energy to light more than three million homes for a year.
Purchase a programmable thermostat
Set your thermostat to a degree higher for your air conditioning and a degree lower for your heating. With this effort, you can save between $100.00-$150.00 a year on your energy costs.
Purchase energy-efficient appliances
When it’s time to update your old appliances, purchase those that are energy-efficient. Look for the Energy Star label located on the appliance. Typically, these appliances exceed federal minimum efficiency by 15-20%. Energy Star appliances may cost more initially, but replacing your old appliances with Energy Star appliances will save you up to $80.00 a year on your energy costs, and it also helps benefit the environment.
Turn down your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
Your water heater accounts for around 17% of all the energy used in your home. Consider wrapping your water heater with a blanket. There are various water heater blankets available for around $30.00.
Only run your dishwasher when it’s full
When washing your dishes, don’t pre-rinse or soak, and make sure your dishwasher is full before running it. This will save energy and also save around 7,000 gallons of water per year.
Take a shorter shower and install a low-flow shower head
We use approximately 4-5 gallons of water for every minute we spend in the shower. Taking a shorter shower will save water and the energy used to heat it.
Painting your home
If you’re thinking about repainting your home, consider using zero or low-VOC paints. VOC stands for volatile organic compound. These paints release fewer polluting toxins into the air. Generally, zero-VOC paints are odor free and most low-VOC paints produce a slight odor.
Use native plants when landscaping
Native plants are adapted to local climates and consume less water and require less maintenance.
Even when your appliances and electronics are turned off, they still use power. Unplug your cell phone charger, laptop computer, toaster, extra refrigerators, etc. Turn off all power strips when they are not being used.
Use green cleaning products
Green cleaning products can improve the indoor air quality and are more environmentally friendly than traditional cleaners.
Purchase a reusable bag
Next time you go to the grocery store, consider taking a reusable bag. Take a look at our Resources / Green Links tab to locate websites that sell reusable bags. According to the Wall Street Journal, the United States goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. If you use plastic bags, make sure you recycle them. The average American family of four tosses out 1,500 plastic bags a year.
Buy clothing made from organic cotton
Look for t-shirts made from 100% organic cotton. Organic cotton is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides and herbicides.
Consider purchasing vintage furniture
Next time you’re in the market for a new piece of furniture, consider buying second hand. This will cut back on the amount of trash sent to the landfill. Check out local vintage shops and search the internet.
Consider using mass transit
If you’re heading downtown, think about taking the Dart rail or bus. Also, consider using carpooling or riding your bike. All these efforts will reduce the number of cars on the road.