If you’re tired of the same old New Year’s resolutions of exercising more and adding extra greens to your diet, try setting a new green tradition; more green in your home! Want to go green this 2016? Here are a few environmentally friendly alternative tips for improving your home, the environment and your budget this year.
WATER DRAINS RESOURCES AND ENERGY
You could be flushing away 20.1 gallons of water per day. Upgrading from a 3.5 gallons-per-flush toilet to 1.6 gallons-per-flush toilets can save up to 14,500 gallons per year per person! Is your toilet leaking? Have a professional plumber repair it! fixing a leaking toilet can save up to 5200 gallons of (wasted) water a year.
An inexpensive showerhead replacement can help cut water consumption up to 70 percent. A new faucet should be rated .5 to 1 gallon per minute (gpm). Aerator head on older faucets will reduce consumption while still providing ample water.
ENERGY BILLS IN HOT WATER?
Heating water consumes 19% of the average home’s energy. Insulate pipes for better energy efficiency. A recirculation system efficiently cycles heated water back to the heater and may pay for itself in three years.
If your water heater is 15 years old, a new efficient system can pay for itself in a few years to continue saving energy for years after. Models with a heat trap at the top are more efficient at maintaining hot water levels. Also, consider a tankless model, which is up to 34% more efficient than traditional models.
Sealed tile and stone help give bathroom floors and countertops a long life and preserve resources, plus they’re pretty easy to clean. Stone can be reclaimed for other projects at replacement time. Avoid wood, cork, and bamboo since water can degrade them more quickly. Carpeting is not recommended, as it will become a mold haven in this area.
When caulking in the bathroom, use low-VOC caulk (Volatile Organic Compounds), which is far less toxic than other caulks, lasts at least 10 years and cleans up easily. Use acrylic latex for plumbing surfaces and wood gaps, and polyurethane caulk for masonry. They both last much longer than other caulks—up to 20 years. Instead of latex-based paints, use low VOC options. As we’ve seen, there are several opportunities to make your home green-friendly and budget friendly.
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