I used to think that Miami was not very “green conscious” and not many people were environmentally friendly but I was so wrong! Maybe in Miami we are not as obvious as on the West Coast because we don’t see every household having a compost pile and we don’t publish the use of bio-degradable detergents nor color code our recycling bins.
But the truth is that we are GREEN, we do recycle, we do conserve water and energy and we do look for thermal products like insulated windows to help us with energy consumption. To make things easier, I found a Business Week article, written by Alex Halperin called Five Green Fixes for Your Home. By following these five simple steps, you will be helping the environment as well as your pocket book (saving energy, does mean saving money).
- Buy EnergyStar appliances – did you know you could save up to a third of your energy bill just by buying EnergyStar approved appliance?
- Close up gaps where air and moisture can escape – just by caulking and weather-stripping, you can prevent a/c escapes, and in the case of South Florida, moisture and heat coming in! – insulating attics and walls also can do a lot for your power bill.
- Do a blow test – you will have to read this section completely, because it is really complicated and at the same time very simple – it is done to make sure the least amount of energy is used to heat or cool your home.
- Watch your water consumption – from flow reducers in faucets to recirculation systems in hot water heaters
- Upgrade windows – although this can be costly, insulated windows will pay off in the long run (you can even get Impact Resistant Windows and kill two birds with one stone), insulated windows also help with noise reduction if you live near a busy intersection or train tracks.
There are a lot of green architects and green builders around, and it is becoming more and more popular to be “green conscious” – and although you don’t have to be an extremist and feel like you are a flower-child from the 60’s, it is the small things that make a difference. Check out this great local site that constantly gives ideas on how to make a difference – Greener Miami. **article originally published on August 20th, 2007**