The less energy and resources a home uses, the greener it is. One of the biggest ways to go green is to install clean, renewable energy like solar panels or wind turbines. If that’s not in the cards, there are plenty of smaller ways to be eco-friendly. Try some of the following ideas:
* Buy appliances with Energy Star ratings, which means they consume less energy than their counterparts.
* Add an on-demand hot water heater.
* Install high-performance or triple-paned glass windows.
* Swap incandescent light bulbs for LED lights that use a fraction of the electricity.
* Unplug the biggest energy drains—TVs, computers, printers, video game consoles, microwave ovens, and cell phone chargers—when they’re not in use. By simply switching off everything on a power strip, you can save up to two months of the average home’s energy use, according to Oppermann.
* Turning up your HVAC two degrees in the summer and down two degrees in the winter can save the equivalent of 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
* Use cold water for your laundry, to save 80% on your energy consumption while washing your clothes.
* Sealing up air leaks in windows and doors to prevent energy loss will lower heating and cooling bills.