Green tips for homeowners.

As a homeowner there are several little changes you can do to make a big difference to the environment and your energy savings. Here are some ideas that can help you "go green" easily and inexpensively.

Get a recycling bin. Most cities have a recycling program. You may be able to get a rebate on your recycling bin or even get it for free. Some cities even offer residential curbside collection for blue box recyclables, green bin organics, small appliances and seasonal yard waste. Keep a list of which materials you can and can’t put in your recycle bin on your fridge door, so that everyone in the family can participate.

Get a kitchen compost bin. Find out if your city has a compost pick-up program. If they do, get a kitchen compost bin or kitchen compost pail. Composting can reduce landfill waste by as much as 32%. To minimize odours and fruit flies use a glass or metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Compost bins and pails can be purchased at a number of retailers including Canadian Tire, Lee Valley, Bed Bath & Beyond and Amazon.

Use energy-saving light bulbs. A low energy light bulb uses about 75% less energy and can last 6 times longer than a traditional incandescent bulb. By replacing regular 40-watt bulbs with energy saving 8-watt bulbs, you could save about $6 a year in electricity costs and could save more than $40 over its lifetime.

Use the right sized pot on the right sized burner. Using the wrong sized pot on the stove burner can waste a lot of energy. A 6 inch pot on an 8 inch burner can waste over 40% of the burner’s heat.

Use the dishwasher. It may seem contrary to what common sense would suggest, but washing dishes by hand uses a lot more water than using a dishwasher. If you use an ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher instead of hand washing you will save, on average, 5,000 gallons or 20,000 litres of water. That’s a huge savings on your water bill.

Dry cloths outside. Drying clothes outside will reduce the amount of energy you use at home and leave your cloths smelling fresh. Reducing tumbling time will also save wear and strain on your clothing. Dry dark clothes in the shade to prevent sun damage. If you can’t dry outside use a clothes rack in your laundry room.

Let nature do the work. As an alternative to air conditioning, open windows and block out the passive heat gain from the sun with curtains. Do the opposite in winter. Strategically using curtains and windows can lower your energy bill by as much as 20%.

A few changes can help you have a have a "greener" home and save money.

Looking for more homeowner tips? Calgary real estate professional, Marnie Campbell, Realtor® can assist you.

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