Over 40 years ago when Kermit the frog lamented that "It's not easy being green,” he wasn't talking about being environmentally responsible. Though had that been the subject of the song, it would still have been true. Recently, TV shows like, "Cosmos" have been beating the drum of anthropogenic climate change: a belief that humans are responsible for global warming. Since 2012, there has been a small increase in the percentage of Americans who take that view. At 57%, that represents more than half of Americans.
That is a very big market that is hard to ignore for manufacturers of household products. It is now easier than ever for homeowners to find products that are marketed directly to the environmentally conscious crowd. In other words, it is a lot easier being green than it used to be.
Yet, green-minded home owners still need the right kinds of marketplaces devoted to offering products that conserve resources. For example, check out the broad product categories available at amconservationgroup.com:
- Energy Efficient Lighting
- Energy Conservation Products and Devices
- Water Conservation Products
- Weatherization Products
Here is a brief look at each of those areas:
Energy Efficient Lighting
Lighting may not be the biggest expenditure in the home, but it is one of the most inefficient. The vast majority of home lighting is the incandescent bulb. It has been around for a very long time. It is past time for it to be retired. These bulbs waste 90% of the electricity they use as heat. Only 10% is used as light.
Since most people do not turn on lights for the purpose of heating their homes, this is wastefulness on a grand scale. We are literally burning 9 out of every 10 cents we spend lighting our homes. Even for the person who cares nothing about environmentalism, that level of wast should be appalling.
AM Conservation Group offers a wide variety of alternatives to incandescent bulbs. Almost anything is more efficient by quite a wide margin. Currently, LED bulbs are the most energy efficient. This is offset by the fact that they are also the most expensive in initial cost. Still, they save money over time.
Energy Conservation Products and Devices
Speaking of lights, energy.gov recommends that motion detecting light switches be used to save energy. We routinely turn on lights that we do not really need. But the worst thing we do with lights is leave them on long after we are done using them.
Motion-sensing switches are inexpensive devices that provide a lot of utility, especially for families with children old enough to turn on lights. They are also great for seldom visited spaces in the house such as basements or storage sheds. A forgotten light in those spaces could be left on for days or even weeks before they are noticed. This type of energy conservation product solves that problem.
Water Conservation Products
According to the EPA less than 1% of the earth's water supply is drinkable. The rest is salt water. It takes large amounts of energy to produce and transport clean water, and process waste water. They also say:
A typical household uses approximately 260 gallons of water every day. We can reduce this amount and save money by using water more efficiently — detecting and fixing leaky faucets, installing high efficiency clothes washers and toilets, and watering the lawn and garden with the minimum amount of water needed.
Another thing we can do is use relatively inexpensive faucets that release water more efficiently in places like kitchen sinks and showers. What we want is satisfying water pressure. To get it, we just turn up the water, wasting much more of it than we can actually use. More efficient water fixtures can give us the pressure we want, without the water waste we don't.
How much money do you typically throw out of your window everyday? According to life.giam.com, weatherization can save 25% to 40% on cooling and heating bills. They say the average unweatherized house in the U.S. leaks air at a rate equivalent to a four-foot square hole in the wall. Since the larges energy expenditure in the average house is cooling and heating, that's a lot of money being thrown out of unsealed windows.
While proper insulation is the obvious first step, it makes a lot of sense to do the simple things like caulk the holes around windows and doors, and put in easy to install seals at the bottom of your external doors. The products you need to completely weatherize your house are easily accessible at local stores or online. And many of the jobs can be done all by yourself with no particular expertise.
Also, remember that animal agriculture is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. So, as hard as it is, any reduction you can make in your consumption of dairy, beef, poultry and other livestock will actually help reduce emissions and conserve water (it takes a LOT of water for all those animals).
Certainly, there are a lot of big projects you can do to become more green. But even if those are out of reach, you can still do a lot of good by just picking up new bulbs and faucets the next time you go to the store. It has never been easier to be green.