Monday, December 14, 2009

Top Ways to Turn Your Home Green

Go green to save doubt home owners have heard this phrase more than once. In this age of growing concern about the environment, we're seeing more people take the time to make little adjustments to the way they live. Each step works toward preserving our natural resources and reducing our population's collective carbon footprint.

If you are interested in applying "green" features to your home, know that the benefits extend beyond improving the health of the planet. Eco-friendly initiatives may also result in lower utility bills, and lessen the costs of daily living. What's more, making the change is simple to do. Here are just a few ways you can gradually adjust to green living and make your home a cleaner and more environmentally sound place to live.

Cut down on dryer use: Whatever did we do without electric dryers? Ask your grandmother, and she'll tell you her mother hung clothes out to dry. The next time you run a load of wash, set up a clothesline for your shirts, slacks, and dresses. The fresh air will dry clothes just as nicely without expending the energy a dryer does.

Unplug unused electronics when necessary: We are a gadget-driven community. The average person likely owns a laptop computer, base for recharging a cell phone, and other must-haves to get us through the day. When not used, some of these products can use up electricity while still plugged into the wall (check for tiny illuminated lights on your computer and other objects). Unplug them when not in use, and take several dollars a year off your bills.

Buy local: You might not realize it, but when you buy groceries you may contribute to the continued pollution of the planet. That's because grocers have food shipped from all over the country, and that means gas, oil, and energy is expended to maximum levels. Next time you're hungry, buy from local farmer's markets instead. The more people shop where the food is actually grown, the greater the chance to reduce the travel.

Install renewable energy: Burning coal increases the volume of greenhouse gas emissions, whereas "cleaner" alternatives like wind and solar power harness natural energy and lower the impact of wasteful methods. If you are able to apply renewable energy to your home, consult with an expert to see what is involved.

Simple changes, when made to improve your home, can also help the environment. Try these tips today to make your home a greener, and less expensive, place to live.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia green homes and Virginia vinyl siding.

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