Living Green
 

Green At Home:

content provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  1. Change 5 lights
    Change a light, and you help change the world. Replace the conventional bulbs in your 5 most frequently used light fixtures with bulbs that have the ENERGY STAR label and you will help the environment while saving money on energy bills. If every household in the U.S. took this one simple action we would prevent more than 1 trillion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

  2. Look for ENERGY STAR labeled products
    When buying new products, such as appliances for your home, get the features and performance you want AND help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Look for ENERGY STAR-qualified products in more than 50 product categories, including lighting, home electronics, heating and cooling equipment and appliances.


  3. Heat and cool smartly
    Simple steps like cleaning air filters regularly and having your heating and cooling equipment tuned annually by a licensed contractor can save energy and increase comfort at home, and at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When it's time to replace your old equipment, choose a high efficiency model, and make sure it is properly sized and installed.

  4. Seal up your home with better insulation and duct-work
    Close up any visible cracks and gaps in your house, install adequate insulation, check that ducts are sealed and choose ENERGY STAR qualified windows when replacing old windows. Not sure where the cracks and gaps are? A home energy auditor can also help to identify areas with poor insulation and evaluate the energy efficiency of your home. By taking these steps, you can eliminate drafts, keep your home more comfortable year round, save energy that would otherwise be wasted, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  5. Use green power
    Green power is environmentally friendly electricity that is generated from renewable energy sources such as wind and the sun. There are two ways to use green power: you can buy green power or you can modify your house to generate your own green power. Buying green power is easy, it offers a number of environmental and economic benefits over conventional electricity, including lower greenhouse gas emissions, and it helps increase clean energy supply. If you are interested, there are a number of steps you can take to create a greener home, including installing solar panels and researching incentives for renewable energy in your state.

  6. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
    If there is a recycling program in your community, recycle your newspapers, beverage containers, paper and other goods. Use products in containers that can be recycled and items that can be repaired or reused. In addition, support recycling markets by buying products made from recycled materials. Reducing, reusing, and recycling in your home helps conserve energy and reduces pollution and greenhouse gases from resource extraction, manufacturing, and disposal.

  7. Be green in your yard
    Use a push mower, which, unlike a gas or electric mower, consumes no fossil fuels and emits no greenhouse gases. If you do use a power mower, make sure it is a mulching mower to reduce grass clippings. Composting your food and yard waste reduces the amount of garbage that you send to landfills and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. See EPA’s GreenScapes program for tips on how to improve your lawn or garden while also benefiting the environment. Smart Landscaping can save energy, save you money and reduce your household’s greenhouse gas emissions.

  8. Use water efficiently
    Everyone can save water through simple actions. Municipal water systems require a lot of energy to purify and distribute water to households, and saving water, especially hot water, can lower greenhouse gas emissions. Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth. Do not use your toilet as a waste basket for toiletry items - water is wasted with each flush. And did you know a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day? Repair all toilet and faucet leaks right away. See EPA's WaterSense site for more water saving tips.

  9. Spread the Word
    Tell family and friends that energy efficiency is good for their homes and good for the environment because it lowers greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Tell 5 people and together we can help our homes help us all.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. A drafty home, rooms that are too hot or too cold, and high energy bills are all common issues for homeowners. Installing a new heating or air conditioning system, buying replacement windows, or adding more insulation may fix part of the problem. But the way to better results is through an integrated "whole-house" approach that looks at your house as a system.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, a national program from the U.S. EPA and U.S. DOE, offers a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort at home, while helping to protect the environment.

Contractors participating in a locally-sponsored Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program can help you cost-effectively improve your home’s energy efficiency. These specially-trained contractors evaluate your home using state-of-the-art equipment and recommend comprehensive improvements that will yield the best results. They can also help you take advantage of Federal tax credits for energy efficiency improvements.



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RESOURCES:

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Learn about your watershed. Start by using the Watershed Information Network (WIN) to find your watershed address and learn about its environmental health. Other useful sites include Surf Your Watershed, Envirofacts and Enviromapper. Also be sure to check out EPA's Wetlands web page to learn about the importance of wetlands.


Home Lighting
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Check out the benefits of switching to compact fluorescent bulbs:
- Save up to $50 or more in energy costs over the life of one bulb
- Last up to 10 times longer
- Use up to 75 percent less energy
- Offer the same warm, bright light as standard bulbs
- Help to preserve our natural resources
LEARN MORE


Find out about our precious coastal and marine resources by reading the Coastal Watershed Fact Sheets. Learn about our pressure on ocean resources and find out 25 things you can do to help save coral reefs.