Home Improvement – Green Living for 2012

‘Home Improvement’ is a pretty broad term. ‘Green Living’ is too. The combination of Home Improvement – Green Living is much narrower and what better time to think about these concepts than at the dawn of a new year?Green Living represents a lifestyle that involves thinking about the benefit of the Earth as a whole. But for those who want to be in the green mindset, every step towards a green way of thinking is beneficial. Below are some great, easy steps that can be incorporated into our homes to move towards the goal of Green Living. Celebrate every small step you take because it is the attempt to accomplish the Green Living goal that is important. And your home will receive great improvement in the process!1. Be an energy miser Seal doors and windows to make sure heating and cooling efforts stay inside and not leak into the great outdoors.2. Use your landscape. Well placed trees and shrubs can alter the energy efficiency of a home by as much as 45%. Foundation shrubs should surround the home but not actually touch the house. This allows enough air circulation in the warmer months to avoid mold problems and provides protection from cold winter winds that whip around your home. Also, shade trees cool the home in the summer yet allow sunlight to warm the house in the winter when the leaves are gone.3. Eliminate phantom energy zappers. Many electronics constantly pull electricity when they are plugged in whether they are in use or not. A cell phone charger continues to pull electricity even after it is charged. Surge protectors are constantly pulling electricity so once the items plugged into them get what they need, turn the surge protectors off.4. Produce the least amount of garbage possible. The easiest and very best way to reduce garbage production is to have a compost pile. Everything that is edible – except animal products (meat, dairy, fats) can be placed in a compost pile and used to create healthy, balanced soil conditioner for your yard. Another way to eliminate waste is to minimize packaging such as using reusable bags at the grocery store. Be mindful when purchasing items and intentionally choose things with the least amount of packaging – especially avoiding plastics whenever possible.5. Watch water usage. Do not run the water while brushing your teeth; only run the dishwasher when it is full; and take quick, efficient showers. Don’t use excess water when washing clothes and absolutely do not water the sidewalk or driveway when watering the yard.6. Do not use toxic pesticides! Toxic, synthetic pesticides are incredibly harmful to us and the environment. They are colorless and odorless so we aren’t even aware we are inhaling, absorbing, or ingesting them. Do not allow them to be used in your home as they are poison which is the polar opposite of being green.Here are some quick ideas of Home Improvements that can be made towards Green Living. Incorporating these into your world moves you closer to the goal of making your home a Green Living example.