Green Living Tips for the Winter Months
To live green is to be conscious of one’s impact on energy and natural resources and making choices to minimize that impact. Those choices are not necessarily the same for every season of the year. There are specific things that you can do during each season to save energy and conserve natural resources. As we are fast approaching winter, it is time to look at what we can do to keep our year-round green living going.
An Energy-Efficient Home
Did you know that 40 to 70 percent of a home’s energy is wasted? That is 40 to 70 percent is wasted IF the proper steps aren’t taken to mitigate day-to-day energy loss. To keep your energy use AND your energy bill down and to keep your home warm and cozy for the winter, follow these steps (if applicable):
- Caulk the small spaces around windows, wires, and pipes entering the house to prevent cold air from coming in.
- Cover your window air conditioning unit inside and out to protect the unit itself and to keep the cold air from coming into the house.
- Clean or change your furnace filter once a month during the winter. Additionally, if you haven’t had it professionally serviced yet, it would be a good idea to get that done. It’s advised to have your furnace professionally check-out once per year.
- Hidden drafts behind light switches and electrical outlets contribute to an inefficient heating system. Install draft blockers behind them to keep the cold air from behind your walls from coming in.
- Install a programmable thermostat.
- Add weatherstripping around the inside of your windows and exterior doors.
- Use LED holiday lights.
- Turn the water heater down to 120 degrees F.
Conserve Natural Resources
Your home is not the only place where you can live green, although there are additional things you can do at home that don’t have to do with heating to support a green lifestyle. Here are a few more tips to help you maintain as green a lifestyle as you can during the winter:
- Take your reusable grocery bags when you go holiday shopping, or forego bags altogether if you are purchasing just one or two easily carried items.
- Holiday meals make a lot of dirty dishes, making it very easy to waste gallons of water. Scrape food off plates instead of rinsing them before putting them in the dishwasher. If you don’t have or use a dishwasher, fill the sink with soapy water and clean the dishes with the tap off. Then rinse them all at once.
- Recycle your real Christmas tree. For more information about that, you can visit the National Christmas Tree Association website.
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