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John M. Wickline
South Carolina Home Inspection License #374
South Carolina Home Inspection
License #374
JW Home Inspections, Inc.
presents

50 Ways to Green the Planet
Home Inspections
Villa Inspections
Warranty Inspections
Foreclosure Inspections
since 1998.

Serving
The Low Country of South Carolina
Hilton Head
Bluffton
Sun City
Beaufort
Hardeeville
Ridgeland
Callawassie
Daufuskie Island
HOME
If you can't afford a new home or a large remodeling
project, there are still plenty of things you can do to be
environmentally friendly and save money.

1. Update your lighting
Make it a policy to buy energy efficient compact
fluorescent light bulbs. You can now get a variety of
shapes and perfectly match the color hue and lighting for
each room. They look good and use at least two-thirds
less power than regular lighting.

2. Buy Energy Star
When you are ready to buy new home appliances, buy
smart. Check for the Energy Star rating. These more
efficient machines can reduce your utility bill as much as
30-percent. Deb Snoonian, Managing Editor of Plenty
Magazine said, "Energy Start is a program sponsored by
the EPA and the Department of Energy. Essentially, it's a
way for them to recognize the companies and the products
that are most energy-efficient. On average, an Energy
Start appliance -- whether it's a computer monitor, a
refrigerator, a washer or dryer -- is going to be about
30-percent more energy efficient."

3. Wall Warts
Those clunky power adaptors draw energy from the wall all
the time. Unplug them individually or attach them to a
power strip and turn off the whole switch when not in use.
Around 75-percent of all electricity in a home comes from
appliances that are turned off, but are still plugged in.
Make sure that you only have those appliances plugged in
where you're actually using the electricity. You will save on
bills and we as a society will save on energy.

4. Dormant Appliances
Practically every appliance uses electricity even when it's
switched off. Unless it needs power to retain programming
memory, hit the switch. Better yet, make it a family practice.
Amy Schachter, an Upper East Side resident, said, "My
family reminds each other constantly. That's partly money,
partly the fact that we know now that we're creating energy
usage that is totally unnecessary."

5. Energy Audit
You can find out how much energy your home uses each
year with an energy audit. Many utility providers and state
energy departments will audit your home free or at low cost
to help you find ways to be more energy efficient.

6. Insulate
Make sure your ducts are properly insulated and install
weather-stripping around windows and doors for a better
seal. Tax credits on efficiency-increasing heating and
cooling equipment make now a great time to upgrade. And
remember, insulation pays for itself year round. Cascio
Construction President Michael Cascio said, "It translates
into the heat or the air conditioning that you're going to
use, and certainly you want to retain whatever heating
system or whatever cooling system you're using, you want
to retain that inside the house."

7. House Plants
Invest in large, live houseplants that will help keep your
indoor air fresher.

8. Save Water
Place a water bottle filled with liquid or pennies into your
toilet's water tank. This will cause the tank to use less
water every time you flush. Plenty Magazine Managing
Editor Deb Snoonian estimates it wil save you about a
quart to half a gallon per flush.

9. Solar Water Heater
Consider eventually installing a solar hot water heater on
your property. It would cost about $8,500 for a family of
four. You can apply for federal and state tax credits, which
adds up to almost 50-percent. It'll take about six and a half
years for the system to break even on its investment, then
you're making free hot water.

10. Green Power
Many utility companies offer renewable energy products
that can be purchased as a percent of total energy use or
in blocks of kilowatts. Buying green energy helps support
the development and use of renewable fuel souces.

RECYCLE
There are few things you can't turn into something
environmentally friendly while making your pocket a little
greener in the process.

11. Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies
Using simple ingredients such as baking soda, soap and
vinegar, you can make cheap, easy, and non-toxic
cleaning products save money, time, and your indoor air
quality. This is especially important if you have kids, pets
or if there are elderly people in your home who are
sensitive to chemicals in the air so you and your home will
be healthier.

12. Safer Paint
Paint can be made with the same volitile organic
compounds found in nail polish or gasoline. Major
manufacturers and some boutique brands have introduced
low VOC paint. It spreads, it covers and leaves the room
smelling just fine.

13. Aerosols
Limit your use of aerosol cans. Because they have limited
recycling value, the containers will probably wind up in a
landfill. Instead of aerosols, look for spray bottles, liquids,
powders and roll-ons.

14. Cloth
Paper towels and napkins can be made from recycled
paper, though in some cases the recycling costs more
than making a brand new product. You won't hear that
about cloth napkins, which can be washed and re-used
again and again.

15. Laundry Room
By making sure your lint filter is clean and your dryer
exhaust free to open and close, you are essentially tuning
up the efficiency of your appliance. It will run better and be
more cost efficient.

16. Air Dry
For the ultimate in low cost laundry drying, put the clothes
on either a drying rack or go outside and use the
clothesline.

17. Smart Landscaping
Trees and shrubs provide shade during the summer and
can help shield your house from frigid winter winds. Both
can help lower your energy bill.

18. Walking the Dog
Instead of plastic bags, scoop your doggie's doo in
biodegradable bags.

19. Compost your leftovers
Composting helps reduce the amount of waste you send to
the landfill. In the process, you create free, healthy
fertilizer for your garden.

20. Collect the Rain
Place a barrel under a gutter downspout and let it fill over
time. Plenty Magazine Managing Editor Deb Snoonian
said, "Rain water is actually healthier for plants and
gardens than tap water which often has chlorine in it to kill
bacteria, but bacteria can inhibit plants from growing.

OFFICE
Green at home is one thing; green at the office has its own
set of special challenges. Going green is a lifestyle choice,
not just a home activity. So what are some steps you can
take at work to make things more environmentally friendly?

21. Buy a laptop
Even an oversize laptop runs more efficiently and takes
less energy than a desktop.

22. Reduce Paper
The paper trail follows many of us, adding hundreds of
pounds of waste. You can reduce it with just a few
changes. Save printing: send documents by email and
keep files on your computer, not a filing cabinet.

23. Print Double Sides
You can save plenty of paper by programming your printer
to use both sides of the paper. In the case of a long report,
do you really need 500 one-sided pages?

24. Refill and Reuse Cups
"Many of us get take our coffee in the morning and were
using plastic and cardboard cups," said Plenty Magazine
Managing Editor Deb Snoonian. "Bring your own mug. You
can leave one at work; you can even often times bring a
reusable mug as you're commuting in your car. It can be
refilled over and over again. Wash it at home it's a nice
habit to get into that saves you one cup a day."

25. Pay Your Bills Online
It's not only quicker and easier to pay by computer, it also
puts a major dent in the paper waste pile.

26. Recycle Your Appliances
Not just the big ones. Cell phones, PDAs and laptops can
all find a new purpose after you're done with them. Many
organizations refurbish them for low-income families.

27. Become Battery Smart
Stretch your battery use. A battery too drained to power a
flashlight might be perfect to operate your TV remote.
Before you pitch it - switch it!

28. Lights Out
Motion sensors, dimmers and timers can be set to turn
things on and off when needed.

29. Going Grey
Ask your commercial building manager about using gray
water tanks. It's a system that recycles water from your
building's toilets, washing machines and dishwashers.
Impractical? Don't say that around New Jersey's Aspen Ice
Skating Rink where the septic water is collected, treated
and put back on the rink. At this point, the systems are a
bit too costly for one-family use, but if you're in a
commercial building or a planned community, consider
making the water work for you.

30. Water
Speaking of water, instead of bottled water around the
meeting table, filter your tap for drinking water. Not only is
bottled water expensive, but it produces large amounts of
wasteful containers.

CAR & GAS
Even if you can't buy the most environmentally friendly car,
there are still plenty of things you can do to get from one
place to another with minimum energy. Getting to work,
school and running errands all add to your energy budget.
To go green you don't have to give up transportation, just
use it a bit more wisely.

31. Work From Home
Instant messaging and video conferencing now allow you
to hold conferences or even take online classes. This
means you save time and gas.

32. Use Public Transportation
Trains, buses, boats, car pools and your own feet.

33. Rental Car
When driving is necessary, use an inexpensive hourly
rental car.

34. Drive Economically
Even if you can't afford a fancy hybrid, there are plenty of
cars that get great mileage. A car that gives you another
10 more miles to the gallon puts $1,000 dollars a year
back in your pocket!

35. Drive Smart
Properly inflate your tires, change your air filter and drive
55 mph on the highway.

36. Friendly Fuels
Using bio fuels goes way beyond ethanol. Look for
environmentally friendly oil car fluids and, of course, read
how to use and dispose of them properly.

37. Car Air Conditioning
It's practically standard on modern cars. Use it wisely. At
higher speeds, open windows create drag and lower your
mileage. Roll them up and use the air and recirculation. At
slower speeds and around town, roll down your windows
and catch a cool breeze.

38. One Right Turn Deserves Another
The time spent in your car idling while waiting to turn
against oncoming traffic burns fuel and costs millions each
year. In metro New York, United Parcel Service (UPS)
reduced emissions by 1,000 metric tons with a software
map program customized for every driver to minimize lefts.

39. Drive Thru
Avoid the drive thru. Instead of idling in line with your
engine running for several minutes, save the gas by
parking and going inside for your order.

40. Car Wash
Commercial car washes can be more efficient than home
washing. Check to make sure that they clean and recycle
the water.

AT THE STORE
In the store, in your home, even while you sleep...There
are things you can do to be more energy efficient and
better to the environment.

41. B.Y.O.B.
Bring Your Own Bag. Some grocery stores give you cash
toward your next purchase for every bag you bring in to
use again. It saves them and you money. "In the U.S., we
use five hundred billion plastic bags every single year and
only three percent of those get recycled," said Deb
Snoonian, Managing Editor of Plenty Magazine. "You can
also buy permanent bags with designer colors."

42. Packaging
Check the amount of cardboard, plastic and other
materials used for the box. Some retailers are replacing
plastic containers with corn-based packaging.

43. Buy Big
By purchasing things in larger quantities, you will probably
save money and certainly save the cost of packaging and
transporting smaller boxes of the same thing.

44. Green Fashions Are Becoming Hot
Look for clothes and accessories like handbags that are
environmentally friendly.

45. Pet Products
Even kitty litter can be laced with questionable ingredients.
Look for natural alternatives.

46. Antiques
Antiques are sort of the ultimate recyclable, servicing
generations of owners. Many can be restored with natural
wax products at a very reasonable price.

47. Buy Water Efficient Showerheads and Aerators
Many modern showerheads are built to conserve. Check to
see how well yours works. Also, aerators on the faucets will
keep water waste to a minimum.

48. Mattresses
Federal regulations will soon require all sleeping
mattresses to be fire resistant. If you like the safety but
don't care for the flame retardant chemicals, some popular
brands are introducing models with a more natural fiber
based flame retardant barrier.

49. Energy Offset Certificates
These essentially allow you to invest in an environmentally
friendly cause.

50. Smart Recycling
Smart recycling can be environmentally sound and
pleasing, too. Companies like IceStone make durable
surfaces made from recycled materials, like glass and
concrete. Recycling is not limited to bottles. Used doors
windows, fixtures can all be bought at a fraction of the new
price. Think creatively - a New York man built a veritable
castle of recycled materials.

info taken from WNBC.com
Home Inspection Blog JW Home Inspections, Inc.