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Sustainability

Replace old fixtures and appliances with more efficient models

Energy Star appliances and electronics meet low energy standards measured by the U.S. EPA. If just 1 in 10 homes used Energy Star qualified appliances, the benefit would be the same as planting 1.7 million acres of trees. Consider eliminating some appliances altogether. With our sunshine, drying clothes on a clothesline is just as effective as using a dryer. Handheld can openers work just as well as electric openers.

Install low water-use fixtures. You use more water in the bathroom than in all of the other rooms combined! Low-flow fixtures can reduce the flow of water by 50%.

Faucets- The faucets in your bathroom sinks generally use about 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm). Installing a faucet aerator is a simple and inexpensive way to reduce water use in the bathroom. Faucet aerators reduce output from 2.5 gpm to 1.5 gpm! This is a savings of about 40%!

Toilets- If your home is older than 1992*, chances are your toilets use between 3.5 and 5 gallons of water per flush. Some older toilet models even use as much as 7 gallons per flush! Newer toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, a big savings!

Shower heads- If your home was built before 1992*, chances are your showerheads put out about 5 gallons of water per minute (gpm). Multiply this by the number of minutes you're in the shower, and the water adds up fast! For example, 5 gpm x 10 min = 50 gallons. Install a low-flow shower head and save 50% or more of the water you are currently using.

*In 1992, the U.S. Congress passed water conservation legislation prohibiting the construction of certain high-flow plumbing fixtures.

Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs last up to 10 times longer than regular bulbs, use roughly 75% less energy, provide the same high-quality light and burn at much cooler temperatures than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Only 10% of the energy used by incandescent bulbs actually produces light; the remaining 90% is given off as heat. If every household in the U.S. replaced one light bulb with an Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulb, it would be the equivalent of removing one million cars from the road.

Use efficient hot water heaters if you are unable to go solar. Roughly 90% of the energy used by your washing machine goes to heat the water. For most loads, a cold wash is just fine. (Exceptions: Some stains need hot water and bed linens need a hot wash to kill dust mites.) Use cold water whenever possible and the savings can be as much as $300 and 330 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions every year. 

Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energywebsite for information about efficient hot water heaters.