Are you doing everything you can to reduce your carbon footprint?
It’s no secret that Colorado residents are crazy about nature. Our beautiful state offers some of the best outdoor recreational activities, scenic nature and air quality in the United States. But, are our residents truly doing everything they can to reduce their carbon footprints and protect our environment?
Though a 2007 Forbes article ranked Colorado the 13th “greenest” state in the country, its findings suggested that we have plenty of room for improvement. Due to the nature of our wide open surroundings, many Colorado residents have to commute long distances to work, school and activities, which means our cars may contribute to higher levels of pollution than states like New York (#9) or Maryland (#5), which offer more public transportation.
This means we need to make up for our excessive gas emissions elsewhere, and where better to start than right in the comfort of your own home?
7 Easy Steps for Going Green at Home
Many homeowners may be overwhelmed by the thought of implementing a “green lifestyle” in their home, but it’s not always as hard as it sounds. To help you get started we’ve compiled a starter list of just seven ways to make your home a little more environmentally-friendly.
1. Replace your lightbulbs with energy-efficient ones.
This is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to introduce green living to your home. According to ENERGY STAR, lightbulbs that earn the ENERGY STAR certification last 10 to 25 times longer and can save $30 to $80 in electricity costs over their lifetime. Installing lightbulbs that last longer means you will use fewer lightbulbs, contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Install energy-efficient windows.
We know this may seem like a big and daunting task at first, but the payoff is well worth the initial investment. Energy-efficient windows that have earned ENERGY STAR certification can increase the R-value of your window by 104% in the colder months and reduce solar heat gain by 48% in warmer months. This essentially means that cold air can’t creep in during the cold months and air conditioned air can’t escape in the warm months. When your heating and cooling units don’t have to work in overtime to keep your temperatures constant, you can save a significant amount of money.
3. Utilize natural light when you can.
Your windows can work for you in other ways as well. For example, cutting off lights and using natural sunlight from your windows when it’s bright outside is a great way to cut on energy use. This is especially true if your home is equipped with the aforementioned energy-efficient windows, which allow plenty of natural sunlight in without sacrificing the comfort of your home.
4. Trade chemical-based cleaning supplies for all natural products.
This very simple lifestyle change is not only better for the environment, but also for your health. All natural cleaning supplies are especially safer in a home with children who may get their hands on them. Most all natural cleaning supplies are non-toxic, not to mention, they emit fewer chemicals into the air, which is better for the environment. You may not even realize the amount of cleaning supplies you go through every month, but it’s likely quite a few. Whether you’re crafty and want to try making your own home cleaner or purchase store-bought all natural supplies, the environmental benefits that come with making the switch certainly add up over time!
5. Install windows & doors that never need to be repainted.
Some may find it surprising, but choosing an alternative to wood is often an eco-friendly choice. On one hand, you may help save some trees from being cut down and on the other hand, windows and doors made of a different material often don’t need repainting. For example, Window World of Colorado utilizes a high-performance laminate technology for coloring that is designed to never warp, chip, peel or crack. This means that our windows & doors never have to be painted, which cuts back on chemicals from paints being released into the environment.
6. Use indoor plants to remove pollutants in your home’s air.
Placing indoor plants throughout your interior can help naturally clean the air in your home and improve overall air quality in your space. According to treehugger.com, research by NASA has led the agency to believe that plant leaves can help remove low levels of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde that may be lingering in the air. A few houseplants that are known for removing indoor air pollutants include bamboo palm, gerbera daisy and peace lily, among others. And, if you’re looking for a great place to display your indoor plants, our garden windows make for a beautiful and unique place for your indoor plants to get light!
7. Eat local.
Many people understand the benefits that eating local has to offer for your health, but few understand the environmental benefits of eating local. According to environment.about.com, “Rich Pirog of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture reports that the average fresh food item on our dinner table travels 1,500 miles to get there.” Eliminating the need for food to travel to get to your local grocery store cuts down on fuel and, subsequently, harmful pollutants. Not to mention, local food often tastes fresher than foods packed with preservatives, pesticides and GMOs!
Are you ready to GO GREEN?
If you’re ready to start taking steps toward a greener home, contact the experienced professionals at Window World of Colorado to see how we can help you achieve your goals or to request a free in-home estimate!