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Office of Sustainability

Green Your Home

Green Your Home

Steps to improve your home

Looking to green your home?  Improving the sustainable aspects of your house or apartment is a great way to reduce your utility bills and, in the case of a house, increase the resell value.  The steps below are great ways to life a more sustainable lifestyle at home.

  1. Recycling and Waste Reduction
    1. The home has at least one designated recycling bin and recycles paper, bottles, cans, cardboard, and batteries.
    2. The home printer has reduced paper margins in order to decrease the length of documents and is set to double-sides printing by default.
    3. The home reuses paper that has text on only one side. It keeps a scrap paper pile near the printer and/or copier.
    4. The home uses reusable bags when shopping or buying lunch, supplies, etc…
    5. The home has reusable mugs, dishware, and silverware for dining use.
    6. The home does not purchase bottled water.
    7. The home uses paper that contains at least 50% recycled content and is FSC certified.
    8. The home has conducted a waste audit of its personal trash and recycling to see what items it is throwing away the most and has taken steps to reduce this waste.
    9. The kitchen has a compost bin and all organic waste is composted on site or at a nearby composting location.
  2. Purchasing
    1. The kitchen contains only local food, preferably organic selections.
    2. All appliances and computers meet Energy STAR or EPEAT standards.
    3. All paint, furniture varnish, and carpets have low VOC content (Violent Organic Compounds).
    4. The home purchases the majority of its products from local businesses whenever possible.
    5. The home does not purchase bottled water.
  3. Energy upgrades
    1. The home makes a conscious effort to turn off all lights in vacant rooms, all power strips are turned off when on vacation, and appliances are unplugged when not in use to prevent vampire load.
    2. The home makes an effort to tightly turn off faucets and showers and fixes any leaks when they appear.
    3. The home uses CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs) in all light fixtures and LEDs for outdoor lighting when applicable.
    4. The home attempts to minimize water use (examples: shower for 10 minutes or less, does not leave the sink running, etc…).
    5. Installed high-efficiency windows and insulation to improve climate control.

Information on Farmers Markets

Looking for local produce and other great products for your home?  Check out your local farmers market (link to all local farmers market).

Building a new home? LEED

If you are building a new home, consider working with your contractor to utilize LEED Residential standards in design for an energy-efficient home.  More information can be found at the USGBC website.

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