How to Make the Easy Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting!

Becoming more energy-efficient as a society is essential for the future of both the planet and mankind. Luckily, there are several lighting options that are great alternatives to incandescent bulbs, which are banned in many countries due to their energy inefficiency. Instead, replacing incandescent bulbs with superior alternatives, like LED bulbs, would save billions of dollars per year, prevent the need to build more power plants, and save the environment from exposure to an alarming amount of greenhouse gases.

LED Bulbs

Light Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, are both compact and extremely energy-efficient light bulbs. These small bulbs are now used in clusters and are encased in lenses that help expand the light. One of the main issues the has prevented LEDs from reaching mainstream adoption was their production cost. However, recently a new and improved way of producing LEDs has made them more viable as an everyday light source.

There are several benefits to using LED bulbs in your home — not just environmentally! LEDs last about 40 times longer than conventional incandescent bulbs. Furthermore, the bulb itself is more durable since they do not have a fragile filament. On top of this, LED bulbs do not require much energy, which saves you money on your electricity bill and makes them an effective bulb to pair with solar panels. LED bulbs are mercury-free, and they stay cool (unlike incandescent bulbs which can lead to unwanted heat build-up in a room). Plus, LEDs won’t burn your fingers!

CFL Bulbs

CFLs are another appealing alternative to incandescent light bulbs. For one, CFL bulbs last up to 10 times longer. Furthermore, they are four times more energy-efficient than incandescent light bulbs. Again, this means saving money on your electricity bill. Using CFL bulbs over incandescent bulbs greatly reduces air and water pollution.

Another great thing about CFL bulbs is their versatility. They can be used just about anywhere that an incandescent bulb can be used, meaning it’s quite easy to replace your bulbs with this more environmentally-friendly option. You can choose the light quality, shape, and brightness of your CFL bulbs to suit your preference.

Final Thoughts

While both of these alternatives to incandescent bulbs are beneficial to the planet (and your wallet), LED bulbs are our preferred choice. For one, LED bulbs are more consistent than CFL bulbs since the standard of CFL bulbs fluctuate depending on the overseas manufacturer. Perhaps more importantly, LED bulbs are mercury-free, while CFL bulbs contain mercury.

LED bulbs are now the most cost-effective option due to their superior energy-efficiency. Don’t wait to switch out those old incandescent bulbs for a more environmentally friendly alternative! The simple change to energy-efficient lighting makes a huge difference!

Go Green! 4 Appliances that will help you go green in your household

Who doesn’t want to improve their quality of life, save money on utility bills, or help save the environment? Upgrading your appliances to “green” ones will help you achieve the above and it’s pretty easy to do! If you’ve been looking for ways to help you go “green”, and types of appliances to buy, look no further. We have compiled 4 ways to help you go “green” and improve your quality of life from here on out!

Horizontal Axis Washing Machines

Purchasing horizontal axis washing machines in your first step in going green. These types of machines can save you up to $120 a year on your utility bills. Let’s face it, utility bills go up and down so frequently that any type of savings on them is a big savings. Another great advantage of these kinds of machines is that they can fit into tighter spaces, run quieter; which helps if you want to do laundry at night, and they allow you to wash larger loads, with less detergent. Purchasing this kind of washing machine is a no brainer when it comes with so many advantages.

Energy-Efficient Refrigerator

Your refrigerator literally runs 24 hours a day, every day, all day. This appliance may consume the most energy in your household on a daily basis. Having an energy- efficient refrigerator will definitely help you when going green, you can also keep a spice grinder next to your referigerator. The older the refrigerator, the harder its working and consuming energy to stay properly working. With that being said, the older it is, the less efficient it is. When shopping for a new fridge, looking for an Energy Star qualification on it is key. When you see that logo on a fridge, you will know that it at the very least uses 20% less energy than other models. 20% is a HUGE energy savings. Don’t you want to be a part of that movement?! If you want to take it a step further, choosing a model that doesn’t have an automatic ice maker will also help with energy. We all have used ice trays. Let’s keep that up and save the environment!

ENERGY STAR-Approved Dishwasher

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, dishwashers waste up to 10 gallons of water during one cycle. 10 GALLONS OF WATER IS A LOT OF WATER!! Can you image all the things you can do with 10 gallons of water?! Man! What a waste….

By getting an energy star approved dishwasher, you can save on average 1,300 gallons of water throughout the dishwashers lifetime. That’s a lot of water! Picking the right model will make you a model citizen for going green!

Efficient Air Purifier

Purifiers are key to removing indoor pollutants such as pet dander, pollen, mold, pesticides, and so on. Making your home a healthier place will ultimately improve your person health too! Your home becomes more comfortable and truly safe place, in terms of health, for your family. Using an air purifier will also improve your utility bills. Older models will jack up your bills because they are just not efficient enough. Having a newer model will help decrease those bills and put more money back into your pocket. Who doesn’t want more money?! When purchasing a new air purifier, make sure that it has the Energy Star logo on it. On average, with this kind of purifier, it will save a family more than $200 in energy costs over the purifiers lifetime.

Ultimately having the right products in your home will help you make the environment a better place to live in. Be a part of the movement and stat going green today!

5 Ways to Save Water in your Home

Overconsumption of water has become a major problem in today’s society but there are ways to improve it. Starting at home is key to playing as role in saving water for our environment. Taking just a few conscious steps moving forward will help you not only save water in your home, but help the environment!

Turn off your faucets!

The concept seems so simple but yet most of us don’t do it. Raise your hand if when you’re doing dishes to keep the water running the entire time. Most of us are definitely guilty of this! By simply filling up your sink with water and turning the pull down faucet off and on as you do dishes, you will be saving more water than you could ever image. Kitchen faucets are constantly being left on and ultimately a main source for water waste. Starting there will do more good than you can imagine.

Purchase a smaller dishwasher

There are so many modern, efficient dishwashers out there that can save not only tons of money, but tons of water! One thing you can do is instead of rinsing off our dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, you can scrape them off. Scraping them off will do the job and come on, it’s a dishwasher. Do we really need to rinse them prior? It not only defeats the purpose of having the luxury of a dishwasher, but it also wastes entirely too much water!

Shorten your showers!

Okay. This on sounds like a no brainer but everyone loves a good long shower that gets them relaxed and ready for the day. That sounds great and all but the amount of water your wasting in the process is extremely high. By taking a little less time in the shower, you’re saving a ton of water as well.

Buy a high-efficiency washer

On average, we do about 300 loads of laundry each year. Washing our clothes takes up a huge percentage of water, which ultimately means excess waters waste. If your washer machine is old, then it’s taking up even more water and energy then you could image. Purchasing a energy star efficient machine will help you save tons of water. These types of machines use almost 40% less water than your average washer machine. Not only do they save water, they also have a ton of other great benefits like being much quieter, and taking up less space!

Capture rainwater!

Rain is part of our climate making it extremely natural! If we capture rainwater, then we can use it for an abundance of things. Saving the rainwater for other usage around the home will come in handy. You can use it for your garden, rinsing vegetables, and bathe(if a shower isn’t near). The benefits of using rain water are endless and with trying to help the environment, using it will ultimately save a lot of water in your home!

Saving water in the home has so many advantages. If we take the right steps to do so, we can save more than we think which in return helps our environment. Not only can we help the environment, but we can help our personal pockets financially. Either way you look at it, it’s a win, win situation and it’s never too late to start!

Top Tips to Recycle at Home the Right Way

If you want to become part of the solution rather than part of the problem, then you should learn how to optimize your home recycling. Throwing out material that can be reused is detrimental to our planet. Eliminating waste is one of the key ways to make inevitable population growth more sustainable. Check out some recycling tips for the following materials so you can start recycling at home!

Paper Recyclables

Many types of paper recyclables need to be separated. Newspapers get their own bin and corrugated cardboard should also be kept aside. Any food stained paper products should be thrown away. Other types of paper like magazines, phone books, envelopes, flyers, etc. can be saved together. While it’s ok to leave the staples in, any plastic should be removed (such as rubber bands). Recycling paper saves a ton of the world’s dwindling resources.

Plastic

Since plastic does not break down in landfills, recycling plastic goods is one of the best ways to prevent harm to the planet. Check with your local recycling center to find out what plastics they accept, as recycling centers vary. Make sure to recycle plastic grocery bags, plastic bottles, and polystyrene cups.

Glass

Glass is recycled according to color. Clear, green, and brown glass should be separated. Make sure to rinse out bottles before putting them into the bins. Glass products lightbulbs, mirrors, and pyrex should be kept separate from glass bottles. It’s possible to recycle fluorescent light bulbs at local merchants.

Metal

The amount of mining, milling, etc. that goes into harvesting new metal costs a massive amount of energy and resources. That’s why recycling metals is so important. Copper is 100% recyclable, and you can even make some good cash when you bring it in. Make sure to recycle aluminum cans too, as aluminum is another valuable recyclable. Food cans should be recycled, but should be thoroughly rinsed out and their labels removed. Paint cans and aerosol cans are recycled separately.

Electronics

Don’t toss those old electronics in the trash just yet! Check first to see if they’re recyclable. Old cell phones can be recycled at automated kiosks, such as EcoATM. Computers can be donated to help those in need. Check with local shops in your county to see if they can make use of your old electronics, go here to find out your county.

Getting Started

The first thing you’ll want to do is set up your recycling bins. Make sure you label them clearly since many recyclables should not be mixed. It’s important to be aware of all of the “rules” in order to make sure you’re recycling effectively. If you are going to use bags, it’s best that they are plastic bags or totes, as paper bags can rip if they get a bit wet. Recycling at home is rewarding and makes a huge difference!

How to Decorate Your Home the Eco-Friendly Way!

There are more ways to help the environment than recycling and conserving electricity. While many people may not think about it, being eco-friendly when decorat-ing your house makes a big difference! There are plenty of ways to have the interior of your house look the way you want it to in an environmentally-responsible way.

Buy Used Furniture

Buying used furniture is the most effective way to decorate your home without harming the environment. It’s like the recycling of home decoration! Selling your used furniture online (or giving it away) is another way to do your part.

Consider the Material

Different woods have different levels of impact on the environment. When your shopping for furniture, make sure that you buy only FSC certified wood. Wood that is tagged with the FSC logo indicates that the harvested wood is more environmentally friendly than the wood used to make conventional furniture.

There are also more environmentally-friendly alternatives to standard paint. Be-fore you buy paint to give your walls a fresh coat, make sure to check that you aren’t purchasing any paint with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs release harmful toxic emissions, which is harmful to both your family and the Earth’s atmosphere. There are now far safer paint options, so make sure your tins are labelled ‘low-VOC’.

Use Thermal Curtains

Financial benefits often go hand-in-hand with environmental benefits. When you replace conventional curtains with thermal curtains, you’ll be paying a lot less on your electricity bills. Furthermore, these energy-efficient curtains are far more environmentally-friendly.

Don’t Add Carpet

While they look nice, the manufacturing of carpets is harmful towards the envi-ronment. They are packed with pollutants that are also released into your home for years. On top of this, carpets need to be replaced about every 10 years or less. Mean-while, if you go carpet-less you’ll save money and help out the environment. Using real wood flooring is the most environmentally-friendly option. It doesn’t look too bad, either!

Eco-Friendly Storage

Using heavy-duty cardboard or drop safe over plastic storage containers is better for the envi-ronment. Just check to make sure that the cardboard is made from recycled material. Use plastic storage bins only for delicate items that need to be fully protected from moisture. Make sure to recycle packing materials and go for plastic ties over tape when possible.

You also want to store your things in an insulated area. This is probably the best way to be environmentally-responsible with your storage habits, since storing belong-ings in areas subject to extreme temperatures can damage them. Then, they would be tossed into a landfill, AND you’d need to buy new things to replace them (not so eco-friendly). Consider buying a fireproof safe so you can safely store items and documents of high value.

Final Thoughts

In order to become more sustainable, we must always be conscious about how our life-style and choices impact the environment. While the implications that your house decor choices have on the environment are not necessarily obvious, the truth is decisions like these can make a big difference. You can still have a beautiful home while shopping in an environmentally-responsible way. Don’t forget, setting up an eco-friendly home can also save you money in the long run!

Conserving Water: Simple Techniques That Make A Big Difference!

There are more reasons to conserve water than to simply save a few bucks on your utility bill. Saving water limits local water pollution in lakes, rivers, etc. Furthermore, by conserving water, the greenhouse gas emissions that are needed to treat and distribute water are prevented. Plus, the less water flowing through your septic system, the longer it will last, and the less likely it is for your sewage system to pollute the surrounding area.

Being aware of the benefits that saving water has on the environment is motivating enough for us all to make some simple changes in our daily lives. Efficiency is the key to conservation. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can prevent water waste at home. You might be surprised at how simple it can be to make an eco-friendly home!

Toilets and Showers

Those willing to take more active measures to conserve water should consider replacing their toilet with low/dual flush models or with a composting toilet. The latter is the most effective way to eliminate water waste since composting toilets are waterless! However, for those who aren’t quite ready to replace their old toilet, there are still some simple ways to make a difference. For one, avoid using the toilet as a wastebasket; tissues, cigarette butts, etc. should be thrown away rather than flushed. You can also buy an adjustable toilet flapper to adjust the amount of water needed per flush!

Similarly, installing a low-flow shower head can make a world of difference. If every household did their best to limit shower duration and amount of water used when showering, it would have a tremendous impact on the environment. After all, for every five minutes you shower, many showers use upwards of 40 gallons of water!

Faucets and Sinks

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to prevent water waste is to put aerators on your faucets. Of course, there are also some more obvious tactics to prevent water waste from your sinks. This includes things like turning the water off as your brush your teeth and filling the sink with just a few inches of water so that you can rinse your razor as you shave without needing to keep the water on.

It should be noted that dishwashers generally use less water to clean a load of dishes than hand washing. If you do hand wash your dishes, make sure to only have the sink on when the dishes actually require rinsing. Check your faucets and pipes for leaks every now and then to make sure that everything is in order and no water is being wasted when you run water.

Final Thoughts

One of the most effective ways to conserve water is by simply being aware. Use a broom to clean off the deck rather than a hose, reduce evaporation in your swimming pool by adding a cover, etc. The more people that do their part, the more these conservation techniques spread. So, use these tips to start conserving water and don’t forget to tell your friends!