Go green and save | NevadaAppeal.com

Go green and save

Leslie Cain

Leslie Cain

While there are many strategies you can implement to save energy and water, here are five simple steps you can start this month to help you minimize waste, save money and reduce your carbon footprint:

Switch to CFL Bulbs

Lighting makes up approximately 10 percent of home energy costs. Switch standard incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) as they use up to 75 percent less energy and last up to 12 times longer.

Make Small Changes to Water Usage

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average homeowner can save about $170 a year by making small changes to his or her water usage. Shut off running water while brushing your teeth or shaving. Take a shower instead of a bath since showering uses approximately 17 gallons of water and, on average, bathing uses 75 gallons. Changing kitchen and bathroom faucets to low-flow aerators can save thousands of gallons of water each year. Also, converting to low-flow toilets can save several gallons of water each day.

Generate More Heat for Less Money

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Is your furnace more than 10 years old? If so, you might want to consider replacing it. The newer high efficiency gas furnaces can reduce heating costs up to 50 percent (over a heating season). If replacing your furnace is not an option, be sure to keep your old one maintained including replacing filters on a regular basis to allow for maximum air flow. Also, consider adding more insulation in your attic.

Use Native Plants to Landscape

In Northern Nevada, we have several native plants to choose from when it comes to landscaping. Typically, native plants support animal habitat and require less water and attention, so check with your local nursery to find out the best options for you.

Eliminate Your Dependency on Bottled Water

Plastic isn't just bad for the planet; it's also not good for you, either. Consider investing in a home water filter system rather than continuously buying cases of bottled water. Also, make sure everyone in the household has his or her own designated sustainable water bottle.

To learn more about transitioning to an energy-efficient household, visit houselogic.com, the National Association of Realtors' expert source for homeowners, and search "Green Living."

For more homeowner information or to find a licensed real estate professional, please contact the Sierra Nevada Realtors at 775-885-7200 or sierranevadarealtors.org. Sierra Nevada Realtors is the voice of real estate in Carson City and the surrounding areas. They are committed to building better communities throughout the region, and participating in the political process to protect the industry as well as private property rights.