Here are 5 easy ways to green your routine from my syndicated column Do Just One Thing.
Enjoy the weekend everyone!
- If you live in a dark home that needs to be illuminated with lamps at night, try this simple tip to get the maximum light from the least number of lamps possible. Place floor, table and hanging light fixtures in the corner of the room instead of flat surfaces or in the middle of the room. Corners allow the light to reflect off two walls instead of one, which gives you more of a reflection and usable light. It’s a designer trick that really works!
- Spring is a time when lots of homeowners are redecorating by repainting the inside of their homes. When choosing paint, look for semi-gloss or satin finish instead of flat paint. The slight sheen helps reflect more light off the walls from light fixtures, so you can use less lights and lower wattage bulbs to save energy. Plus, when buying paint, don’t overbuy the amount you need by using an online paint calculator to help you buy the exact amount. These calculators will use the dimensions of the room to precisely tell you the number of gallons and quarts you need to get a perfectly primed room.
- Air conditioning units can be a real energy hog in hot summer months. So, this Spring take the time to plant shade giving trees and plants around your HVAC system or window units to give them a little shade. Cooler air will help the compressors run more efficiently, so any shade you can give them will keep your home comfortable and your wallet a little fatter. And remember to replace the air filters in your system; it’s an easy thing to do and can help keep your system running as efficient all summer long.
- A programmable thermostat can be a very simple way to keep energy costs low all while keeping your home comfortable without trying very hard. When installing one in your home, keep a few things in mind: avoid installing it anywhere where temperatures can fluctuate dramatically. Avoid the kitchen where stove can heat up a room quickly, anywhere near a fireplace, and near bathrooms where a steamy shower can read as very hot air. But also avoid installing it anywhere where sunlight streams through windows during the day; if it hits thermostat, the hot rays can force the air conditioning system to go into overdrive since it thinks the home is way hotter than it actually is.
- For food storage, the greenest, healthiest and most energy efficient choice is glass. Glass storage containers hold cold better than other materials (like plastic), so it keeps food cold much longer. The colder the glass containers stay, the less the refrigerator and freezer have to work to maintain a cool temperature. Plus, glass containers don’t absorb odors or stains, so they don’t transfer smells to other foods when you use them over and over again.