Thanks to advancements in technology, the average American home uses 30 percent less energy today than it did in 1970 – and, according to one survey, 76 percent of consumers plan to do something to make their home more energy efficient in the next three years.
Those are encouraging statistics. For consumers motivated by utility cost savings and preservation of our fragile environment, here are eight ways to go greener in 2020:
Replace Light Bulbs
Halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) use anywhere from 25-80 percent less electricity and last three to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.
Save on Heating
Save 10 percent or more on heating and cooling costs by lowering your thermostat by three to five degrees and having your air ducts tested for leaks. See additional savings by reducing the temperature on your water heater and laundering clothes in cold water.
Wherever possible, replace disposable products (food storage products, ink cartridges, coffee filters, furnace filters and more) with reusable ones.
Be a Star
When replacing appliances, choose those with the Energy Star label. Energy Star clothes washers, for example, use approximately 40 percent less water and 25 percent less energy than other models.
Fill It Up
Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes.
Turn It Off
Unplug TVs and computers when not in use, turn off the lights when you leave a room and air-dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
Insulate the Attic
Up to a quarter of your home’s heat is lost through the roof as warm air rises and older properties that already have insulation in place may not have the recommended levels.
Shorten Your Shower
Or at least get a water-efficient shower head, which will cut down on the amount of hot water you use, but will still feel like a strong shower.
Unlike gas and coal, solar energy is renewable, clean and sustainable. The cost of going solar goes down each year and some states offer solar incentives. Shop and Eat Mindfully – Shop farmer’s markets for locally grown produce. Plan meatless meals or plant-based alternatives at least once a week. Steer away from genetically engineered foods and toward non-GMO food products, which are safer, tastier and more nutritious.