What Temperature Should You Keep Your Home In The Summer?

June 30, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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There are no hard and fast rules for how hot or cool a home should actually be. Energy and comfort experts agree that the ideal cost-saving temperature for most thermostats is about 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. Your willingness to dress for the weather and personal comfort threshold do play a part in where your thermostat ultimately lands, but these are great places to start when you’re hunting for a setting that saves you money and keeps your indoor temperature just right. Depending on who you ask, moving your thermostat as little as one degree higher for air conditioning or one degree lower for heating can save about two percent on your energy costs in an eight-hour period. It might not sound like much, but if you raise your home from a frosty 72 degrees to a still-cool 76 degrees every night for one summer, you’ll save eight percent off your summer energy bills. [Read this article]

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How To Clean A Carpet Naturally

June 30, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Many experts say that carpeting is the worst type of flooring you can have in your house because it can harbor all sorts of germs and bacteria that hardwood floors or ceramic tiles don’t. But on a cold winter’s morning, there is nothing like stepping onto a warm, fuzzy carpet instead of a chilly, hard floor. It’s important to clean your carpet regularly, but how do you clean your carpet without using harsh chemicals? It’s important to vacuum all areas of your carpet at least once a week with a good-quality HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) vacuum cleaner. A “HEPA” filter removes 99.97 percent of particulates 0.3 micrometers or larger in size. Then, once a year, have your carpets steam cleaned. Make sure the pros you call in use just hot water (no chemicals). If you want to do it yourself, you can rent a steam cleaner from a home improvement warehouse store. [Read this article]

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Home Buyers Consider Sustainable Features To Be “Very Important”

April 11, 2014

in Green Living

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When home buyers are shopping around for a new home, are they looking for sustainable features? Yes, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors that identifies the who, what, when, where, and why of home buyer and seller behavior, and breaks downs the trends by each respondents respective generation. The report highlights the environmentally friendly features that home buyers consider “very important” when looking to purchase a home. This chart shows which characteristics top buyers’ list of criteria for a new home. [Read this article]

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How To Grow Your Dream Garden In A Window

February 24, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Forget a few pots of herbs on a windowsill. The modern window garden is a work of art and genius, a masterpiece that allows you to grow an amazing amount of food even if you don’t have a lot of room. You don’t need a deep bay window, or a porch, or a spacious fire escape to grow tons of food and culinary herbs right in your window, as long as you’ve got a South-facing window and a love of plants. People have been producing things to eat in their windows for centuries, and with good reason. Window gardens are perfect for people with limited room or fragile plants that won’t do well outdoors. You can set up individual pots or long planters in windows for flowers, herbs, and veggies, maintaining them with your own kitchen compost to keep up the cycle of life in your very own house. But an increasing number of gardeners are starting to go vertical with their window gardens, which takes things to a whole new level (literally). [Read this article]

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8 Simple Ways To Reduce Household Waste

February 24, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Is your recycling taking over your kitchen? Why not just reduce your waste. Here are eight ways to reduce your household waste that may benefit your lifestyle in other ways too. First: stop buying bottled water. It’s so easy to just pick up a case of water to lug around to sports games, family gatherings, or to ease up the pile of dishes in the sink. However, all of those plastic bottles can fill your recycling bin rather quickly. Instead of buying case after case of water, invest in some reusable travel bottles for you and your family. They can be personalized and dishwasher safe. And we all fall victim to the high price utility bills after a month of freezing winter nights or burning hot summer days. If you just can’t stand the heat or maybe need to cool off, there are a few ways to cut down your energy use and utility bills. [Read this article]

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Moving Can Be Greener Than You Think

February 24, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Moving across the country isn’t the greenest thing, but it doesn’t have to be a total gas guzzler. You can incorporate some green practices into your move, ensuring it’s as Earth-friendly as possible. Follow these steps to green your move, and assert yourself as an Earth-first traveler. Plus, you’ll pick some tips up along the way, learning about some inexpensive ways to store your personal things, as well as how to save by recycling packing materials. A green move isn’t truly green until you’ve greened your travels. If you’re planning on driving a moving van across country, it’s likely you’re worried about all the toxic emissions. Trucks emit a huge amount of carbon dioxide, but there are things you can do to offset those emissions. For instance, you could rent a fuel-efficient moving van, thus opting for something that reduces CO2 emissions. Many moving companies use biodiesel, and biodiesel is better than traditional fuel. Go ahead and choose green movers to ship your belongings, thus emitting less CO2. [Read this article]

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Green Home Building Valued At $36 Billion, Expected To Double By 2016

February 9, 2014

in Green Living

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Green homes comprised 23 percent of the residential construction market in 2013 and had a market share valued at $36 billion, according to a new “Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study” from McGraw Hill Construction that was released at the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) International Builders’ Show this week. What’s more, this market is hot: Green home building is expected to grow to between 26 percent and 33 percent of the market by 2016, jumping the valuation estimate to $83 – $105 billion. According to McGraw Hill, the green home building market actually accelerated during the housing downturn, with builders with green experience remaining in business at higher proportions than builders who were not as familiar with energy efficient and green home building. [Read this article]

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10 Ways To Save Money On Laundry: Why Going Green Is A Good Idea

January 25, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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The EPA estimates that if Americans went green in the laundry room, they’d save 3 trillion gallons of water annually, along with over $18 billion per year. The laundry room is a place where we seem to spend a lot of time – the agency’s statistics show that the average household runs more than 400 loads annually, which is over one a day. A few simple practices in the laundry department can help you save energy, resources, and cash. For example, many people forget to check and account for the load size when they’re throwing a load in the wash. Even a high efficiency washer (recommended for additional energy savings) can’t work as well when you have the wrong load size set, so make sure to dial back the size if you’re doing a small load, or increase it if you have a lot of laundry. Also, you can wash pretty much everything on cold or warm without having to worry about it. Combine loads to do one big load instead of two smaller ones, which will save you some serious water. [Read this article]

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Ten Cities Where Energy Efficiency Should Sell

January 25, 2014

in Green Living,Markets

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According to data collected for last October, the average home bill for utilities (defined as electricity and gas) and essential home services (defined as phone, television, and high-speed Internet) was $246.26. However, Bankrate has the breakdown of 10 markets where the average bill is decidedly higher. Could this data be used as a potential market indicator for high-performance homes? Could it be that consumers in these cities are more interested than others in discussing high-performance technologies that can reduce their monthly bill? If so, where are the potential hotspots? According to WhiteFence Index’s data, the biggest electricity bills hit mailboxes or inboxes in Houston, Dallas, Orlando, San Francisco, and Phoenix. [Read this article]

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5 Benefits Of Lower Temperatures At Home, Backed By Science

January 20, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Lowering the temperature of your thermostat can do more than reduce your energy bill. Dropping temps just two to five degrees can also help you lose weight and provide a better night’s sleep. If you’re not ready take the temperature plunge 24/7, consider only dropping household temps at night or while you’re at work. Tests show that lowering your home’s temperature for at least four hours a day will make a difference. Here are five ways that lowering your thermostat can improve your life. For example, your refrigerator and freezer work really hard to keep your food safe and fresh, so cut them some slack. When your home is cooler, these large appliances don’t have to work as hard to keep your food cool. This can translate into fewer maintenance problems and a longer appliance lifespan. And if your energy bill is sucking up more cash then you’d like, look to your thermostat. Each one-degree drop can reduce your energy bill by 1-3 percent. [Read this article]

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