Turn Your Home “Green” with these Eco-Friendly Tips

Environment Friendly Living

It’s the end of September, and cool weather is on the way in most parts of the country (if it hasn’t already arrived). At this time of year many homeowners begin thinking about the rising cost of heat and other utility bills – and these thoughts about energy savings can lead to a desire to live an eco-friendly lifestyle in general.

There are things we can all do to help save energy on a global level: drive a hybrid car or one that gets a lot of miles per gallon; buy locally-grown produce and other products that don’t have to travel great distances to reach your community; and use public transportation where available, for example. But there are also numerous steps anyone can take to conserve energy at home, lower utility bills, and make your home life more environmentally conscious. Below are some suggestions:


Make sure your home is winterized.

Fix or replace drafty windows or use a plastic kit to cover windows during the cold winter months. Plug doors with draft snakes (you can even make some yourself – see directions

here

) and turn your thermostat down – it’s OK to wear a sweater at home! Consider installing timed thermostats so that you can keep the house cooler when no one’s home. Clean furnace filters, turn down your water heater, and run ceiling fans in reverse so that warm air pooled toward the center of a room will be circulated back outward. To be sure your HVAC system is running efficiently,

schedule an Air Duct Cleaning Service

. For more home winterization project suggestions, visit

The Daily Green

.


Turn off the lights

. We’ve been hearing this directive since we were children; when you leave a room, turn out the lights! According to an article at

MarthaStewart.com

, two-thirds of the electricity used in the U.S. residential sector powers lights and appliances. You can lower your utility bills by simply using electricity only when you need it. Getting in the habit of flicking that switch every time you leave a room is a good start.


Turn off the computers

. Are you, your spouse, and your children all running separate computers, and leaving them on throughout the day? It’s such a bother to have to start them up every time you want to log on or work on something, right? If you are not using your machine as some sort of server and aren’t attached to a network that requires overnight backups, you’ll save energy if you simply turn the computers off when they are not in use.

HowStuffWorks.com

explains the energy costs of leaving computers on this way: “Let’s assume that you use your PC for four hours every day, so the other 20 hours it is on would be wasted energy. If electricity costs 10 cents per kilowatt-hour in your area, that 20 hours represents 60 cents a day. Sixty cents a day adds up to $219 per year.” Have three computers at home? Multiply that by three and you’ve got $657.


Use “

green

” homemade cleaning solutions.

We discuss this topic a lot on our blog (see this

previous post

that offers recipes for “

green

” cleaners). There’s no need to use chemical-laden cleaners in your home; it’s easy to make your own natural, non-toxic, effective cleaners. You’ll save money, too!


Don’t throw things out too fast.

Many Americans are rapidly getting used to a “throw-away culture” that encourages getting rid of old items and replacing them with new things. But this practice is clogging our landfills and wasting resources. There’s often plenty of life and usefulness left in many items that get put out on the curb. If you can’t find a creative way to re-use older things (use glass bottles as candlesticks, reupholster an old chair) consider recycling them, donating them to a local charity, or having a yard sale. Or check out the

Freecycle Network

— a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.


Use re-usable grocery bags.

If you’re not in the habit of this yet, this is a great time to get started. There’s no need to litter the world with more plastic grocery bags. According to

TLC

an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide annually. That’s over one million plastic bags used per minute. Stop the insanity! Buy inexpensive re-usable bags, or use any convenient reusable bags that you have around the house.

These are just a few ways you can set your family and your household on a “

greener

” path. You can find even more suggestions at

MarthaStewart.com

. At COIT, we look forward to helping you clean and maintain your healthy, eco-friendly home. We can help keep your indoor environment clean, for example, with an

Air Duct Cleaning Service

.

Call 1-800-FOR-COIT for more information!

This is is a syndicated post. Read the original at www.coit.com

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