Here is the next in our weekly series of excerpts from the EBook, “6 Weeks to a Greener Lifestyle.” See the note at the end of this post for more information. — Paula
For the first week, we will tackle the biggest energy consumer in most people’s lives – their home. As noted in the previous chapter, it is such things as heating and cooling, water heating, lighting, electronics, appliances, and refrigeration that gobble up dollars and electricity.
Here, in descending order of piggishness in consuming electricity, are the three biggest energy hogs in most homes in the developed world:
- Air Conditioning: Far and away your biggest energy consumer if you have and use AC.
- Refrigerator: Second biggest energy hog in the home, right behind the AC, largely because it has to run 24/7.
- Washers and Dryers: For clothes, the impact is much larger than for dishes, although both contribute.
We need to deal with these and other consumers of energy in the home. We also want to reduce water usage.
But how do you get started?
By conducting a home energy and water audit.
Your Home Energy and Water Audit
Auditing your home to discover where energy and water are consumed in excess of what is necessary is the best and first step you can take toward a greener lifestyle. You can, of course, pay a consultant to do this in a very thorough way. The auditor will come to your home, spend 1-2 hours checking every room in your house, perform some basic tests on draftiness, and it will likely cost you a few hundred dollars at a minimum. I highly recommend such a professional audit. Performed by a properly trained individual, the audit will never fail to pay for itself in savings you will gain over the coming year.
But before you go out-of-pocket on a professional home audit, I recommend that you carry out your own home energy and water audit. A self-audit is a great way to set your green lifestyle in motion, and you can do it for no cost at all other than a bit of your time.
Next post: How to get started
Steve Stillwater is passionate about developing a greener lifestyle, and his goal is to show you how to incorporate easy-to-implement green living ideas into your life. He blogs and writes regularly about green living ideas and provides a continuously updated green news feed on his website. For more information or to buy and download the full Ebook, “6 Weeks To A Greener Lifestyle,” just follow this link.