2015 New Years Resolutions – Think Way Past 2015
As the new year approaches, nearly half of Americans make New Years Resolutions. Most of these resolutions have to do with making personal life improvements, like losing weight, eating healthier, being more positive, etc. 2015 is the year to live efficiently; to be sustainable; to save money; to declare your independence and own your energy & water.
The following resolutions will benefit you far beyond 2015.
Never buy bottled water again – Use a NATiVE water bottle instead!
Trade your bottled water habit for an at-home filtering pitcher and you can help make a dent in the 1.5 million barrels of oil used to make plastic water bottles each year; pair it with a reusable NATiVE water bottle and you’ll always be prepared to tackle your thirst. A customized NATiVE Kleen Kanteen is a thank you gift for each solar PV installation and home we build.
Remember your reusable bags
With more than 1 million plastic bags ending up in the trash every minute, taking reusable bags to the store is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint — but the hardest part about using them is simply remembering to take them with you!
In Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas, recycling is made easy. The average family should be able to fill their recycle bin up faster than their trash bin, if you’re mindful of what is recyclable when shopping, and actually recycle it after use.
Drive less and use a bike for short trips
It takes a certain amount of dedication to permanently give up a car in favor of a bike, but anyone can make it work for short trips that don’t require hauling a lot of stuff: picking up milk at the local grocery store, after-dinner ice cream at your favorite dessert spot, your morning yoga class, brunch with friends at the coffee shop. Ride your bike for trips shorter than 2 miles and you could cut your carbon footprint significantly, save money on gasoline and car maintenance, and increase your fitness level — all at the same time.
Eliminate phantom power
It takes approximately one second to unplug the charger for your cell phone, mp3 player, e-reader, or iPad — but if you really can’t be bothered, then let nifty, energy-efficient gadgets do the work for you. Use power strips to turn off all your appliances at once; put your television, DVD player, game system, and stereo on a timer so they automatically shut off overnight; and invest in chargers that stop drawing current when the device’s battery is full. You could cut your energy bill by as much as 10 percent annually — without lifting a finger.
Americans are some of the biggest consumers of water worldwide, according to the EPA. We use 100 gallons on average per day, while Europeans of equal lifestyle use only about 50. Since we are living at a time when half the world’s population will face water scarcity issues within two decades, reducing your water use makes sense. Besides conserving water, you can also add a rainwater collection system to your home and enjoy the best of what mother nature has to offer.
Switch to green power
Switching your home to run on green power sounds like a big job, but having solar panels installed is easy and affordable. NATiVE has great financing options and one of the best warranties in the business! Own your energy and never pay an electric bill again beginning in 2015!
Replace your lightbulbs
Replacing your lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lights may be the easiest change to make in 2015. Despite all the jokes, it takes only one person to change a lightbulb — and since CFLs last longer than traditional bulbs, you’ll be saving time for years down the road while cutting your energy use by as much as 80 percent.
Know your energy usage
Energy monitoring is an easy way to be green in 2015. Systems like E-guage monitor usage on different circuits in your home. NATiVE installs these systems in conjunction with a solar PV system so you can not only monitor your energy production but you can monitor your energy usage. No longer will you leave the lights on in the other room!
Do deep energy retrofits to your existing home
Whether you need better or more insulation, energy efficient windows, roof, or HVAC system, a NATiVE retrofit on your existing home or business will save you money, increase the value of your home, and increase the comfort and health of you and your family.
Take the leap – build a net zero home!
Go green or go home! 2015 is the year to build your energy efficient, high performance NATiVE home.
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