Looking after the planet and reducing our personal impact on the environment is becoming a priority for increasing numbers of people in America. There are many, many ways to reduce your ‘footprint’ and here, at Stiltz Home Elevators, we have put together just five ideas to do your bit to help live more sustainably.
1. Reduce energy consumption
An easy change is just to think about the energy you and your household uses and look at ways to reduce this. Choose light bulbs which are low energy consumption. Halogen incandescent bulbs, light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) last three to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs as well as using anywhere from 25-80 per cent less electricity. As well as this, simple, old tricks like always turning lights off when you leave a room, or having them on timer switches or using smart lights also helps. Consider upgrading your HVAC system, which if old might be more of a drain on your home energy, as well as your bills, than an up to date one.
2. Think about travel
Automobiles and planes are big contributors to greenhouse gasses which add to global warming. Ultimately by cutting down on flights or journeys we can cut down on CO2 in the atmosphere. However, it is not always easy to make these changes if your life requires you to travel. Electric or hybrid cars which use cleaner energy to run are an option for those who need to drive. And just by being aware of the impact your travel has on the environment means that you might choose to walk short distances rather than hopping in the car, or make different choices when planning a vacation.
3. Consider the impact of your home improvements
When making changes to your home and buying new appliances, bear in mind environmental factors. On average, 13 per cent of total household energy use goes on appliances, so by choosing ones with excellent energy ratings, you can reduce your energy consumption, as well as your energy bills. At Stiltz Home Elevators, we care about how our products might impact the environment and have worked to ensure our elevators are as ‘green’ as they can be. Our elevators have been awarded Green America’s Green Business Certification, thanks to a few factors such as their compact size, meaning significantly fewer materials are used to make our products than traditional elevators. In addition to this our products are very economical and low on power consumption and unlike other hydraulic residential elevators, can run straight off a 220v outlet or a 110v outlet with step-up transformer.
4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The world has become a very disposable place, with single use plastics and paper products being more widespread than ever before. But this brings at least two problems: the resources and energy needed to create the products, and the waste that is left behind after just one use, possibly for years. Add to this the energy needed to transport the products and then the waste and you can see how the problems stack up. Recycling is a good step in the right direction, ensuring that fewer raw materials are needed to create the initial products, but doesn’t address the energy needed. Far better to cut down on single-use products where possible, by taking your refillable coffee cup along with you, or cloth bags rather than relying on plastic or paper bags. It also means less waste to deal with and less trash in our general environments which is ugly and can be harmful to wildlife.
5. Weatherize your home
To make your home as energy efficient as possible, it’s a good idea to think about how well insulated it is from the outside temperatures. If your home leaks air easily, your air con or heating will need to work twice as hard than if it is well insulated. The best place to start is with the loft insulation. As heat rises, houses lose air into the loft space and then drag cold air in from any unsealed opening. Look at the seals around windows and doors and if they are letting air flow they should be made air-tight. By installing new windows you can drastically improve the energy efficiency of your home. Double glazing stops heat from flowing out of your windows. Conversely, if glare on the windows causes the home to get over hot in summertime, special coatings on windowpanes can prevent the heat build-up by reflecting the sun’s glare.