6 Efficient Ways to Keep Your New Home Eco-Friendly

By: Don Hannig

Although most of us would enjoy the distinction of saving the planet from the negative effects of unsustainable energy consumption, no one I know is actually a super (green) hero. There are many home builders who incorporate stunningly green design elements into their creations, but you don’t necessarily need to be architecturally gifted in order to put some eco-friendliness into your own home and into your daily life. And guess what – you can even reap the benefits NOW – and not just in future generations!

Green building may have begun with the design and the structural foundation of your new home, but has now grown to encompass much, much more. The benefits are numerous: it can increase your personal comfort, your family’s health and well-being, your energy costs, your available sunlight, and the cleanliness of the air you breathe. Right here, right now. So check out these 6 ways you may not have realized could help you with your superhero’s quest.

1. Programmable Thermostats.  Energy Star estimates that homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings. The pre-programmed settings that come with these thermostats are intended to deliver savings without sacrificing comfort. The premise is to establish a program that automatically reduces heating and cooling in your home when you don’t need as much. Do you know how to properly install your thermostat system?
2. Steam Cleaners.   Did you know that most commercial cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs)? These compounds are released in the form of gas which contains chemicals that can be harmful to your health, especially when used indoors in a confined area without sufficient ventilation. Steam cleaners provide a sanitary and environmentally friendly alternative to chemicals – all you need is clean tap water, which releases no harmful VOCs into your home environment – and you save money on the chemicals.
3. Rechargeable Batteries.  Do yourself a green favor and switch your entire home to rechargeable batteries. It’s so easy to grab a pack of energizers while you are at the hardware store, but it is truly soooo wasteful. Rechargeable batteries have come down so much in price that it no longer makes sense to ignore the issue, and you can afford to have a revolving supply available whenever they are needed.
4. Electricity Monitors.  Do your own detective work and find out just where you are draining power – and your pocketbook. This can help save you tons of money by showing you exactly where energy is being wasted the most in your home, and which appliances are most in need of replacement with energy efficient models. These monitors are inexpensive and include watts, the cost of operation, and the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
5. Green Gardening.  Bet you didn’t think of the going green on outside of your home, huh? Green gardening includes choosing native and drought-resistant plant species that require less water and fertilizer. You could also conserve 40 gallons a day in dry periods by upgrading your sprinkler system to a “smart” controller that’s climate sensitive and will adjust for hotter temperatures and switch itself off when it rains. Remember to water before 8 a.m. to save on all the water that is lost to evaporation when it’s hot and sunny!
6. Bamboo Yourself.  A heightened consumer environmental awareness has given sales of bamboo clothing, flooring, building materials, and other items a huge boost. Bamboo grows rapidly – sometimes 3 to 4 feet per day without fertilizer or pesticide – and it releases some 35 percent more oxygen into the air than a similar-sized stand of trees. Bamboo matures (and can be replanted) within seven years compared to 30-50 years for hardwood. Bamboo is also making waves in the clothing industry as an eco-chic and functional new fabric, and you can find bamboo bedding, towels and rugs.

Above and beyond selecting a eco-responsible residential developer to build your new home, there are quite a few things a conscientious family can do to promote green living and energy efficiency– and save themselves some cash in the process.

Consumer demand for environmentally responsible products and materials has brought a plethora of options for the homeowner to choose from, and they will not even break the bank. There is just no reason not to live green, and it sets a wonderful example for our children as well. So put on your superhero cape (the green one) and adopt a new way of thinking in your life and your home – today!

To find out more about the benefits of energy efficiency and green building please call Keswick Point, the region’s newest PRD, at 570-646-4646, email us at info@keswickpointe.com or visit our website at keswickpointe.com.


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