Did you know that the housing and building industry accounts for nearly 40% of the world’s energy and raw material consumption? Our ability to “green our homes” truly has the ability to change the world. The principles of green are really about understanding priorities for a well-lived life—living healthy, being smart with money, and acting more sustainably.
We typically spend more than 80% of our nonworking or commuting hours inside our homes. Because we spend so much of our lives inside, it only makes sense we make a healthy inside zone the first priority. Here are a few DIY tips from Green Your Home to get you started:
1. Cross-Ventilate. An average adult takes in more than 14,000 breaths—or about 3,000 gallons of air—a day! Surprisingly, you are more likely to breathe polluted air inside your home than outside—even in cities like Los Angeles, which aren’t known for air quality. Opening one window won’t cut it… you need cross-ventilation so the breeze actually blows though your home, taking the pollutions back out with it. Open a front door and a back door, or one window upstairs and one downstairs.
2. Lighten Up. Simply swapping out the five most commonly used incandescent bulbs for CFLs or LEDs in your home can save you $60 to $100 a year. Combined with well-designed artificial lighting, natural lighting is also a great way to boost efficiency.
3. Low Flow. American families use about 400 gallons of water a day, and 70% of that is used inside the home. The majority is used in the bathroom: the average person flushes the toilet 2,500 times a year. Transform your home’s toilet from water-waster to water-miser for cheap. Place a brick or 2-liter plastic bottle filled with water into your toilet’s tank. The volume of these objects means less water will be needed to fill your tank—you’ve just created your own low-flow toilet. Also, be sure and have a leaky or running toilet fixed by a plumbing professional immediately.