Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Greener Choice

Recently, one of my relatives bought a house up in the northeast. My aunt and uncle told me that their house was typical of the northeast-it was a 'green house', much more environmentally friendly than any of the houses down south. This perplexed me because I had lived up north for about 11 years before I'd moved down south, and I'd never noticed any major difference in the two.They asked my family and me to come visit them over summer, so we made a trip up north, and ended up going to their house for the first time yesterday. It was, as all new houses are, absolutely beautiful-but it also had a lot of new features that I'd never seen in a house before. Not only were there the usual granite counter tops and hardwood floors, but it also had many energy saving and water conserving upgrades.

For example, their house has new low-flow shower heads that waste less water, and they even have organic paint on the walls. They get their electricity from a green tariff, have energy saving light bulbs, and have extra insulation around their windows to stop expensive, gas powered heating from escaping. They've gone so green in their new home, that they even have a water conserving toilet-but I won't go into the specifics of that! All of the green upgrades to their new home came as surprise to me, because I didn't know that you could even go so green in a house. I researched a little bit more when I got back from visiting their house, because all their features got me thinking-what can we do, in our houses that aren't brand new, to go green? And the results I found astounded me. There are so many ways that you can save energy, conserve water, and just in general, go green. Some ideas are:

-faucet aerators: they restrict some water flow, but make the flow feel stronger

-replacing an old dishwasher: apparently, if you replace an old dishwasher from before 1994 with any brand new model, you can save up to ten gallons of water per cycle

-installing ceiling fans: they help to better circulate the air around the house-taking the cool air from the ac and distributing it around the room

-replacing older toilets: older toilets can use up to 3.5 gallons per flush, whereas the newer models have use up to as little as one gallon per flush

-switching from incandescent to compact fluorescent light bulbs: they last up to 10 times longer, and use much less electricity.

These are just somethings you can do to your home to make it 'greener', but the rest is up to you. Next time you're out shopping for your house, before buying anything, think twice- can I make a greener choice?

No comments: