Living green in your home does not require LEED certification, solar panels or a state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system. In 7 simple (and inexpensive) steps you can transform your home life into one unburdened by the guilt that comes from excessive waste, wanton consumption and the use of noxious toxins. In other words, it IS easy being green!
Install a water-efficient showerhead for added savings.
Now that the water coming out of the faucets is clean, it's time to use less of it. This is another money-and-Earth-saving step for the home that can be accomplished by those with very little DIY experience.
Since the birth of the EPA-partnered WaterSense program the list of certified faucets, showerheads, toilets and other fixtures has grown exponentially. Operating much like its big sister EnergyStar program, WaterSense imposes water-usage requirements in order for a product to earn the label.
The standard showerhead uses 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm). WaterSense-labelled high-efficiency showerheads use no more than 2.0. According to the water-saving site an average household can save more than 2,300 gallons per year by installing a low-flow showerhead. See how easy it is to Install a Water-saving Showerhead
Faucets and Faucet Accessories The simple act of screwing in an aerator can help cut the home's water bill, especially given faucets account for over 15 percent of a home's indoor water use. Installing a WaterSense labelled faucet or faucet accessory can save the average household over 500 gallons of water a year. Learn how to Install a Faucet
Look for WaterSense-labeled toilets like this dual-flush by Caroma. Photo courtesy of Caroma USA.
Toilets have enjoyed the lion's share of attention when it comes to water consumption and water-saving advances. A fixture that once consumed 3.6 gpm, newer low-flow models can require a scant 1.28 gpm, exceeding federal standards. Dual-flush models offer a flush option for liquid waste that uses even less water per flush. Watch a how to video on Installing a New Toilet
Incentives Although WaterSense does not offer rebates, many states feature programs that do. Be sure to scan the WaterSense rebate page for rebate offers from participating WaterSense partners in your state.
Small Fixes These bigger fixture swaps are attention-grabbers and excite the shopper in us, but they shouldn't overshadow some smaller fixes and upgrades that can also contribute to significant long-term water saving in the home. These include: