At Bud Bartley Custom Homes, we know that more and more, the world is moving toward solutions that are eco-friendly, or “green” as some call it. As custom green home builders in the Dallas metro area, we know building a home that incorporates green features is a big step toward improving the environment and enjoying a healthier life for your family, but what are some other things you can do to “green” your home? Here are a few simple (and affordable) tips.
Plant trees around your home. Trees are beautiful and add to the appeal of your landscape, but when planted strategically, can also save you on energy costs. Plant them so that the south and west sides of your home are shaded – and if possible, so that the air conditioning unit is shaded as well. You enjoy a cooler home in summer months, and your air conditioner won’t work so hard to keep your home comfortable.
Wash dishes in the dishwasher, rather than by hand. You may not know it, but a dishwasher uses about half the water it takes to wash those dishes by hand, provided the dishwasher is full when you run it. Most newer models are capable of thorough cleaning, so skip rinsing dishes before you load them.
Coffee grounds are great for your plants. Azaleas, rhododendrons, and other plants that thrive with acid (such as is found in pine needles) do well with coffee grounds, so spread them on your flower beds rather than tossing them in the trash.
Wash your clothes in cold water. In most cases, cold water cleans as well as hot. If you wash three loads of laundry each week in cold water, you can save as much as $40 per year – imagine the savings if you have a large family and run a load every day! Not using hot water means energy savings, which brings up another thought. Have you considered tankless water heaters, rather than the traditional tank type?
When the weather is nice, open up windows and doors or run the attic fan. You save on energy costs, your A/C gets a rest, and you enjoy fresh air. You may also want to consider plants (such as peace lilies, mums, and English ivy) that help remove indoor air pollutants.
Save paper – and trees – by paying your bills online. Whether you set up automatic payments with your bank or pay your bills online, it saves on paper. No envelopes, no printed bills, no postage necessary.
Be less wasteful. Many homeowners believe that if a little dishwashing or clothes detergent works good, more will work great. Not so! Only use the amount of product directed on the label, whether it’s laundry powder, dishwasher gel, or fabric softener.
Consolidate your errands. Whether you need to run to the supermarket, bank, post office, or drugstore, try to run all of your errands at once. If your kids are in school, consider running all of the errands before or after you pick them up. You use less gas which means less cost for you, and it’s healthier for the environment.
There are literally hundreds of things you can do to save money, create a healthier environment for your family, and improve the outdoor environment for future generations.
At Bud Bartley Custom Homes, we build custom homes in Flower Mound and Highland Village that are elegant and eco-friendly. What ideas do you have to expand your “green” efforts beyond your home?