Eco Friendly World - Going Green for Your Home

Over the last few years, the phrase “going green” relentlessly comes up just about everywhere. Despite the green movement, many households have yet to switch over to environmentally friendly habits. To start making a difference, it is best to understand why we are being encouraged to change our lifestyles and habits. Earlier styles of living were heavily dependent on fossil fuels and non-renewable natural resources. These types of resources are irreplaceable after they are used. Unlike water, for example, which continues to change forms and return to the earth, precious metals and fossil fuels are simply used up in one shot. Many artificial alternatives that have been created were found to create environmental problems, such as pollution.

Replacing ‘Old-Style’ Light Bulbs

Incandescent bulbs actually use up a large amount of energy compared to the newer, spiral-shaped compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). While incandescent bulbs use a heated filament inside to create light, CFLs use a chemical reaction between argon, mercury and phosphor to generate light. CFLs generally last several years longer than incandescent bulbs, and they use less energy to emit an equal amount of light. By using CFLs, homeowners can reduce energy usage as well as related costs in the long run.

Unplugging Rarely-Used Appliances

For most people, it’s quite normal to leave virtually all appliances plugged in while they are not in use. In fact, we rarely give it a second thought! However, most of these appliances, especially larger ones, still draw electricity even though they are not turned on. This is known as phantom power. One easy way to prevent this from occurring is to plug appliances into a power strip. This makes it much simpler to turn off one main unit instead of having to unplug each appliance. Alternatively, invest in a smart power strip that automatically stops supplying electricity to appliances that have not been turned on for some amount of time.

Updating Old Appliances

Although many households still cling on to old appliances simply because they are still in working order, they may not be aware that these outdated appliances are energy hogs! Newer models are made to specifically use less energy and reduce emissions. Another perk of getting rid of old appliances is that many companies actually pay homeowners to allow them to remove the appliances from the home. For those who prefer to continue using old appliances, there is another solution in the form of power controllers. These devices help to regulate the amount of power that the machines use, and over time, they can make a noticeable difference in energy bills.

Solar Panels

For several years now, people have been experimenting and succeeding at using the sun’s energy to power machines and even entire houses! When installing solar power panels, the best spot to place them is on the south side of the roof. It can help to cut down on a significant chunk of existing energy usage. Those who are not ready to take the plunge can try starting out on a smaller scale. For example, small solar-powered lamps are available for use in gardens and driveways. Instead of using electricity for lighting outside the home, why not try this solar-powered option? After all, it’s entirely free after the initial purchase!

Doing Laundry: Cold Water vs. Hot Water

Although laundry machines have traditionally used hot water, newer models work equally well with cold water. Additionally, newer types of laundry detergents are specially formulated to clean efficiently with cold water. The major benefit of using cold water for laundry cycles is that it cuts down significantly on heating costs, especially in larger households.

Green Lessons and Activities