- Use things only when you absolutely need to – seems like common sense, but many people will do a load of laundry for a single pair of jeans! The biggest energy vampires (things that are just always on and suck up useless energy) are computers and microwaves. If it’s not in use, pull the plug!
- Switch from power outlets to power strips. Power strips leak less energy than the actual wall outlet and could save you up to 2% on your annual electricity bill.
- Does your home need a change of color? You should know that if you’re looking to keep your home cool, light paint colors reflect heat better than dark paint colors.
- Buy energy-efficient appliances – if you’re still working with primitive appliances, consider replacing them with Energy Star appliances. You can get a break on your taxes and will also start to see a difference in your energy bills.
- Keep it tight! Make sure all your doors and windows are as airtight as possible. We’re all for fresh air, but keeping your doors and windows airtight when you need to keep your heat or cool air inside will cut down on your heating/cooling bills and expend less energy.
- Compact fluorescent (CF) light bulbs – they may be more expensive, but between the energy bill savings and much longer lifespan, they will pay for themselves long before they ever quit on you. They’re available for almost all fixtures, in many different sizes – even for your large outdoor floodlights.
- Clean green! While paper towels prevent the spread of germs, using washable cloths when you can will cut down on your waste. You can also make your own “green” cleaning solutions in your home. Get a reusable spray bottle and mix ½ cup white vinegar, ¼ baking soda and ½ gallon water to make a fantastic all-purpose cleaner with items you probably already have in your house.
- Wrap your water heater! If your water heater is still in good shape, there is a chance you can help it run more efficiently. Wrapping it in insulation will help keep it in peak condition. If you need a new water heater, consider a tankless water heater which saves space and money.
- Save some water in the bathroom – high-efficiency showerheads are inexpensive and easy to find. If you need some new porcelain, check out a low-flow toilet. The average low-flush toilet uses 2 gallons less than a normal toilet.
- If you’re building a home or going for a full overhaul, ask for products made from renewable resources. For example, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, which makes it a great option for your new floors. If you’re changing your décor, consider the new items you bring into your home – are they made of materials that can be recycled when you’re done?
While we’re working to go green inside the Quicken Loans offices every day, we’d also like to share a couple other things from the Quicken Loans family of companies that we think are just right for Earth Day.
If you want to know get a better idea of what your carbon footprint is like, Quicken Loans is encouraging you to take our Green Quiz in our home and money website, Quizzle. Choose Renewables helped us create a green calculator which can also show you how much money you could be saving with a more efficient home. This is just one great part of Quizzle – by signing up, you’ll also get a free credit report, home valuation and budget analysis. No strings attached! Sign up for Quizzle today.
You can also get your kids going green by checking out Xeko. It’s a great educational, interactive site that can help kids learn about the environment and what they can do to be greener. Get 20% off in the Xeko games, toys and t-shirts in the Xeko Store through April 30 by entering coupon code “earthday.”
Happy Earth Day from Quicken Loans!
If so, subscribe now for tips on home, money, and life delivered straight to your inbox.