We all want to do our part to limit our carbon footprint and cut costs around the home. Today, it’s never been easier to make subtle changes that will bring your electricity bill down, reduce waste and help keep our planet green. Here are five easy changes you can make to transform your space into an environmentally-conscious home.
1. Invest in energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment. Hiring a professional to install the best equipment for your home is a smart and modern investment you can make today. Keep your costs down by checking around for available rebates on energy-efficient ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment. Check out Energy Star and Puget Sound Energy for information and rebates.
2. Eliminate waste from the kitchen. Bring your own reusable bag and shop for fresh, local produce at farmer’s markets or bring your own containers to weigh grains, nuts and even coffee at the grocery store. These easy shopping alternatives help to rid your home of wasteful plastic containers and bags. Already doing that? Consider planting and growing herbs in containers inside or vegetables in your yard.
3. Energy-star Qualified kitchen appliances are vastly available in today’s market. They are one of the easiest alternatives you can take to use 10-50% less energy than standard models. If you’re remodeling or upgrading your kitchen, think about placing your refrigerator in a shaded area. Refrigerators in the sunlight forces it to work harder to keep cool, and ultimately raises your electricity bill.
4. Installing energy-efficient windows and doors will help keep your thermostat at an energy-efficient number and keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter due to better insulation. A trusted contractor can professionally install top-quality windows and doors, making these upgrades a breeze.
5. Protect the local environment with landscaping using plants that are native to the area. Overtime, native plants adapted to the unique climate conditions of the Pacific Northwest, and need less fertilizer, watering and maintenance. Allowing native plants to flourish is an easy way to give your landscaping a green-thumb boost. Some examples of native plants to the Pacific Northwest include goatsbeard and broadleaf lupine. Click here for a full list of native plants to our region.