Going green can make all the difference to saving money and conserving energy and water.
Check Home Equipment and Appliances
Check home equipment like air condition units, furnaces, dryer vents and hot water heaters to make sure they’re running efficiently. Making sure to replace and clean filters will help maximize efficiency in your energy bills and keep equipment working longer. Flushing hot water heaters will also ensure their lifetime value, while cleaning out the dryer vent not only helps the dryer run efficiently but could also prevent fires.
Turn It Off
In addition to swapping in energy efficient bulbs to LED bulbs, turn off all lights when you leave a room. This is one of the easiest and most effective energy-saving measures homeowners can perform.
In areas of the Western US where an ongoing drought continues, reducing water waste is essential. Turning off the faucet in between washings or adding a low flow aerator to your sink and showerhead are two great ways to save water.
Running the dishwasher and laundry machine only when they’re full will also save resources. Eliminating one shower a week and/or minimizing shower time to 5 minutes will save 2.5 gallons per minutes. If you’re used to a 10 minute shower, that saves 12.5 gallons per shower. Add that up for the whole family, and gallons of water have been conserved.
Make sure you’re not wasting water without even realizing it: check for leaks in faucets, showerheads, toilets and hoses. If you have an irrigation system, check for leaks or faulty pieces that might spray more water than normal.
Monitor Temperature of Home
Rather than cranking the heat during the winter, invest in some quality warm pajamas and blankets. Similarly, you can reduce the need for AC during the summer by installing shades on your windows to keep sun out, opening windows to create airflow and planting trees in strategic locations to create shade and reduce temperatures in and around the home. If you have some extra budget, investing in a whole house fan is another great way to pull in cool air at night during hot weather.
While it can take 8-25 years to pay off, you can eventually save thousands of dollars a year by installing solar power and wind power to generate electricity for your home. Tax credits are available for homeowners who adopt the use of solar or wind systems. Updating windows, roof and insulation can also result in qualifying for tax credits. See more: http://www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits
Reduce impact on the environment by switching from harsh chemical cleaners to more natural ingredients like lemons, baking soda and salt. Lemon juice can be used for a variety of things, including brightening grout, disinfecting the microwave, removing stains on cutting boards, removing rust spots in sinks and tubs and more. Get more tips on cleaning here: https://zen.homezada.com/2013/02/15/its-lemon-season-how-lemons-make-a-difference-in-your-home/
Start a Garden
Composting and starting your own garden not only reduces waste, but will save you
money on trash collection and grocery bills. Use a drip irrigation system to reduce the amount of water used when watering your plants and incorporate drought-resistant plants into your garden that don’t require a lot of water.
HomeZada (www.homezada.com) is a digital home platform that manages information during the entire homeowner lifecycle of owning, selling, and buying a home. The cloud-based solution helps homeowners save money, improve value, and be better organized when managing their largest financial asset. A Professional version provides real estate agents, builders, and home service providers the ability to improve and differentiate their service and build long-term client loyalty for increased retention and referrals.
“The days of using water once, and thinking of it as a waste stream are behind us.”
— Melissa Meeker, executive director, WateReuse Colorado
In communities across the world, readily available water supplies are dwindling. As we experience droughts, population growth and increased municipal, industrial and agricultural demand, it is important to evaluate our water use and see if we can integrate water reuse into our everyday routines.
To address these existing and anticipated water shortages, many have begun to increase water conservation practices and are seeking alternative sources of water. Water reuse — the use of treated wastewater for beneficial purposes such as farming or industrial — is one of these practices that significantly expands water supplies.
Xylem, a leader in global water technology and the WateReuse Association’s 2014 WateReuse Equipment Manufacturer of the Year, offers equipment solutions across the complete water cycle that combine leading technologies to enhance water sustainability practices by treating water, transporting it to where it is needed and cleaning it to meet any reuse challenge.
One of the most important components of a water reuse system is a pump. Pumps should be selected to operate at their Best Efficiency Point (BEP) and the plumbing should be engineered to minimize friction loss. It is estimated that a water reuse system using improperly sized piping and pumps can increase energy consumption by 200 to 300 percent.
“The cost of oversized pumps increases beyond the energy bill. Improperly sized pumps are more likely to fail prematurely and reduce the life expectancy of the treatment system,” said Nate Maguire, Americas Business Unit Director of Industry and Agriculture markets for Xylem AWS.
Equipment is just one variable to consider when implementing a water reuse system. By taking a holistic approach to water-related issues — considering the cost of a facility’s current processes, power, water, discharge and compliance — one can increase productivity, maximize energy and realize cost savings while using water in a responsible and efficient manner.
“Water reuse is one step in building a pathway to a secure water future,” said Keel Robinson, North America marketing and business development manager for Xylem AWS. “We know that water reuse technologies exist today, which safely and reliably reclaim wastewater for beneficial purposes. We look forward to continuing to partner with other innovators and customers to advance the implementation of water reuse and to help build a better understanding of its role in solving water scarcity.”
By working with a trusted expert in implementing a water reuse system, one can recoup the cost of the system in a timely manner, improve its energy efficiency and conserve precious water resources.
Xylem’s well-known global brands provide world-class products, comprehensive solutions and unmatched applications expertise in more than 150 countries. To implement a water reuse system in your facility, visit www.xyleminc.com/food.
Summer has had many of us thinking about how much water we use outdoors, especially in areas of the country facing persistent drought (which is now a fourth of the U.S. and 98 percent of California).
To this end, the U.S. EPA’s WaterSense program has launched #WaterSavingYard Photo Challenge, asking people to share an image of yards that have been transformed from thirsty landscapes into beautiful, water -efficient spaces. One fan favorite and one entry that highlights a water – efficient landscape will be featured by EPA WaterSense on its website and social channels, as well as in other online media.
It’s easy to enter: you can upload your photo through the Facebook app, or by posting a photo on Twitter or Instagram with #WaterSavingYard. And last but not least, you can enter via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The photo challenge is intended to demonstrate that yards that are landscaped to use less water can also be beautiful.
This message is ever more important given that the average home uses 30 to 60 percent of their total water consumption outside, and half of that water is wasted on overwatering.
2015 World Water Week is August 23 – 28, and experts and business innovators from all over the world are coming together to exchange ideas to develop solutions to the most pressing water – related challenges.
While access to clean water in developing countries is an essential conversation, many people are overlooking how smart cities and advances in sustainable technology can make a big impact toward clean water in general.
An infographic was created by the New Jersey Institute of Technology that illustrates how smart cities manage available resources, such as water in an economically sustainable manner.
For instance, the graphic points out that a major challenge is diminishing freshwater resources. Currently, a staggering 89% of global population relies on improved water supply systems that lose about 32 billion cubic meters of precious water via physical leakage. The full infographic can be found at: http://graduatedegrees.online.njit.edu/mscs-resources/mscs-infographics/big-data-and-the-iot-the-future-of-the-smart-city/