Green and sustainable homes hold a lot of growing appeal to people as it helps them to conserve energy, do some good for the environment and save money. Some people have not taken further steps to green their homes because they think it is an expensive process. While installing some green features might be costly, but saving you money in the long run, there are easy and cheap things that you can do on your own to green your home. If you are looking to green your home on a budget, here are ten things that you can do.
- Switch to fluorescent or LED bulbs: Fluorescent and LED bulbs can last up to 12 times as long as an incandescent bulb, they consume less energy and emit less heat. If you still have the old, incandescent bulbs, switch them for the fluorescent or LED ones. Replacing a bulb is something you can do on your own. Just ensure that you cut off the power to the bulb before you replace it.
- Reduce appliance usage: Too many times, we leave lights on when no one is in the room or leave appliances plugged in to the wall when they are not in use. Leaving your appliances plugged in even if they are not powered on, consumes energy all the same. Start switching off all lights when not needed and no one is in the room. Also, unplug all appliances when not in use.
- Use less VOC materials: VOC materials are those that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and they abound in our homes. They include paint, cleaning materials, furniture, among others. When purchasing these items, check labels to see the ones that are low or no-VOC and buy them instead. If you have used VOC materials in your home recently, ensure that you air out your home very well so you can get rid of the deleterious chemicals.
- Water your plants with rainwater: Instead of using water from the tap to water your plants, collect rainwater in barrels and use them for watering. To collect the rainwater, simply redirect the gutters on your roof so that the water from them can go into the barrels.
- Change your heater settings: Instead of having your heater always provide hot water, change its settings so that it provides warm water instead. You really do not need hot water to do most of your chores and take a bath. Your electricity bill will reduce if you do this.
- Change how you use your fireplace: Close the damper if you are not using your fireplace, an open damper allows heat to escape from your home up the chimney which means that your cooling system will have to work harder to maintain a cool room. If you never use your fireplace, close the damper and stuff it with fibreglass or a damper balloon.
- Try using low-flow showerheads: They are not expensive and they are very easy to install. Low flow showerheads help you use less water when you shower. It also reduces the amount of energy that would be used to heat up water since you are using less water.