Nine Easy Ways to be Greener at Home (and save some green too).

When it comes to real estate in Augusta, or any area for that matter, there is so much to think about before buying your home.  For example, will things like energy efficient appliances or new windows pay off?  Whether your buying or selling a home, or even if you’re not, there are some things you can do to save a little green and be green at the same time.

1. Go Low Flow in the Bathroom – taking a shorter shower is a water-saving move that’s easy enough, but a smarter shower head can make things easier. Low-flow shower heads may save you up to $70 per year on water costs, according to the EPA’s Water Sense program.

2. Clean Behind Your Fridge – Dirty coils can make your fridge work harder, jacking up your electric bill. Clean them monthly with a coil cleaning brush or your vacuum’s crevice tool for optimum efficiency.

3. Collect Rainwater – By placing a rain barrel at the base of a downspout, rainy days will finally have a silver lining: What you collect can be used to water non-edible outdoor and indoor plants.

4. Wash on the Cold Cycle – speaking of laundry, your washing machine devotes 90% of its energy to heating up the water—and cold water will get clothes just as clean. Wash a few loads a week in cold water (choose liquid detergent over powdered to ensure it dissolves well) and you can save up to $40 per year.

5. Load Up the Dishwasher – Two tweaks to your dish washing routine will saved you time and money. First, don’t run your dishwasher until it’s completely full. Second, just scrape off dishes into the trash can instead of pre-rinsing then, and you can save up to 20 gallons of water. And, yes, running the dishwasher is still way more efficient than hand washing dishes, so go ahead and use it.

6. Don’t Keep the Fridge Door Open – Idly browsing your late-night snack options or leaving the door wide open while you put away groceries can cost you. As you let cold air escape, your refrigerator has to work harder to reduce its internal temperature again. This bad habit accounts for up to 7% of your fridge’s total energy use.

7. Don’t Let the Faucet Run – Is this a familiar scene? You’re craving a cold glass of water, so you let the sink faucet run for a minute, so the water can cool down. Those five minutes could waste up to eight gallons of water per day. Instead, keep a pitcher or reusable bottle of tap water in the fridge, ready to go.

8. Know What to Buy Organic – Organic foods can be pricey. But you don’t have to go all organic, just know what to look out for. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases an annual list of the “dirty dozen” foods that contain the most pesticide residue. Choosing to buy the organic versions of just these foods can reduce your family’s exposure to pesticides by 80% without breaking your grocery budget.

9. Unload your trunk – Avoid storing heavy items in the back of your car unless you really need them. More than 100 pounds of stuff in your trunk can reduce fuel efficiency by 2%, which is like spending an extra 7 cents per gallon on gas.

Courtesy GoodHousekeeping.com

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