6 Easy Things You Can Do In A Weekend
Eco-friendly practices for homeowners are not as much of a challenge as people think. In fact, there are some easy ideas that can be completed in a weekend. Most do not require the entire time, which means it is possible to do more than one. Here are six simple ways to kick start this 21st century revolution in your home.
Change Light Bulbs
Replace all the lights in your home with halogen incandescent, LED, or CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) bulbs. Then, move outdoors with the exterior of the home. Landscape lighting is also on the list. Lights and even sprinklers can be powered with a solar system. Some even have built-in timers adding more efficiency by only using the energy when needed. This is a low effort green habit that can be done on a weekend.
Upgrade Lighting Fixtures
Take the light bulb step a little further and upgrade the light fixtures throughout the house. Granted you cannot change all of them in 48 hours, so break it up in phases. To keep within the boundaries of a week-end project, start with one room in the house and stick to it. Before you know it, this Eco-friendly step will be complete. The EPA has developed a great program called Energy Star. Items labeled with this logo signify they are environmentally friendly. Use only the fixtures with this label.
Check Window Treatments and Insulation
Window treatments can save energy, and they add aesthetic appeal to your home. They save energy by lowering temperatures and blocking harmful UV rays. Look for ones made with recycled products such as Polywood, or have low VOC paints and gas emissions. Quality shades, blinds and shutters can help control the temperature of your home, making window treatments and green and aesthetic update. Remember, efficient and Eco-friendly go together.
Clean Appliances and Vents
Something as simple as cleaning behind the refrigerator saves resources. Move to air conditioners and vents after the appliances are complete. The tools for this weekend project are a vacuum cleaner, duster, damp cloth, and a green solution. Try products that state they are green. There are some easy homemade recipes that include vinegar and/or baking soda that also work well. Do not forget to change filters where you find them.
Upgrade to Low-Flow Faucets
Saving water is even more environmentally responsible than energy. We have renewable alternatives such as the sun and wind for energy, but water is a finite resource. Just like the light bulbs and fixtures, use Energy Star products for this week-end job. Start with the faucets in the kitchens and bathrooms, then work your way to the shower heads. Toilets and their components should be last, and saved for another Saturday and Sunday. Changing a toilet requires the most effort with this checklist item, but it still takes less than two days.
Start a Recycle Program
This was one of the first mainstream habits embraced by society. Today, it is pretty commonplace. However, most homes do not have a solid recycling program in place. Because it has been around for decades, finding containers and recycling centers takes most of the work. Reach out to your current trash removal provider to see what recycling services are already in place. The best advice is to place the containers in high traffic areas of the home. If done tastefully, bins can be stationed beyond the kitchen. Make sure the main location is located outside, which accommodate larger bins and easy disposal.
There is no specific order to complete the items discussed. The object lesion is to lower your carbon footprint. Engaging in this activity will save more than the environment; it will save money on energy bills. Environmentally conscious homeowners are economical ones as well.
Informational credit to Sunburst Shutters.