Although we won’t soon run out of viable energy sources, that doesn’t mean that plenty of households aren’t seeking ways to cut back on the type of energy that leaves rampant pollution and waste in its wake (especially since alternatives can help to cut monthly expenses). As for clean drinking water, most people are aware of the fact that the planet’s resources are limited on this score. And if you are a concerned citizen, you might be looking for a few good ways to start conserving water and energy in your home. Luckily, there are tons of ways to conserve both, and you can do a lot more than shutting off lights when you leave a room or taking showers instead of baths. Here are just a few easy ways that you can make a big difference when it comes to consumption, cutting your carbon footprint and your utility bills simultaneously.
1. Low-flow toilets. One of the best and easiest ways to conserve water in your home is by decreasing every flush by half. The average low-flow toilet is comparable in price to standard toilets. And believe it or not, they’re not that difficult to install on your own thanks to online tutorials (although you could save yourself some trouble by shelling out the dough for a plumber). In addition, your water provider may offer some kind of rebate if you send in a copy of your receipt, so you should definitely call to find out. And of course, you can find products that come with two different options for flushing so that you can go low-flow for liquids and still get the flushing power you need for solid waste.
2. Faucet solutions. A lot of water is unnecessarily wasted when you leave the tap running, and we’re all guilty of doing it while we brush our teeth or prep the veggies for dinner. But there are a couple of handy solutions that can help you to conserve here. You might start with aerated faucets for your kitchen and bathrooms. These products force air out of the tap along with water in order to reduce consumption without making your spray totally weak. And you can also consider motion sensor faucets that stop the flow of water when you walk away.
3. Lawn treatments. Your lawn can suck up a lot of drinkable water that should be saved for human consumption. But there are several solutions. You could start by adding native, drought-resistant plants to your yard that need less water to survive. And you can aerate your lawn (punch holes in it periodically with a length of rebar) so that it retains more moisture. But if you really want to cut back on water consumption, consider using a cistern to collect rain water and dew for your landscaping. Or go all out and install a gray water system that turns your waste water into sustainable hydration for your lawn.
4. Energy audit. When it comes to reducing your energy consumption, the best place to start is by learning just where waste occurs. Call your local power provider (or an independent operation) to perform an energy audit. From there you can fill leaks and gaps in your insulation in order to ensure that your bought air isn’t getting out.
5. Energy-star. The Energy-star website (www.energystar.gov) is designed to help the average homeowner learn about products and practices that can reduce power draw. With items ranging from energy-efficient appliances, electronics, light bulbs, and HVAC systems to windows and doors that curb leakage, you’ll find plenty of solutions meant to help you conserve. You’ll still have to look elsewhere for tax credits for high efficiency systems, but this site can give you all the information you need to at least begin decreasing the amount of energy you need to run your household.