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New Green Home Solutions – Book Giveaway!

New Green Home Solutions – Book Giveaway!

“What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” — Henry David Thoreau

Dave Bonta and Stephen Snyder bring that quote to life with their book, New Green Home Solutions: Renewable Household Energy and Sustainable Living. Whether you want to figure out your home’s energy use with a simple energy audit, or you’re ready to explore something more involved like solar or wind power, this book will help guide you through the process of cutting back on your energy usage. Plus, the super useful info is punctuated by photos of gorgeous, energy-efficient homes like the one above.

Check out these tips to get started and don’t forget to enter a comment below for your chance to win a copy of the book!

Understanding Energy Usage

Before considering alternative sources for your energy needs, look for ways to reduce the demand. As in the old adage “A penny saved is a penny earned,” any energy saved does not need to be generated by either fossil fuel or renewable energy. If your home is connected to the utility grid, implementing conservation and efficiency strategies means lower bills. If you are building a new home or remodeling an existing one, energy-efficient appliance and building design decisions will reduce renewable energy system expenses and lower or even eliminate your reliance on a backup power supply.

First Steps

When combined with the efforts of others, your household can make a significant difference on a global scale by adopting responsible energy habits. Here are some easy steps you can take to save money and energy, reduce your CO2 emissions, and improve indoor (and outdoor) air quality as well as your overall quality of life.

Adopt an Energy-Conscious Lifestyle: Simply being aware of what appliances are in use and of what needs to be used and when, can help you adjust habits to minimize household energy use. The most efficient practices are those that don’t require any extra energy input, such as hanging clothes to dry on a clothesline. The next tier of efficiency is to install the most efficient technology and minimize use.

Determine What Your Energy Loads Are: The second step on the renewable energy journey should be to familiarize yourself with how much power your home uses and to pinpoint where your energy dollars are being spent. Study a year’s worth of power bills. Try to determine how much energy is used for water and space heating, air-conditioning, and your other electrical loads. In most areas of the country, you will notice seasonal variations in energy consumption. For most American homes, heating and cooling gobbles up the greatest percentage of power–as much as one-third–and therefore deserves to be the primary focus of your efficiency planning. Water heating is usually the second-largest home energy user, followed by lighting, refrigeration, and home appliances and electronics.

Use an Energy Monitor: Electric appliances can account for a sizable portion of your overall energy consumption and have a large impact on a renewable electricity system’s size and cost. So-called “point-of-use” energy monitors allow you to determine how much power each appliance uses. By simply plugging the device into a socket and then plugging the appliance into the monitor, such as Watts Up? or Kill a Watt energy monitors, it will instantly show which of your appliances are energy hogs and need to be replaced with energy-efficient models.

Watch Your Thermostat: Lowering your thermostat is the quickest way to reduce heating bills. The average homeowner can save about 2 percent of the energy used to heat a home for every degree the thermostat is lowered in winter or raised in summer. It is a common myth that it will take more energy to reheat the house than you save by keeping your thermostat set a few degrees lower. Use a programmable thermostat and set it to reduce the temperature ten degrees when you’re sleeping or away from home; and when there is no possibility of freezing pipes, you can shut down your furnace completely.

Excerpted from “New Green Home Solutions” by Dave Bonta and Stephen Snyder. Reprinted with permission of Gibbs Smith. / Photograph by Jack Bingham from “New Green Home Solutions” by Dave Bonta and Stephen Snyder. Reprinted with permission of Gibbs Smith.

WIN THE BOOK! Enter a comment below and you will automatically be entered to win a copy of New Green Home Solutions by Dave Bonta and Stephen Snyder. Winner will be announced on October 5. Good luck!

CONGRATULATIONS TO:

Hillary B.

Please email Samantha at samanthas@care2team.com to claim your new book. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Conservation, Contests & Giveaways, Green, Home, Life, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, , , ,

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Samantha Shook

Samantha is an editor and writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an animal lover who is also passionate about beauty, psychology, spirituality, and art.

224 comments

+ add your own
9:59PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

Samantha,
What do you do when you live "in the line of stink" as I call it. Which means I live litterallyless than a mile to the east of a paper mill which stinks to high heaven! I hardly EVER get to open my windows and NEVER hange my clothes out due to the stink!
Plus, the noise polution is unbelievable here as well! I'd love to be able to move but that is a long way off. For now, I'm stuck. I hate this neighborhood adn all the noise and fumes.
Interesting house by the way.

9:59PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

Samantha,
What do you do when you live "in the line of stink" as I call it. Which means I live litterallyless than a mile to the east of a paper mill which stinks to high heaven! I hardly EVER get to open my windows and NEVER hange my clothes out due to the stink!
Plus, the noise polution is unbelievable here as well! I'd love to be able to move but that is a long way off. For now, I'm stuck. I hate this neighborhood adn all the noise and fumes.
Interesting house by the way.

5:30AM PDT on Oct 5, 2011

I'm intrigued... & love the house in the picture!

9:02AM PST on Dec 15, 2010

Your articles are always very interesting. I would love to have this book!

6:06PM PST on Dec 14, 2010

Personal energy needs vary so much, from them that never have looked at it.And sites vary too as far as good locations for solar or wind.Take your time, use less energy, study your locations.It Can Be Done:-)

7:56PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

cool!

10:47PM PDT on Oct 13, 2010

I remember when I was growing up, my parents had a washing machine but no dryer, so my mother and I always had to dry the clothing in a line. When it rain we had to rush outside to get the clothing before it got wet. We missed a few times, but it was worth the energy saving. Days long gone...how sad.

2:29AM PDT on Oct 6, 2010

i want to learn how to live a more green life.

10:22AM PDT on Oct 5, 2010

It would be helpful to know the cost/benefit of each one of the 'green remodeling' options that are out there, so people can decide which ones strike the right balance between their green ambitions and their budget. I'd love to read this book, but does anyone know of a book that does that? Thanks!

1:07PM PDT on Oct 3, 2010

I would so LOVE to read this book but I think my step dad would love it even more.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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