As your CT renovation specialists, we like to encourage homeowners to think "green" and take steps to help protect ourselves and our Earth. In conjunction with Earth Day we would like to present some of our favorite smart and sustainable ideas for your home.

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10 Ways to Make Your Home 'Green' Friendly

1) Replace older appliances. Installing new energy efficient appliances will help reduce energy usage and decrease bills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you could save as much as $150 a year by upgrading appliances. Homeowners should consider installing EnergyStar appliances such as dryers, lighting, fans, computers, refrigerators and more.

2) Monitor the temperature. Turn down your thermostat slightly in colder weather and keep it up a little bit higher in the warmer weather. A programmable thermostat will help keep the temperatures regulated and save significant money and energy. Also consider using ceiling fans instead of air conditioners to help cool your home.

3) Use green products. Don't buy household items that could be toxic to you and the environment. Instead, look for more eco-friendly products that can perform just as effectively without hurting the Earth. We recommend using natural cleaners and disinfectants, like those with the main ingredients found in plants.

4) Use water efficiently. Think smart when using water in your home. Install a low-flow toilet which can save homeowners up to $100 a year. Save water and protect the environment by using less water when taking a shower, brushing your teeth, and washing your car. Fix any leaky faucets or damaged drains to make sure you aren't losing any water. For more smart water tips, check out WaterSense.

5) Unplug electronics. According to DailyFinance, the typical American has 40 household appliances that they routinely plug in, even when they aren't being used. Many common electronics and appliances continue to use electricity, even while it is in the "off" setting. To avoid this unnecessary energy usage, unplug all appliances when they are not in use.

6) Insulate with fiberglass. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, thermal insulation (made from fiberglass and its alternatives) can conserve 12 times as much energy as is lost in its production, and it may reduce residential energy costs by up to 40%. Using fiberglass insulation is a great way to help minimize your impact on the environment.

7) Landscape smart. Believe it or not, trees and shrubs on the outside of your home can help reduce energy consumption. Trees block the sun's radiation from heating up a home during the already warm summer months. Plus, planting any trees or bushs is always a great way to positively impact the environment and help contribute oxygen to the earth.

8) Use environmentally safe paint. Traditional paints contain toxic metals, solvents, and organic compounds that contribute to pollution. Here are a few chemicals to avoid when shopping for new paint: ammonia, glycol esters, heavy metals (cobalt, cadmium) phthalates (dibutyl phthalate) and tolulene (methyl benzene). Latex paints that contain lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are much better for environmental safety.

9) Consider bamboo. If you are thinking about installing new wood floors, consider swapping traditional hardwood floors with bamboo. Bamboo, a giant woody grass, is known for its durability and strength. Bamboo can also replenish itself at a relatively fast rate, which means it is much more environmentally friendly.

10) Recycle. Recycling can be the simplest of ways to help save our environment. Whether you are building a new home, or simply updating your current one, always consider ways to recycle materials. It takes less energy to create new items from recycled materials than it does to create new products from raw materials. Gathering recyclables and reprocessing them will prevent pollution, conserve natural resources, reduce greenhouse gases and curb deforestation.

At Fiderio & Sons we care about the environment. To learn more about making your home environmentally friendly, contact Fiderio & Sons.

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