If you want to make sure that your homes carbon footprint is as small as possible, it doesn’t mean having to resort to a simple and primitive existence in which you forgo electricity and get off the grid in every way. Luckily, technology is advancing every day and a lot of this is going toward powerful new environmental protection solutions for homeowners.
Here are five practical tips that let your house give nature a much needed break while still keeping you comfortable.
Let’s start with the most basic thing of all, which is recycling. Simply by being sure to properly recycle all of your household waste in the best ways that are either obligatory in your area or recommended by environmental protection groups, you’ll be doing a big favor to your community in the form of smaller garbage dumps, cleaner streets and smaller carbon footprints.
The basics like separating paper, plastic and metal from organic trash are obvious choices to make, but you should also be sure to make sure that any potentially toxic waste you need to get rid of goes to the right disposal places. Another useful idea is to also take all of your completely organic, compost friendly trash and put it into a backyard compost heap that you can use to create excellent, nutrient rich soil for a home vegetable or flower garden.
2. Install Solar Panels
Solar panels have come a long way from the extremely expensive and extremely inefficient tools that environmentally conscious homeowners had to work with just a couple of decades ago. Where efficiency rates of only 5 to 15% were once the best you could hope for from a residential electrical generation setup, nowadays, 20 to 30% is a lot more common and some experimental systems are even reaching efficiency rates that go as high as 50% (though these are extremely expensive still).
However, even if you install a more basic solar array in your home, you’ll definitely be chipping a nice large chunk off your annual electrical grid bills and this can make a big difference as the years of use go on. Coupling a solar array with a small home wind energy pole will make an even bigger improvement but it’s probably best to start with solar first and see how it works based on your regions sunshine levels. A great resource for the entire United States is www.findsolar.com, which can connect you to reputable sellers of solar arrays in your specific area.
3. Take advantage of Environmental Remediation
Environmental remediation is the engineering and scientific procedure around remediating any environmental damage to soil, land, surface water and ground water in a piece of property so that whichever of these environments is free of contaminants and completely safe for animal or plant life.
This might seem like a big mouthful of expensive science, but as a solution for completely cleaning up a piece of land you’re planning on building a home or expanded garden space on, it’s an absolutely great idea. In effect environmental remediation will not only help keep your family and pets healthier, it will also have an indirect benefit to your whole local community by ensuring that where you live isn’t contributing dangerous contaminants to the area.
Look up the services of companies such as www.RWCollins.com –to name just one good example of a service provider—to see what kind of services they offer. Obviously though, look for a provider of similar services in your specific region.
4. Install LED Lighting
There are few environmentally friendly home renovations you can do in your house than the replacement of all your old incandescent bulbs with more efficient alternatives. And if you want to see some truly serious green benefits from doing this, forget about replacing Edison’s bulb with fluorescent (CFL) lights and just go straight to the latest energy saving lighting solution: LED light bulbs.
While incandescent bulbs will last an average of 1000 hours while burning through more than 3000 kWh per year (per every 30 bulbs used), LED light bulbs will continue working even after a totally whopping 50 to 60,000 hours and do this while only consuming 320 kWh per year (also per 30 bulbs used). This is even better than the burn rate and lifespan of CFL lights, which last an average of 8,000 hours and use 3 times as much electricity as their LED counterparts.
Don’t let the price of an LED bulb set put you off, they will save you hundreds of dollars over the long run, and nicely lower your home’s carbon footprint.
5. Install an Intelligent Thermostat
First, bear in mind that your home’s conventional thermostat is probably responsible for almost half your annual electrical bill. Now, knowing that, understand that the typical thermostat most homes have is grossly inefficient at regulating temperature in a way that doesn’t involve lot’s of pointless waste.
So, if you want to really cut down a large chunk of that 50% of your annual heating/cooling bill, your best bet is to replace your conventional thermostat with something much, much more efficient and environmentally friendly.
This is where the Learning thermostat comes into the picture. These devices are basically designed in such a way that they learn from the settings you give them over time and use this information to strategically regulate your home temperature in a way that always leaves you feeling comfortable while never using excess power needlessly. You can also program them to highly specific settings or even from a remote location through your smart phone!
Smart thermostats come from a number of different manufacturers but one particularly powerful solution is called the Nest Learning Thermostat, which is available from www.Nest.com. They are an elegant, simple but very powerful step towards creating a green home through very clever technology.
This is a guest post written and contributed by Stephan Jukic who is a freelance writer generally covers a variety of subjects relating to the latest changes in white hat SEO, marketing, marketing tech and brand promotion. He also loves to read and write about subjects as varied as the idea of a location-free business, portable business management, and strategic marketing and advertising tactics. When he’s not busy writing or consulting, he spends his days enjoying life’s adventures either in Canada or Mexico. Connect with Stephan on LinkedIn. The author’s views above are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Why Go Green Today.