It seems that there’s a growing wave of concern over the earth’s environment and man’s impact upon it. It’s a topic that generates lots of energetic discussions because not everyone agrees about the extent to which mankind’s actions impact the environment.
No one can argue, though, that we don’t have some degree of impact on the health of the planet. And similarly, no one can argue that minimizing that impact is a good thing.
But what can one person do?
If you’re a homeowner, it turns out that there’s quite a lot that you can do. The following action steps will get you started. And as a nice bonus, most of these steps will save you money, too.
#1: Plant Trees
Planting trees in your landscape helps in several ways. Trees, of course, consume carbon dioxide and generate oxygen – both good for the environment. But the trees you plant will also provide you with some more direct and immediate benefits. The trees will help to shade your home, and when strategically located, minimize the impact of winter winds. You’ll save money on heating and cooling bills as a result.
#2: Go Native
Redesign your lawn and landscape so that you’re using mostly native plants – plants that are naturally adapted to your local microclimate. Native plants, on balance, require far less inputs in the form of pesticides, fertilizers, and water. All of which helps to keep both the environment and your bank account healthier.
#3: Go Low-Flow
You can help to minimize your water usage by installing low-flow showerheads and toilets in your home. And in your landscape, you can dramatically lower water usage by converting your sprinkler system to a smart system, such as Hydrawise.
#4: Go Solar
Advancements in solar-fueled power generation have made solar power more and more viable for residential applications. It’s not right for every home, and for every homeowner. But for many it’s certainly worth considering. If you want to look into the possibilities of solar for your home, the U.S. Department of Energy’s solar website would be a good place to begin.
#5: Go On Leak Patrol
Is your home leaky? Drafty? Most homes are. But letting outside air leak in, and inside air leak out, increase both your energy bill and your environmental impact. So reducing your home’s leakage will be doubly beneficial. Beefing up caulking and weatherstripping where needed can make a big difference.
#6: Reduce Appliance Electrical Consumption
Upgrade your home’s appliances to more energy efficient models. It’s unlikely that you’ll want to discard older appliances that are working just fine. But when an appliance fails and must be replaced, be careful to replace it with an energy efficient model. You can easily do that simply by choosing EnergyStar certified appliances.
#7: Be Forest Friendly
Did you know that many wood products are sourced from forests that are certified to be managed in an earth friendly manner? It’s true, and by choosing these products you’ll be doing the environment a favor. Just look for products with the Forest Stewardship Council certification.
It’s Not a Lot of Trouble…
Every homeowner can make significant contributions to minimizing mankind’s impact upon the environment. Most changes that will benefit the environment, like those above, are relatively easy to implement.
And the fact that most of those changes will save you money in the long run? Well, that just makes it all the easier to do the right thing.