Written by Gene Caballero on July 22, 2015
Whether you're looking to make your home "green" to help the environment, be more cautious about chemicals getting into your body, or simply to save some money, there are many ways to go about it.
Collect Runoff Rain
Amid serious water droughts throughout the U.S., and other parts of the world, rain water collection could become crucial. Collecting rain water will allow you to save on water use as well as provide a clean source of water for plants, washing dishes, doing laundry and more. However, keep in mind your state’s rules and regulations as some states require a permit to collect runoff rain/water.
Also, consider attaching an outdoor hose shut-off valve. If 10 percent of Americans did this, 128,000 more bathtubs could be filled every single day.
Use Renewable Energy Sources
Think solar panels, wind electric systems, and hybrid (solar and wind) systems to supply some or all of your electricity needs. No matter where you live, renewable energy sources are a great way to green your home and save money.
If you’re living up north, you probably know the importance of sealing gaps that allow cold drafts in. However, did you know that failing to seal these gaps during summertime can cause your air conditioner to work harder? Make sure to seal gaps around doors and windows to green your home.
Use Low-emittance Coating
Using low-emittance coating on your windows improves solar and thermal performance of your home. Additionally, the low-e coating can help minimize the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that passes through your windows, without compromising the amount of visible light transmitted.
Paint Brushes Should be Washed in the Sink
It can seem easy to use the hose to wash your used paint brushes, however, the chemicals in the paint are then washed into the soil in your yard and possibly even contaminate the water table. If possible, consider rinsing your used paint brushes in the sink with runoff water you collected.
Dispose of Paint Cans Properly
Dispose of paint cans via the hazardous waste collection program, some companies, such as Habitat for Humanity and PaintCare, also accept left over paint in order to recycle it. If you’re searching for a hazardous waste drop-off facility, try earth911.com.
Avoid Pesticides during the Rainy Season
Do not spray pesticides before predicted rain as this can actually just cause the pesticide to run off and not work properly. Ultimately, if the pesticides are not working, you might be more inclined to use even more pesticides. Did you know that the average homeowner uses 10 percent more pesticides per acre of lawn than a farmer does or an acre of crops! If you don’t want it in your food, why would you want it on your front lawn?
Don’t Wash Grass Clippings into Drains
Grass clippings should be properly disposed of as it can form blockages in the storm drains or flow down to natural resources, like rivers, creeks and lakes. Additionally, grass clippings can contain nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous, which can cause unwanted, and uncontrolled, growth of algae and aquatic weeds.
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