We told you last week that we interviewed HGTV's Carter Oosterhouse for his tips on budget-friendly green living this summer. Check out the video of our interview above, and jump below to read more of Carter's tips...
Carter's Green Home Tips
Finding ways to help the environment and ways to go green can seem like a hard task especially now, but there are some easy, affordable ways to go green, starting today.
• Unplug unused chargers and appliances and turn off your computer at night. You'll lose some time booting up, but you'll save energy and more money if you turn your computer off at the end of each day. It will also reduce wear and tear on your hardware, extending its life.
• Reduce water usage on older toilets. If you own an older toilet and can't upgrade to a newer low-flow or dual flush toilet, the eco-friendliest of options, a simple plastic bottle will come in handy. Instead of throwing the bottle into a landfill, where it will sit for 1,000-plus years, fill it with water, recap it, and place it in the tank. You'll reduce your flush by 1-2 gallons (compared to 7 gallons in a standard toilet) and save on the water bill.
• Ditch the paper towels. Paper towels create 30,000 tons of costly waste yearly in the U.S. Switch from conventional towels to reusable versions such as microfiber rags. If you must purchase paper towels, buy the kind made from recycled paper. If every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber paper towels (70 sheets) with 100 percent recycled ones, we could save 544,000 trees.
• Think about your home's energy source. I recommend using natural gas to power your home. It burns cleaner and is more efficient. It takes twice as long to dry clothes with an electrical dryer than with a gas dryer. And when replacing an appliance, be sure to look for one that is more energy efficient. Always look for the ENERGY STAR symbol and compare water and energy usage to ensure you get the best product and environmental savings to suit your needs.
• Next great thing to consider are the actual materials in your home. When selecting green kitchen countertops, consider laminate, paper composite, recycled glass and concrete, which are all eco-friendly options. Also, if considering redoing your flooring, consider reclaimed wood flooring, bamboo, linoleum, and recycled glass tile.
• Determine your home's environmental footprint by using a carbon calculator. You can find a carbon calculator along with several additional tips on energy efficiency on my Web site, carteroosterhouse.com, as well as on at www.comfortableresponsible.org.
You can see more of Carter Oosterhouse on his HGTV show Carter Can.