Many modern owners and buyers have expressed interest in going green, and for good reason! Not only will living sustainably yield lower utility costs, unique tax incentives and health benefits, the environmental impact can be astronomical. Whether new build, renovation or simple change in habit, here are 8 ways to “go green” and live more sustainably.
1) Reduce, reuse, recycle
The three r’s of waste management are a great place to start. You can reduce waste by only purchasing what you need and using all of what you buy, and reuse by donating items you may otherwise throw away. You can also recycle materials such as glass, aluminum and paper. Giving recycled materials new life requires less energy than crafting a product from scratch.
2) Start a compost pile
Food scraps and yard waste make up about 30 percent of what we throw away. This material can be composted instead, and utilized in your yard or garden. All you’ll need to get started are some brown and green organic materials, water and a dry, shady spot.
3) Switch to LEDs
To save both money and energy, swap all light bulbs for LEDs. Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings, as LEDs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.
4) Fix leaky faucets
According to the American Water Works Association, one faucet leaking two drops per minute will result in over 105 total gallons of wasted water per year. Walk through your home, take stock of any leaks and pull out your toolbox. A quick fix will save you money, while also saving the environment.
5) Switch to low-flow showerheads
While surveying the bathroom, also consider installing some low-flow showerheads. You can now find low-flow fixtures for less than $20, and achieve water savings of 25%–60%.
6) Turn down your water heater
Round out the water savings by turning down the water heater. You may be surprised to see just how high the thermostat is set, possibly up to 140 degrees. Most US households will function fine at 120 degrees, saving you $36 to $61 annually.
7) Install a programmable thermostat
Many of today’s smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from your mobile device, just in case you leave the house without turning off the A/C. It is now easier than ever to adjust the temperature to meet your family’s needs and save energy. This investment in the future is also two-fold, as smart features are high on buyers’ lists of wants!
8) Invest in energy Star Appliances
Installing Energy Star appliances can reduce your energy usage and utility bills. In 2017, ENERGY STAR helped Americans save approximately 370 billion kWh of electricity and $30 billion in energy costs. If you’re looking for a larger investment in sustainability, consider replacing one or more of your appliances with Energy Star.
Looking to purchase a “green” home? Find a mortgage expert at a Motto Mortgage office near you.