3 eco-friendly tips for home owners and renters
Happy Earth Day! This is a good occasion to consider how your home activities impact the environment.
Energy star: Want to keep up with the Joneses on the energy efficiency front? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Home Energy Yardstick provides a simple evaluation of a home’s energy usage compared to similar homes. Just answer a few basic questions about your home, and you’ll see an estimate of your home’s annual carbon emissions, plus more. (Check out details at the federal government’s Energy Star site.)
Water wise: Take a look at your water bill — not just the amount you have to pay, but how much water you used. Does your water use increase during certain periods of the year? Once you understand your usage, you can look for ways to save, including considering more efficient WaterSense-labeled products. (Get more info at the EPA’s WaterSense site.)
Paint smart: Consider looking for a paint that is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which have been known to contribute to smog and can also have damaging health consequences. You’ll want to seek out low-VOC base paint that also has low-VOC or VOC-free colorant. Tints that stores add to make different colors may be high in VOCs, even if the base paint isn’t. (Learn more from the Federal Trade Commission.)