What Makes a House Eco Friendly?

The green movement is catching on and catching well! Singles, couples, and families are increasingly being aware of the importance of maintaining an eco-friendly home for themselves and, in the process, aiding society’s efforts toward eco-friendly communities.

What makes for an eco-friendly house? Let’s just say that it is the people in the house that make it an eco-friendly place because of their commitment to adopting the right lifestyle habits, such as reusing, recycling and re-purposing as well as in effective and efficient use of resources including energy.

Here are a few tips that can make your house eco-friendly, too. Keep in mind that it is your role and responsibility to adopt these lifestyle habits not only for Mother Earth but for present and future generations as well.

#1 Turn Off the Lights

Did you know that as much as 20% of your home’s energy consumption come from light bulbs? So, when you turn off the lights in empty rooms or turn off unnecessary lights even in a room with people, then you can save on energy costs and make your home an eco-friendly place.

#2 Replace Incandescent Lights

Did you also know that approximately 90% of the power used by incandescent light bulbs is wasted as heat? So, when incandescent light bulbs are replaced by more energy-efficient lights, such as GU10 LED bulbs, substantial savings in energy consumption can be enjoyed.

#3 Adopt the Three Rs

Reduce, recycle, and reuse - these are the three Rs of resource conservation that advocates of the green movement encourage households to adopt as part of their daily lives. These principles can be adopted into practice in so many ways including but not limited to:

• Reducing your consumption of goods since the best waste management system is the avoidance of its production. Make careful purchasing decisions that involve less purchases, such as buying products in bulk, avoiding over-packaged and disposable goods, and buying durable goods.

• Reusing makes good social, financial and environmental sense although it will take a certain measure of creativity. For example, harvesting and reusing rainwater for household use (i.e., not for drinking) means using a natural resource while also saving on the water bill. Other examples include reusing products in different ways, selling old yet still usable items, and reusing products for similar purposes.

• Recycling means using old materials to make new things. These can include recycling scrap materials to re-purpose them, buying recycled products, and selling old materials to recycling centers.

Of course, adopting the three Rs will require conscious and concerted efforts from every member of the house – yes, even a toddler can be taught to recycle – but it is possible. Start by acquiring the information necessary to begin your project and then adopting the practices, one step at a time, until these have become habits.

#4 Use Energy-efficient Appliances

In the United States, the Energy Star rating is the gold standard in home appliances so check the ratings for whatever appliance you want to buy. Make your comparisons according to your actual needs instead of using appliances as a weapon in a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses game.

But if you have no plans yet or you have no budget for new energy-efficient appliances, then it makes sense to adopt energy-efficient habits on your old appliances.

• Use the sleep and hibernate modes on computers, televisions, and other applicable appliances when these are not in use. Better yet, just unplug them.

• Take control of the indoor temperature. Set the thermostat to 68° or less (daytime) and 55° (nighttime) in winter; in summer, set it to 78° or more.

• Check the seal on oven doors and avoiding opening the door one too many times to check on the food. Use the microwave, not the oven, when reheating small batches of food.

• Wash only full loads on the dishwasher. For small batches, wash by hand.

These are just a few tips but these are a great start!

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