Looking to create a more environmentally friendly home through fixtures, appliances, and decor? The team here at Corken + Company found this list of simple swaps helpful for anyone making a greener path. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Skip: Standard air vents
Choose: Smart vents
Because: This relatively new technology helps control the temperature in each room of your home. Automated air registers open and close to allow airflow to specific areas based on your pre-programmed preferences. This technology won’t overheat or overcool your whole home when you want to enjoy a space or two comfortably. Popular brands include Flair, Keen, and Ecovent.
Skip: Traditional faucets and showerheads
Choose: WaterSense bath fixtures
Because: This program is EPA-sponsored and identifies products that use at least 20 percent less water. They work just as well as standard fixtures and allow you to save water.
Skip: energy-guzzling appliances
Choose: Energy Star–certified versions
Because: An Energy Star label identifies products that can save you money and are easier on the environment. For example, an Energy Star–certified washing machine uses 25 percent less energy and 33 percent less water than standard models.
Skip: Typical draperies
Choose: Energy-saving window coverings
Because: In the winter, up to 30 percent of your home’s heat is lost through windows while in the warmer months, about three-quarters of sunlight coming through windows turns into heat. Automated window coverings and cellular shades allow you to control indoor temps and reduce wasted energy. You’ll save money on heating and cooling costs—and maybe even get some cash back from Xcel, which offers a rebate to homeowners who make a qualified purchase of cellular shades.
Skip: Stinky, toxin-laden paint
Choose: Eco-friendly, no-VOC options
Because: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contain many chemicals, some of which can have negative impacts on human and animal health. Some paints and lacquers (along with a lot of other manufactured products, such as furniture and cleaning materials) emit VOCs, which can diminish air quality. Given how many eco-friendly paint options exist—such as Ecos Paint, Benjamin Moore’s Eco Spec, and AFM Safecoat Zero VOC—there’s no reason not to choose one that has a low VOC rating.
Skip: A gas range
Choose: Induction cooking
Because: Induction ovens and cooktops use electromagnetic energy to heat cookware directly, skipping the step of warming a burner or oven. 80 to 90 percent of the energy goes directly to cooking the food—as opposed to about 40 percent of the energy generated by a gas range. Even though you’ll pay more for an induction range, your operating cost will be lower.
Find more tips for creating an environmentally friendly home at: