- Laura Wehnes
Unleashing the Power of Green
How Simple Choices Can Create a Positive Impact on Our Planet
Clean (or “green”) energy projects and practices are gaining popularity across the globe, but there is still a lack of residential adoption of green energy. Recent data from 2022 shows that households in the US were responsible for approximately 22% of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions. For context, the US’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 was totaled at 6,429 million metric tons, or 14.2 trillion pounds, meaning residential greenhouse gas emissions alone totaled around 2.6 trillion pounds that year.
What does all of this mean?
There is a lot that homeowners can do to reduce their environmental impact, and the more households that adopt these changes, the greater the overall impact.
The good news is, there are tons of small changes that you can make to your home that can conserve energy, lower your bills, and positively impact the environment. Incorporating more sustainable practices into your home doesn’t have to be expensive – there are several ways to trim your environmental impact with simple habit changes.
Reducing water usage
Landscape mindfully – consider water needs for each plant before purchasing them. Also, not over-watering your lawn with sprinklers.
Turn off water when it’s not needed, like when you’re brushing your teeth or doing dishes. Also, not letting the shower run as long before getting in or shortening shower lengths.
Reducing electricity usage
Unplug items when not in use – chargers, space heaters, string lights, etc.
Turn the lights off when you leave the room.
Swap out your light bulbs for LEDs.
Lower the thermostat when you’re not at home.
Start a backyard compost for your produce scraps, egg shells, paper towels, and other things you might typically throw into the garbage. Composting it eventually turns it into nutritious soil for your plants (that you made for free)!
Mindful grocery shopping – try not to over-buy produce that will just go to waste before you get to use it, and consider the wasteful packaging on other grocery items. And don’t forget your reusable grocery bags and produce bags – keep some in the car.
If you think you have produce that might go bad before using it, you can also chop it up while it’s still okay to use and store it in the freezer instead of tossing it.
In addition to these simple habitual changes, you can maximize your home’s efficiency by having appliances and renewable energy systems installed in your home. Although these options are more costly at first, they can not only save you money in the long run, but they can also add value to your home*!
Reducing energy usage
Install energy efficient appliances - Energy Star products are highly recommended by many
Install renewable energy systems - solar panels, hydropower, and wind energy systems
For a more extensive list and details on ways to save energy, see this Energy Saver Guide. Or, see this Home Energy Checklist for home-specific energy conservation.
Remember - Even the small changes still create a big difference over time!
*If you are looking for a home that has energy efficient or sustainable features, we are able to use our MLS (multiple listing service) to search for homes that fit this criteria. This is also useful if you have or are wanting to install these features in your current home, so we can help you get the most value for having them when you sell.