Ahh… “going green” is all the rage right now. In terms of easy and practical things you and I can do I prefer to think of it as “going back to what my grandma did”. Our grandparents were thrifty and they had some great ways to save money and help out the environment.
As my husband and I have been renovating our home we’ve put some of these “new” ideas into practice. Here is a list of a few of the green things we’ve done.
1. Composting is kind of smelly and really slooow going but it does make me feel better to not just throw out food and grass clippings and then buy mulch from the store.
2. Mowing with a reel mower- no need to buy gas and a decent workout too. This really only works if you have a small to medium sized yard but it does a great job cutting!
3. We also installed a hot water jacket. Unless your water heater’s storage tank already has a high R-value of insulation (at least R-24), adding insulation to it can reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45%. This will save you around 4%–9% in water heating costs.
4. Another insulation tip, especially for older homes, are electrical outlet sealers. They are sheets of insulation with cutout holes for the outlets. They go between the the outlet cover and the actual outlet. They are particularly useful for exterior walls to keep out the draft.
5. Put your TV and DVD player on a surge protector and then flip it off when you leave the house. I don’t put the VCR on b/c then I would have to reset the time every time I turned it back on. But your appliances, including you computer too, use energy even when “off”. Here is an article with even more info on this crazy phenomenon.
6. We also have plans to install a water collection system so that we capture the rain water from the gutters and use that to water our lawn and garden, etc. Makes sense to use that water for something.
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about what you can do in your home. If you are thinking about putting your home on the market and you have any “green” things you’ll want to be sure and highlight them to prospective buyers. Feel free to post comments and other green ideas below!