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4 Green Alternatives to Common Household Systems

Meghan Belnap

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Energy consumption is a constant state of existence for all living beings. From the leaves of a tree converting sunlight into chemical fuel to human super cities consuming coal, hydroelectric discharge, or nuclear power to fuel their massive electrical grids – energy consumption happens as a day to day process in all walks of life. There are green alternatives available, however, that can greatly reduce the impact this consumption has on the environment - especially on a per home basis.

Here are 4 green alternatives to common household systems:

Solar Energy

When considering green alternatives, one of the first things that should come to mind is solar energy. On average, the Earth receives an astonishing 174 Petawatts of incoming solar radiation per day.

There are two distinct types of solar energy you can choose from:

  • Active Solar – This system uses panels known as solar collectors and is the more recognizable of the two when discussing solar power. These collectors usually mount on rooftops in a southward facing orientation. The heat generated from these panels can be used to warm living spaces or water supplies.
  • Passive Solar – Material usage such as thermal mass stone and concrete can serve to absorb heat during peak sun hours and released the stored heat into the home during nighttime hours. Also, large plate glass south-facing windows can provide heat during colder months.

Geothermal Heating & Cooling

This system involves circulating water through underground pipes beneath the home. The water is naturally heated or cooled based on the temperature of the Earth during summer or winter months. This is called a closed loop system, but another alternative would be an open-loop system that makes use of a well.

Natural Gas

When available, natural gas is always an efficient alternative to electricity, heating oils, and even propane. Natural gas, according to recent Department of Energy estimates, costs approximately 68 percent less than the cost of electricity per British thermal unit (Btu).

Plumbing Alternatives

By installing more environmentally friendly plumbing units from Imagine Plumbing & Appliance Ltd, an enormous amount of water energy can be conserved. Here are just a few examples of quick plumbing fixes to help lower energy costs:

  • Low-Flush Toilets – Lowers the water usage from 3.5 to 5 gallons for conventional toilets to 1.6 gallons or less.
  • Low-Flow Showerheads – Lowers the water usage from 4.5 gallons per minute for standard heads to 2.5 gallons per minute.
  • Faucet Aerators – Reduces the water used by faucets by as much as 60 percent while still maintaining strong flow cycles per use.

In a progressive approach to thwart the negative implications of human energy consumption on the environment, today more than ever, “greener” alternatives are being researched. These green alternatives involve methods of energy production that are environmentally friendly while striving to remain cost effective.


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