green tips

How can homeowners live green in 2013?

Now more than ever, it is important to consider the environment and the impact you are having on the planet as you go about your daily life. Of course, with all the issues facing our world today, it can be quite overwhelming trying to find ways to help. Going green can get expensive and time-consuming very quickly.

Luckily, our home experts have taken the time to come up with some easy ways for you to go green without feeling too overwhelmed. Adopt a few of these quick tricks and you’ll be environmentally friendly in no time.

1. Use a clothes line

In the US, the clothes line has largely gone the way of typewriters and telegrams, but it’s still in regular use in many other areas of the world, and for good reason. Running a dryer uses a huge amount of energy, most of which is wasted heat. Our expert Pablo Solomon, who has long been at the forefront of the green movement, is a huge proponent of this simple, yet effective change:

And like a broken record I keep giving the tip that will save you the most energy for the least investment–-put up a clothesline and use it when weather and time permit.”

You’ll save both money and energy, and your clothes will wear out far less quickly, too!

2. Replace your water heater

Water heaters are a huge source of wasted energy, especially when they get old and stop running efficiently. This costs you money and takes a toll on the environment. Luckily, there have been many advancements in water heater technology in recent years, as our experts 2 Thumbs Up Plumbing & Remodeling point out:

The best way to be green is move over from a regular water heater to an electric tankless water heater. Water Heaters waste lots of unused energy.”

A tankless water heater might cost more in the short-term, but it is better on the environment and will end up saving you money long-term.

3. Collect rain water

If you live in a place where it rains frequently and you aren’t collecting that rainwater, you’re not taking full advantage of your resources. While rainwater is likely not safe to drink, you can use it for things like watering your lawn or plants, washing your car, or just save it up for times of drought. According to expert Doug Murrell,

collection of rainwater actually has been going on for over 40 years or more.”

All you have to do is set up some bins around your yard, or under your run-off gutter, and you’ll be all set next time the clouds roll in.

4. Change your light bulbs

One of the easiest and yet most commonly over-looked ways to save energy at home is as simple as changing a light bulb. Experts Grand View Builders explain:

Using energy saving light bulbs reduces your electricity use and also lowers your bill, which will save you money. … Compact fluorescent light bulbs can last 8-10 times longer than incandescent, use about 75% less energy, and produce 90% less heat while delivering more light per Watt. We still recommend you turn off your lights when you’re not home, though!”

Just screw in a few low-watt light bulbs and this small step will reduce your carbon footprint.

The most important thing to remember when going green is that it doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. You don’t have to live like a pioneer, camping in the woods and doing all of your cooking over an open fire. As expert Tanya Stock reminds us, the easiest way to go green is to just make the little changes in your every day life:

Avoid the word “trend” when thinking about sustainability would be my first suggestion. The second is to do what you can with what you can. Big word, big definition–but all big steps begin small.”