Smart Technology and Common Sense
We’re all looking to be as smart as we can, and homeowners and apartment dwellers from Chicago or New York — where rent prices are some of the most expensive in the nation — to more inexpensive, but extremely popular Denver, CO are looking for ways to up their learning curves and use smart technology to its fullest. Let’s look at some practical ways to make your residence more sustainable.
Do you realize that bottled water is almost 2,000 times more expensive than tap water? Sometimes it even still tastes plasticy like the bottle itself, yet millions of people throw away billions of dollars on this needless extravagance. Quit drinking the bottled water that may be not be “purified” as it is claimed, because if you do your research, you’ll find out that many bottled waters consist of just tap water from another city. OK, if you live in Flint, MI, you may be excused, but if you live in a municipality that offers decent tap water, buy a home water filtration system that will make your water pristine.
This is energy from systems like wind-powered generators and solar panels. Going off the grid means that you will be energy self-sufficient, and that you will no longer have to rely on a third party for your power needs. There are many rebates available for these systems–especially solar—so call your utility and your local governmental agencies to find out what they offer you to help you install green energy systems.
In cities like Milwaukee, WI that sit next to a large lake, your water bill can be just $40 per month even if you sprinkle all night long. In Austin, TX, however, that same bill can clock in at over $500 per month. Make sure your showers are efficient, learn how to water your garden without spiking your water bill, and think about reusing gray water.
If you are considering a demo and rebuild project, check carefully into resilient and sustainable materials. Did you know that there are self-tinting windows available? If you are doing a complete rebuild, make sure the materials you are using can withstand the challenges your climate presents like tornadoes, hurricanes and/or blizzards. You don’t want a ton of home repairs coming your way as soon as you finish.
Lawn and Garden
If you come from a northern city like St. Paul, MN, don’t think that you can plant the same things in Tuscaloosa, AL. Certain cool weather plants will die during a southern summer, and northern grasses don’t do well in the south. If you are moving to a hot climate, consider a xeriscaped front yard with no grass. Use rocks, stones, and boulders to create an arid effect. You’d be amazed at what you can create, and you’ll be happy when the water bill arrives.
Artificial turf is an option also, but if you put this in, you’ll need to have a special vacuum cleaner to remove leaves and debris from your pretty but plastic lawn. Consider the cost to run that cleaner when you make a decision about artificial turf.
Whether you opt for a smart thermostat, a smart lighting system or smart electrical outlets, combine this new technology with common sense about water usage and landscape planting along with good decisions about any remodeling materials and you will be on your way to sustainability.