With Earth Day right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to make some changes to cut back on waste and energy consumption. Caring for the environment doesn’t have to be costly or require big changes. Here are some simple and easy tips decrease your carbon footprint and make your home more eco-friendly!
Tip 1: Opt for ENERGY STAR appliances
Improve your home’s energy efficiency with ENERGY STAR appliances. These products can help to lower high energy bills, improve comfort and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ENERGY STAR appliances are independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. ENERGY STAR certifies a wide range of products such as washing machines, TVs, dishwashers, ceiling fans, and light bulbs.
Tip 2: Use CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) bulbs
Another small change that will significantly impact your energy consumption is switching to CFL bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs are the least efficient type of lighting because 90% of the energy the bulb uses is given off as heat and only about 10% results in light. By replacing your home’s incandescent light bulbs with CFL bulbs or any other bulbs certified by ENERGY STAR, you can save energy and money. These light bulbs can last anywhere from 3-25 times longer and come in many different colors and light levels.
Tip 3: Turn off the lights (sometimes)
The cost effectiveness of when to turn off lights depends on the type of lightbulbs you have. In some cases, it is more cost effective to leave them on since some bulbs’ operating life are dependent on how many times they are switched on and off.
For CFL lighting, the general rule of thumb is: if you will be out of a room for 15 minutes or less, leave it on; and if you will be out of a room for more than 15 minutes, turn it off. The operating life of LED lights is unaffected by turning it on and off. Incandescent bulbs should be turned off whenever they are not being used because they are the least efficient type of lighting.
Tip 4: Recycle properly
Recycling regulations differ from city to city, so make sure you comply with your own city’s recycling guide. The City of Chino Hills has developed a simply sorting guide that was designed to make recycling effortless for its residents. The City of Santa Ana has implemented several green programs to reduce its residents’ waste. For the residents of Dublin, the City had published an easy how-to-guide to help comply with recycling and garbage regulations.
Tip 5: Grow Houseplants
Growing indoor houseplants is a great and easy way to improve the air quality of your home. NASA published a list of “Top Ten Air Cleaning Plants”. This list features beautiful plants like the Peace Lily, which is known for its ability to filter toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the surrounding air.
Tip 6: Switch to tankless water heaters
Tankless water heaters, also known instantaneous water heaters, provide hot water only as it is needed. Since they don’t produce the standby heat losses associated with storage water heaters, tankless water heaters can save a typical family $100 or more a year. Tankless water heaters also have a longer life expectancy than regular storage water heaters. Although installation of a new water heater may be tricky, many Trumark homes are now offering tankless water heaters installed in the garage.
Trumark Homes has taken a step towards building more eco-friendly and sustainable homes. Many of their homes have low-e glass vinyl-framed windows throughout, which can reduce energy loss by as much as 50%. These low-e windows have a special coating that increases energy efficiency, which allows sunlight to shine in but also suppresses heat flow. Additionally, many of Trumark homes also offer solar panel conduits in the attic as well as electrical vehicle conduits in the garage.