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5 Eco-Friendly Changes Every Homeowner Can Make

Meghan Belnap

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You’ve heard it before: caring for the environment starts at home. No change is too small and it’s easier than you think to have a green-friendly home. Making changes for the betterment of the environment can help your wallet too. Follow these simple tips and become an eco-friendly homeowner today.

1. Keep an Eye on the Thermostat Year-Round

According to MSN Real Estate, as much as half of your yearly energy use can be from your air conditioner and heating systems. Save power (and money) by keeping your heat down during the wintertime. During the colder months, you’ll save as much as 5% of heat for every degree you set your thermostat below 68 degrees.

2. Create a Compost Bin

When the spring rolls around, consider starting your very own compost bin (or buy one ready-made from your area hardware store). Throw kitchen scraps into the bin to reuse your home’s waste - you can use the compost for an array of things, including gardening.

3. Upgrade Your Windows

Installing energy efficient windows is one of the best ways to go green at home. Energy-friendly windows will help your home to stay cool in the summer (and they’ll keep heat from escaping during the colder months). You can also regulate temperatures when it’s hot outside by installing ceiling fans and keeping your shades drawn until the sun goes down. Couple energy-efficient window panes from Sunrise Windows & Doors Depot Ltd. with curtains to help regulate temperature and energy retention.

4. Maintain Your Appliances

In order for your home’s appliances to work efficiently and use as little energy as possible, they must be maintained. Create a maintenance schedule and hire a pro to make major repairs when necessary. Cleaning the refrigerator coils and unplugging any electronics you don’t use often are two simple ways to cut down on energy use. If you have an old appliance that's zapping way too much energy, consider retro-fitting it or replacing it.

5. Limit Paper Use

Save a tree by cutting down on how much paper you use. Get your mailing address off of junk mail lists, sign up for electronic bill pay and send e-cards and invitations instead of hard copy stationery. Also, try to use paper and paper items made from recyclable materials whenever you can. Lastly, reading books on an e-reader is a much less wasteful way of curing your literary itch!

Small changes truly add up - whenever possible, opt for the green way to do things. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll see a decrease in your heating and electricity bill as well!


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