How to Reduce Your Home’s Environmental Impact

As consumers we contribute to the condition of our environment, and many times this is directly from our home’s energy consumption and water usage. Using our planet’s natural resources comes at the price of potentially depleting them for future generations. We can help ensure a bright future for our kids and future generations through being responsible with our energy consumption and water usage. In this article we will explore ways for reducing your home’s energy consumption and water usage.

Using Less Water

On average, each person uses about 80 to 100 gallons of water per day in the United States. This amount might seem like a lot, but in reality most of the water used goes straight down the drain. It is a misconception that we can significantly reduce our water usage simply by taking shorter showers. Most of a household’s water consumption is from water being flushed down toilets. If your home does not have a water efficient toilet, then you should either have it replaced or put a brick in the water tank. If you do not have access to bricks, then add a half gallon plastic bottle filled with sand to displace the water.

People also have the misconception that dishwashers are wasteful, but studies have shown that dishwashers use much less water than handwashing the same amount of dishes. This is because the dishwasher reuses the same water during its wash cycles, whereas handwashing causes all of the water to go down the drain. Lastly, our lawns and yards take a lot of water to keep green. One way to avoid having to water your yard so frequently is to plant more drought resistant plants, like aloe vera plants and cacti.

Using Less Energy

Making our home more energy efficient does not necessarily have to be a hard task. There are two ways of making your home more energy efficient, which are by reducing energy consumption and reducing energy loss. To reduce energy consumption you should begin by examining how much energy your appliances use. For an example, you could ask yourself “How much propane do my appliances use?” There are many sources that you could use to estimate the energy use of your appliances. Once you have this information you could make adjustments that will save energy and money. For an example, if you have a gas or electric water heater that has a high energy usage, then you can try to reduce the water temperature. We almost never use pure hot water for our showers, instead we mix cold water with hot water to get the temperature we want. Unfortunately, this wastes both water and energy. A thermostat set lower will avoid the need to add cold water to lower your shower’s water temperature.

Lastly, reducing your home’s energy loss is accomplished primarily through proper insulation. Insulation is not only limited to your walls and roof. There is a lot of energy lost through poorly insulated windows. Using double paned windows is a great way to reduce energy loss through your windows, both in summer and winter months.

Making your home energy efficient is not only good for the environment, but it will also save you money year after year.