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Have you made the commitment to go fully green and pursue a sustainable lifestyle from now on? Then my friend, you have made a serious commitment. Going green is more than a cliché. It’s much bigger than recycling and taking your own eco-friendly bag to the grocery store, or simply buying energy efficient light bulbs.
While those actions are praiseworthy, going green is a choice — one that requires a dramatic shift in how you live your life.
Understand the Meaning Behind “Go Green”
Going green means reducing our negative impact on the environment and embracing a consumption level that can be sustained by nature through time. As Sustainable Baby Steps confirms, going green is about “creating a lifestyle that works with Nature, instead of against it, and does no long-term or irreversible damage to any part of the environmental web.”
For homeowners, going green not only involves investing in energy efficient materials and appliances, but also taking deliberate “green” actions in the little areas of their lives.
Evaluate Your Home’s Energy Expenditure
If you're concerned about climate change and want to do your fair share for the environment, then your home is an excellent place to start. But how do you know where to start when you can’t identify the problems? Getting an energy audit is the answer. An energy auditor will inspect your home, using diagnostic equipment to identify where your building is wasting energy. This process should include:
• A blower test to determine whether doors and windows seal properly;
• A thermography test to pinpoint areas of heat loss;
• A visual inspection of HVAC systems, including crawl spaces;
• A moisture inspection to locate water leaks and moisture deposit;
• An appliance and lighting inspection to assess their energy efficiency.
As Energy.gov explains, an energy audit “is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient.” Homeowners who follow the recommendations made on the audit can save up to 30% on their energy bills.
Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
Knowledge is power and when it comes to going green, knowing your options can greatly help you to prioritize and invest smart. Besides researching for green alternatives and learning all you can about pursuing a green lifestyle, you can also calculate your personal carbon footprint and start making small changes right now.
Calculating your carbon footprint will enable you to see the amount of greenhouse gases your household contributes to the earth's atmosphere each year. The figure is generated based on a number of factors such as where you live, how local power is generated, what kind of car you drive, and whether or not you recycle. You can then plan your home renovation around the energy audit and the carbon footprint result to assess the effectiveness of your home improvement and stay on track.
It’s Not All About Your Home
Going green at home is a noble quest. However, one thing to remember is that your home is not everything. Living is also about cultivating green habits and educating those around you.
Let your home be the headquarters of your “going green” mission and spread the love for Mother Earth from there!
Paul Kazlov is a metal roofing expert and has grown Global Home Improvement to be the Mid-Atlantic's largest installer of residential metal roofing, saving the everyday homeowner money on energy costs. He has installed more than 1,000 metal roofs and more than 2 million square feet of standing seam, metal slate, and metal tile, helping the Philadelphia-New Jersey-New York area. Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulKazlov. Read all of his MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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