April 22, 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. And while the green movement has gained momentum and is growing by leaps and bounds, we can all do more to be a little bit greener. So in honor of Earth day, here are some green living tips and green projects that you can complete around your house – this spring and year round.
Step 1) Grade your home. The most effective way to grade your home’s energy efficiency is to have a home energy audit. However, you can do it yourself by focusing on these major areas of energy inefficiency:
- Heat Loss: If your home is more than five years old, it makes sense to check it for heat loss. The most common areas for heat loss are doors and windows.
- Poor Insulation: Another source of heat loss is poor or nonexistent insulation in basements and attics.
- Energy Costs: Before you can improve on your energy savings, you need to know what you are spending and where.
Step 2) Start small. There are many green living tips to improve your home’s energy efficiency without spending a lot of money – some are even free! For example:
- Switch out lightbulbs in favor of CFL’s.
- Install a programmable thermostat so that you aren’t paying heating and cooling costs when you aren’t home. With a programmable thermostat, you can “set it and forget it”, until you see the energy savings on your monthly bills.
- Use common sense. By far the simplest way to save on energy costs is to be a conscious consumer. Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Turn off and unplug electronics when they are not in use. These can seem like small things, but they add up to big energy savings for you and the environment.