This Earth Day – on Wednesday, April 22 – will mark 50 years since the initiative began in an effort to draw attention and consciousness to the state of our planet. 

“On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet.”1

Today, more and more initiatives are popping up in an effort to protect our planet. One trend in recent years has been smart home features that save money and the earth.

Here are 5 ways you can take part in a smarter, more energy efficient home that will benefit you and our planet.

  1. Cool roof- Yes, these are cool, but we actually mean temperature-cool. These roofs help deflect sunlight and decrease the temperature of your roof as a whole, which will also keep the temperature in your home lower as well. According to Energy Star, some benefits include:
    • A reduction of energy use by 15%
    • A decrease in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions
    • A means of cooling one’s house without air conditioning
    • Reduction of carbon emissions

Yes, it’s expensive, but it will pay for itself sooner than later.

  • Skylights– Natural light is always beautiful and timeless in any home. In addition, you can bring sunshine in without using energy or lighting materials. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that a skylight be:
    • No bigger than five percent of the floor area in a room with many windows.
    • No bigger than 15 percent of the floor area in a room with almost no windows.
  • LED’s- LED lights consume less energy, burn just as brightly, and don’t give off as much heat making these a great choice for your home. You can swap them in your home, including your appliances.
  • Energy Star appliances-  Appliances can consume a lot of energy, especially if you have older ones. Consider updating to newer models that will help with savings. If the ticket price concerns you, consider these stats:
    • Energy Star refrigerators are 20% more efficient.
    • Their dishwashers are about 10% more efficient.
    • The washing machines use 50% less water and 30% less energy, which can save about $50 per year.
    • Energy Star fans used in bathrooms and above stoves use 70% less energy.
  • Solar panels – Florida, the Sunshine State, is one area where solar panels might make a lot of sense for homeowners. For starters, installing residential solar panels is a 30% federal tax credit on the total cost of a system. 

References:

1Earthday.org

2Energy Star

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