Here’s an energy-saving tip–and pollution-saving tip–that some people don’t always consider because it’s been so ingrained in our culture that we must have vast lawns: get rid of some of it! Portions of lawns can be converted to many different things: native grasses, native wild flowers, rock gardens, rain gardens, or vegetable beds. All of these options are still beautiful, require less maintenance, help ground water absorption, and attract more birds and butterflies. Seriously: do you really need all of that lawn to run around on?
Posts Tagged ‘water efficiency’
This first quarter of the year is supposed to be devoted to tips on home energy savings, and it would not be complete without talking about water. Saving water also saves energy, especially if you are talking about saving hot water. Saving water saves money, too.
- The first, easiest, cheapest thing to do is to install low-flow aerators in all faucets. I did this last year, and it took me about 15 minutes to do 5 sinks. The only tool I needed was a wrench. What does an aerator do? Most faucets have a flow rate of about 2.2 gallons per minute, and an aerator will take it down to 1.5 gallons per minute. It does this by mixing more air in with the water, so you can’t tell the difference in water pressure. Assuming a faucet is used for 10 minutes/day (teeth brushing, hand washing, shaving), that saves 7 gallons per day — over 2,500 gallons per year — which can really add up over time, both in cost savings and fresh water savings. Faucet aerators cost between $3 and $20 each; and some utility companies even offer them for free. Here’s one on Amazon that takes the flow rate down to 0.5 gallons per minute for under $5: 0.5 GPM Faucet Aerator Depending on how much water you use, the financial payback makes it a no-brainer. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YycSEQHPqZ0]
Many people ask me what my favorite “green” features of our home are, since we have now lived in it for over two years and can honestly assess whether we would make the same green choice again. While don’t people ask what was the worst choice? What was a complete failure? What do I absolutely hate about our home?