Sunday, February 20, 2011

Green Things we are Doing

• Energy efficient appliances. (Home appliances account for about 18% of a typical home energy bill).

• Low flow faucets. Putting an aerator on household faucets and cut your annual water consumption by 50%

• Low or zero VOC paint.

• Low flow or dual flush toilets: The first flush usually uses 0.8 gallons of water and the other for a larger flush (often 1.6 gallons). These can save you as much as 68% of the water used by a traditional toilet

• All lights with CFL’s (these use about 2/3 of the energy as incandescent light bulbs and bonus: these CFL’s last about 10 times longer than incandescent)

• Geothermal heating and cooling with a forced air system. This is also used to supplement our water heater. (Bonus: tax incentives of up to 30% of the cost of the geothermal)

• Low E windows. These windows have a thin coating to reduce UV rays and save on heating and cooling costs

• We are leaving much of the landscape as is. We will let the wildflowers and grasses remain untouched. Up nearest to the house will be mowed to keep animals from nesting close to the house. (Bonus: many deer cross through our land and keeping the tall grasses gives them a reason to keep visiting)

• Building within 20 miles of our jobs and shopping.

• Have major electronics on a switch so that we can shut of even the standby power when we are not home or asleep. A power strip is one easy way to push one switch as a whole area can be turned off

• Low VOC carpets made with recycled materials

• Air ducts are all sealed tightly to keep all the warmth in and the cold out

• Using electronics that are energy star certified. Newer LCD and plasma TV’s use approximately 1/3 of the energy of older “tube” televisions.

• Composite wood decking

• High efficiency furnace

• Use of Suntubes in rooms that lack windows such as closets. These tubes come down through the roof and allow natural sunlight to filter in.

• Rain water harvesting. These large containers go underneath the downspout and collect water that runs off the roof. This container can be connected to a hose and used to water plants

There are so many ways to start small eco-friendly projects in your own home or your new home! Check out  for many green ideas.

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