green living: eco-nomical green living
you can simply use your phone from basically anywhere
to turn down the heat when you leave for a trip and
back up and toasty when you expect to return. This is
not only green, but also way cool. And since you aren’t
heating or cooling your home when you don’t need to,
you save resources, earth’s and your own.
By this point your house is starting to look pretty green,
but there is so much more that can be done to conserve
resources. Water heating can account for 14 to 25 percent
of the energy consumed in your home. Because traditional
water heaters basically heat water all the time and not just
when you need it, they are at best 80 to 85 percent efficient.
Tankless water heaters only heat water when you need it
and can be up to 98 percent or more efficient.
And, what about all that water being used? The
simplest thing to do is to use less. Installing a single
1.28-gallon High-Efficiency Toilet (HET) saves up to
16,500 gallons of water each year over less efficient
toilets found in more than half the homes in the U.S.
Another thing to consider, especially if you already have
your water closet, is that companies such as MJSI (www.
gomjsi.com) and ( www.flushchoice.com) offer inexpensive
and easy, drop-in conversions for most toilets to help save
50 to 70 percent water by using only the amount of water
required. Who knew doing something green could be so easy?
Your landscaping can also help you conserve energy.
The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that the
proper placement of as few as three trees can save the
average household between $100 and $250 annually in
Because trees and shrubs shade the ground and
evapotranspire (release water vapor), air temperatures
below trees can be as much as 25 degrees cooler than
air above a street. Planting deciduous trees (which lose
their leaves in the fall) provides summer shading, which
helps reduce summer cooling needs, while opening up
your home to warmth from winter’s solar rays. Conversely, planting evergreen trees and shrubs north and
northwest of a property as a windbreak can dramatically
lower energy costs by channeling winds away from or
over a house.
When deciding your overall landscaping plan, you
might want to consider xeriscaping—utilizing plants
and shrubs that reduce or eliminate the need for
While making these choices may seem obvious and
may not be as green as using recycled materials, low
VOC paints and solar panels (all which are also excellent
ideas), these simple solutions are easy, relatively painless
and highly effective ways to help reduce cost and reduce
impact on the finite resources. You can have a positive
green impact on our planet. |
LEF T: © ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/UGURHAN; RIGH T: © ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/SOLIDAGO