Going Green in the Home
Do you recall celebrating Earth day in school? There was usually a contest to design a poster encouraging you to be kind to our planet and perhaps you took home a small sapling to plant in your yard. Since its inception in 1970 we have continued to become more aggressive in our mission to reduce landfill waste, keep our air clean and preserve our natural landscapes. In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we wanted to focus on ways to go green inside and outside of your home.
· Switch to LED bulbs when an old bulb dies out. They last 15X longer and use less energy. An average bulb will only cost you $2 a year in electricity.
· When your old fridge finally stops humming, look into a replacement bulb that has earned the Energy Star rating. A bit of research and you may find some models that have rebates or even give a credit on your taxes. This tip extends to any major appliances in your home.
· If it glows, shut it off. The charger for your phone, your laptop and the latest game console your kids got for Christmas all drain electricity when not in use. The average family can save over $100 on their electric bill just by being mindful in unplugging when not in use. Using a surge protecting power strip to plug all the household chargers into can easily be turned off and on with one flick.
· Installing dimmer switches is another great way to save energy and extend the life of your bulbs. Along the same line, encourage family members to turn off lights as they leave the room.
Waste Less Water
· You can save 5 gallons of water per person if you turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth. That means a family of 4 can save over 7000 gallons of water a year (assuming they all brush their teeth once a day)! That equals a much lower water bill and money in your pocket.
· Drip-drip-drip----fixing that leaky faucet or running toilet means less water wasted. The running toilet alone wastes up to 6000 gallons of water in a month. Fixing it can save you around $70 a month on your water bill.
· Fill-er-Up—whether it's your dish washer or washing machine, aim to run these appliances only when they are full. Use cold water when you can or choose a short cycle for smaller loads.
· Invest in a great beverage container to cut down on buying cases of water. Keep a larger pitcher on hand in your fridge.
Remodel the Right Way
Look for products that contain the Energy Star or are Green Seal Certified. A.B.E. is proud to carry the Andersen and ProVia lines, which have both been recognized as industry leaders in the area of energy efficient products. These types of windows and doors will help your entire home be more energy efficient over the years.
Outside the Home
· Use durable bags or totes for all your grocery shopping purchases.
· Bring a travel mug to your favorite coffee joint for your daily java. Some places even give you a discount for helping them save a paper cup.
· Plant trees and shrubs strategically around your home. The shade in summer and wind resistance in winter will help cut down on your heating and cooling costs.
· Collect rainwater from a spout and use it for your plants, garden and bird baths.
Be a conscience role model for your children. Encourage them to examine something before it gets thrown away and ask, “Can I recycle this?” Plant an herb garden and watch it grow, then cook something together using them. Spend some time outside appreciating nature or visit a local farmers market. When we all work together, even the smallest changes can have a big impact.
Happy Earth Day!