When purchasing a new home, consider these things to make it a greener home:
1. Appliances- Purchase new if older than 10 years. Buy Energy Star and save 10-50% in energy costs.
2. Temperature - Half a home’s energy consumption is due to heating and cooling. Turn down the thermostat in cold weather and keep it higher in warm weather. A programmable thermostat will do this automatically. Ceiling fans and light clothing can make you feel cooler. Using shades in the East and West windows will keep your cool in warmer weather. Change furnace filters monthly. Buy an Energy Star furnace, which is 25 % more efficient.
3. Water - Put aerators on faucets and cut water consumption 50%. Install low-flow toilet or adjust float valve.
4. Cleaning Products - Use plain soap, water, baking soda, vinegar, washing soda, lemon and borax.
5. Light Bulbs - Use Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs. They use 66% less energy and last 10 times longer.
6. Paper - Use recycled paper for printers, toilet paper, napkins. Remove yourself from junk mail list.
7. Floors - Bamboo is very environmentally friendly because of its high yield and fast rate to replenish itself.
8. Plastics - Use reusable bags when shopping. Buy in bulk or items with little packaging.
9. Paint - Use zero or low VOC paint, which is made by most major paint manufacturers.
10. Garden - Use compost instead of synthetic fertilizers. Use native plants as much as possible. Try a variety of organic and physical pest control methods.