Can You Hear Water Flowing Into Empty Hot Water Heater Fifty Ways Your Home Can Help Save Our Planet

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Fifty Ways Your Home Can Help Save Our Planet

Are you worried about global warming? Have you thought about what you can do to improve the environment in your community? How can your home help save our planet? Maybe you thought the problems were too big, too complicated – and what you were doing was making no difference.

Think again! Every small step you take can improve the water and air quality in your neighborhood, every thing you do to improve the environment in your home can help save our planet.

Start by making a list of ways your home can help save our planet. To get you started, here are fifty ways your home can help save our planet. Many of these actions will also save you money.

Clean water

  1. Use environmentally friendly household cleaners.
  2. Use phosphate-free dishwasher and laundry detergent.
  3. Reduce the use of garbage collection.
  4. Recycle waste materials.
  5. Reduce the use of herbicides and pesticides.
  6. Don’t dispose of toxic household products by burying them in your yard – take them to a household hazardous waste landfill.
  7. Use non-toxic roof and deck cleaners.
  8. Use non-toxic paints and coatings.
  9. Clean Water Landscape – Minimize runoff from hard surfaces – consider rain gardens that collect rainwater and allow it to percolate into the soil.
  10. Plant trees and shrubs that help filter runoff from your yard.

Saving water

  1. Check the entire water system each time to make sure there are no leaks.
  2. Test the toilet tank for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, the color will appear within 30 minutes.
  3. Replace old toilets with efficient 1.6 gal/flush models.
  4. Reduce water consumption as much as possible when bathing, showering, washing, washing hands and dishes.
  5. Only use automatic dishwashers and washing machines when they are fully loaded or set the water level correctly according to the amount of load you are using.
  6. Install water-saving aerators on faucets and flow regulators on showers.
  7. Insulate water pipes. You will get hot water faster and avoid wasting water during heating. You will also save energy.
  8. Plant native and/or drought tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. They don’t need to be watered often and will probably survive a dry period without watering.
  9. Reduce lawn watering.
  10. Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater to water your lawn and garden. 

Clean air

  1. Choose paints and coatings with the lowest possible VOC content for your project. (VOCs evaporate from paint and contribute to smog.)
  2. If you live in a smog-prone area, try to avoid taking pictures during the peak smog-heavy summer periods.
  3. Clean latex paint with water, but do not flush the water down the drain or dispose of it in your yard. Take the cleaning water to the hazardous household waste collection point.
  4. Keep the lids closed when the paint containers are not in use.
  5. Use removal products that do not contain volatile solvents.
  6. Use cleaning solvents with low VOC content.
  7. Store used cloths in a closed container.
  8. Avoid outdoor burning – compost yard waste.
  9. Check your wood burning stove to make sure it is working efficiently.
  10. Maintain your oil furnace to keep it running efficiently.

Energy saving

  1. In the winter, turn off the thermostat at night – better yet, install a programmable thermostat.
  2. When you leave home, set the thermostat to an energy-saving temperature.
  3. Cool your home naturally with breezes through open windows and doors.
  4. Plant trees for shade, but make sure that the shade does not prevent the use of solar power plants.
  5. Make sure your home has enough insulation in the ceiling, subfloor if above a crawl space, and walls.
  6. Check windows and doors for air leaks – add insulation if necessary.
  7. Buy only Energy-Star certified appliances.
  8. Wrap the hot water heater with an insulating blanket designed for this purpose.
  9. Insulate the attic and ceiling vents.
  10. Use energy-saving lamps: compact fluorescent (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) lamps.

Renewable energy

  1. Check with your electric company to find out their carbon footprint – or how much of their power they generate using carbon fuels like coal and oil.
  2. Some countries allow “choice of energy supply” – you choose the energy supplier. Consider choosing a supplier with the smallest carbon footprint.
  3. Solar energy is a free resource – open your window shades and let the sun warm your home in winter.
  4. Install solar powered attic fans and garden lights.
  5. Build an inexpensive solar panel to power small household appliances and learn the basics of solar power generation.
  6. Does your home have a large unshaded south-facing roof? If so, consider installing a solar power system.
  7. Wind energy is a free resource – open your windows and doors and let the breeze cool your home in the summer.
  8. Build an inexpensive wind turbine to power small appliances and learn the basics of wind power generation.
  9. Does your home have a large open area with available wind? In this case, consider installing a wind turbine.
  10. Small and cheap efficient wind turbines will soon be available. Stay connected!

How to get started

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