According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an average home in the U.S. uses about 900 kilowatt-hours of electricity every month, or just under 11,000 kWh per year. That is a tremendous amount of electricity, but the really unfortunate aspect of that statistic is that a significant portion of that electricity is simply wasted. Green solutions can help ensure that your home reduces electricity use so you waste less and spend less.
Simply looking at a landfill is enough to inspire sadness. Mountains of garbage are piled on top of yet more mountains of garbage. While it’s virtually impossible to completely eliminate physical waste, you can severely limit what goes into landfills by following a few simple green solutions.
Most urban and suburban areas feature recycling programs to pick up plastic, glass, and paper waste. If you’re in a rural area, consider visiting a website like www.recyclingcenters.org to find the nearest recycling facility. If it’s a long drive, you can ask your neighbors if they’d be interested, so you could trade off recycling duties every other week.
Compost piles reduce organic waste, and you should never put clean waste like branches and weeds in with the other garbage. Also, check out recycling programs for electronics, which contain small levels of toxic materials, such as in batteries, televisions, and computers.
Check out these green solutions for cutting electricity and water use. If you water plants, do it in the evening when most of it won’t be evaporated. Irrigation systems should only run at night for the same reason. Install new shower heads to regulate water use.
When you aren’t home, turn the AC up to 80 degrees. It uses only a small part of the power that it does at 70 degrees. Install ceiling fans to move air around so no single room becomes hot or cold. Replacing old incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs can save a few dollars every month. Unplug phone chargers when they aren’t in use. There are tons of very tiny green solutions you can use around the home to make it more energy efficient.
If you’re willing to invest thousands of dollars, replace old windows and doors and install new insulation. New air conditioning units tend to be more efficient as well. Energy star appliances receive that branding only because they meet stringent requirements. Consider installing solar panels on your house. A complete overhaul of your home can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but tax rebates can cut that cost in half.