July 23rd, 2009
Green home ownership is quickly becoming a high priority for home buyers. Especially in Arizona where many of us wonder why we can’t harvest more of the never ending heat that beats down on our homes every day. Not to mention, water conservation is always a big concern us desert dwellers.
The number of ways to turn a home green are constantly growing. At the same time the countless choices can become overwhelming. Lets take a step back and look at the basics of being green. Starting with the infamous recycle logo and moving on to water, electricity and natural gas.
We will cover:
- The 3 R’s of Being Green
- Water Conservation in Arizona
- Electricity Cutting
- Natural Gas Reduction
The 3 R’s of Being Green
Reduce – It’s important but the hardest to do
So much of our culture and economy has been built on the idea of bigger is better and the newer the gadget the better. Which makes reducing our consume somewhat counter-intuitive and certainly counter-culture.
Look for ways to reduce consumption in day to day living. When you can look for recycled products, or products made from recycled materials.
Reuse – Get more value by stretching its use
By reusing items we can stretch its value and get more use out of it. A great example is turning food scraps into compost, or an old soft cotton shirt into a cleaning rag.
Before tossing anything in the blue bin or the black bin, take a second and figure out if that item can be used for anything else.
Recycle – Its more than just the blue bin
While many items can be tossed into the blue bin and recycled, some items aren’t allowed. Many of these items are our electronics. Products like computers, cell phones and appliances can all be recycled, you just have to know where to look.
Keep an eye out for technology events or any event sponsored by a utility company. Many times the sponsoring utility company will offer to recycle old computers and electronics. Companies like Hewlett-Packard, go to great lengths to help you send back old ink cartridges for recycling. Take advantage of these opportunities to recycle.
Water Conservation in Arizona
Quick Facts About Arizona’s Water Conservation
Arizona is known for its water conservation programs world wide. Arizona’s department of water conservation puts all the credit on Arizona’s residents, strong utility partners and excellent government support.
Arizona has tax credit available to individual tax payers for installing a gray water system.
3 Quick Tips for Conserving Water Outside
- Plant low water use and drought tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees.
- Check all hoses, connectors and spigots regularly for leaks (and of course repair the leaks!)
- Water deeply but less frequently to create healthier and deeper root systems.
3 Quick Tips for Conserving Water Inside
- Replace high volume toilets (3.5 gallons) with the new standard 1.6 gallon models.
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one sink with wash water, and the other with rinse water.
- Minimize the use of kitchen sink garbage disposals, they require a lot of water to operate properly.
- Encourage friends and neighbors to be part of a water-conscious community.
- Report significant water losses from broken pipes, open hydrants and errant sprinklers to property owners or the water provider.
- Do one thing every day to save water. Every person can make a difference.
Quick Facts about Reducing Electricity
While reusing and recycling electricity isn’t really an option, we can definitely cut back on our electricity consumption.
Lighting, appliances and vampire electronics are the three main places to start looking for ways reducing electricity use.
SRP is known for offer rebates and incentives to switch to compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) and energy efficient appliances. As for those pesky vampire devices, you’ll find some easy solutions are already on the market.
3 Quick Tips for Saving Electrifying Money
- SRP offers a discount on CFL light bulbs at participating Costco, Home Depot, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Basha’s locations.
- Get a power strip that allows you to flip a switch and stop all the electronics from draining electricity and your wallet.
- Take an online home energy survey with SRP and learn more ways to reduce wasted electricity.
Natural Gas Reduction
Quick Facts about Natural Gas
Depending on how your home uses natural gas will greatly affect how you can reduce your natural gas use.
An increase in temperature by 1 to 2 degrees in the summer can cut cooling costs by as much as 5%
3 Quick Tips to Reducing Natural Gas Waste
- Use an electronic thermostat
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees
- Keep the oven door closed when cooking to prevent heat loss. Each time the door opens the oven looses 20% of its heat.
Looking for more ideas and tips? Contact Marcus with Flinsk Real Estate for more information on a specific topic.
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