It’s officially summer! Time to relax by the pool, go on vacation, spend time with friends and family and more. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to make sure you stay cool, safe and under budget this summer, so they’ve provided a few tips to guarantee this summer is the best one yet:
- Energy Star savings for your home: Cooling off comes at a huge cost for homeowners/ Lower your utility bill by using Energy Star qualified lighting, raising your thermostat two degrees and using ceiling fans can help cool off costs.
- Breathe Easy: People spend more time indoors in the summer when it’s hot. Make sure your air is mold, radon and carbon monoxide free, so you can breathe easy.
- Stay SunWise: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Be sure you practice safe sun habits before heading out for summer fun.
- Have a beach blast! If you’re making a trip to the shore, make sure your plan includes ways to stay safe at the beach.
- Bug Off! Mosquitoes and ticks carry diseases that be prevented by using proper protection. Make sure you check the label before spraying away!
- Increase gas mileage: There are plenty of ways to improve your fuel economy including obeying the speed limit, going easy on the breaks, avoiding hard accelerations, reducing idle time, unloading necessary items and removing unused racks.
- Water wise: Keep water from going to waste by watering in the morning, and installing WaterSense labeled irrigation systems.
- Clean Green: Cleaning your grill, car, deck, boat or RV? Make sure your cleaner is earth friendly by using only those labeled Designed for the Envinroment (DfE).
- Project Compost: Looking for a fun summer project that beats the heat? Try composting.
- Go Mobile: Want to connect with the EPA on the go? They have an app for that! Check your local air quality, UV index and more all from your smartphone.
- Make memories: Help the EPA capture the State of the Environment by submitting environmental photos to their Documerica project.
- Check in: Hotels spend more than $2,000 per room on energy each year. Make sure your hotel is saving money and the environment by choosing one that is Energy Star rated.
- Summer Inspiration: Keep your creative juices flowing by submitting a meaningful story or idea in just six words.
Be sure to visit the EPA‘s site for more tips for a cool summer. If you’re looking to make a move, be sure to check out all of the green Atlanta new homes on Atlanta Real Estate Forum.
Green is definitely one of the “buzz” words within the housing industry, but it isn’t always easy being green. However, with a few simple changes, you’ll no longer just be green with envy.
- Use plant-based cleaners. Green cleaners can make all of the difference by reducing air pollution and exposure to asthma and allergy triggers. Make sure you check the backs of your cleaners for a complete list of ingredients!
- Can’t afford a hybrid car? Eat less meat. By exchanging one meal a week for some yummy pasta and the much-needed veggies, you can reduce a large amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted when raising livestock.
- Free Range Beef. Look for labels like free-range, organic, no-hormone and no- antibiotic when buying beef.
- Shade your Home. By adding insulation to leaky walls, windows and doors, you can save your home’s energy seepage by 20 to 30 percent. Not in your budget? Try thermal shades to block the sun during the summ
er and retain the heat during the winter.
- Go Cultural. Copy the Japanese and leave your shoes by the door. Not only does this prevent bacteria and outdoor smells in the house, but it also prevents chemicals and pesticides from entering the home.
- Go Back to Glass. Did you know that heating plastics in the microwave can leak compounds like bispherol-A or BPA? Don’t be fooled by “microwave-safe” plastics, which can only withstand a higher temperature before losing their shape. Try glass and ceramics instead.
- Be thrifty. For every item of clothing donated, approximately 27 pounds of carbon emissions are reduced. Be charitable. Be thrifty. Be green. Visit freecycle.org
- Safe Pots and Pans. Choose iron, enamel coated cast iron and st
ainless steel pots and pans. Non-stick pans are convenient, but the coating can be scraped into food.
- What’s in your fragrance? Many fragrances have harmful chemicals that are believed to disrupt hormones and disrupt the ecosystem when washed down the drain. Read labels to find fragrances with essential oils.
- Bug Off Bug Spray! Prevention is the best method to get rid of pesky pests. Many pesticides and bug sprays have harmful chemicals that get emitted into the air. If you do need pest control, try your greener alternatives.
Already doing everything on this list and looking for an even bigger way to go green? Visit Atlanta Real Estate Forum for the latest information on Atlanta green building.
Although the economy may be beginning to turn around, many families are still looking for ways to save money while becoming more energy efficient. Record summer temperatures in many states and an impending cold winter in other’s can cause a huge dent in our monthly budgets. Not to mention the rising cost of fuel, food and other necessities. If you’re looking to save money, as well as energy, then we can help.
Below are some tips provided by the National Corn Growers Association to get you started.
- Fill Up with Ethanol: Gasoline with 10 percent ethanol not only helps lower gas prices, but it also assists with stretching the petroleum supply. Recently, experts noted that ethanol has lowered gas prices by 15 percent, saving drivers $70 billion dollars this year alone.
- Purchase Hybrids or Flex Fuel Vehicles: You can save money at the gas pump while helping the environment when you invest in a hybrid or vehicle that runs on E-85, an 85 percent ethanol blend fuel.
- Buy Locally Grown Foods: Packaging, transportation, advertising and profits account for 24 cents on the food dollar. By choosing local meat, milk and produce, you not only support your local farmers, you also eliminate the costly transportation bill.
- Turn off Your Home: According to the United States Department of Energy, a whopping 75 percent of electricity used in a home occurs while your appliances are off. Unplug these items or use a power strip to cut off power when not in use.
- Set Your Thermostat: Although winter may seem months away, keeping your home nice and toasty raises your energy bill. Keep in mind that for every degree you lower the thermostat in the 60 to 70 degree range this winter, you’ll save 5 percent on your home’s heating costs.
These are just a few of the things you can do to help lower your energy bills while making a positive impact on the environment.
Do you have more money and energy saving tips? Share them here.