GREEN Money Saving Tips
that Stick-It to the Utility Companies!
My push to “Build for the Environment” (the “Economic Environment”) underscores my commitment as a GREEN builder to continuously identify and employ wiser and smarter building solutions and energy-saving concepts. This is especially important as we head into the fall and winter months where increased energy costs are expected.
To define energy-saving solutions it’s imperative that we first shore up and understand what and where our energy costs are currently going. To do this, it’s best to employ a simple yet solid GREEN concept by “Doing the Basic Things the Best.” In doing so, we find that core energy costs generally derive from electrical and water usage, resulting in the following energy-saving tips:
* Electrical – Shut off electrical draining gadgets when not in use, particularly before bedtime. Focus on “left-on” household computers and automation games and you’ll see at least a 20 percent reduction.
* Water – Police water usage times to ensure overuse is not occurring. Look at the biggest culprits such as long shower times, oversized and overused outdoor sprinkler systems and even drilling-down on clothes washing; if it’s not dirty, don’t wash it!
Become an energy-miser! Identify household areas where energy is typically overused or wasted, allowing you to hone in and smartly manage it. You can do this manually or by using a wide-array of smart automated energy shut-off / shut-on systems. Anyway you look at it, by “Doing the Basic Things the Best,” you’ll be in a position to be environmentally correct while saving money!
Next time you unleash a new product — one that glimmers with eco-friendliness and sustainability — on the market, ask yourself, “Can the consumer who doesn’t unplug appliances before vacations, who throws out moldy plastic containers instead of washing them and who uses paper towels like they’re going out of style fit this into his/her lazy green lifestyle?”
When building healthy homes it’s imperative to maintain (amongst other things) pristine indoor air quality—which can often be accomplished by simply doing the basic things in the best way possible.
Sometimes when I dismantle homes I run across terrible problems that contribute to poor indoor air quality. The picture below is one of them. The blackened area on the 4×4 member is black mold mixed with water rot. This wood, which ran vertically against the supporting of a bathtub, was subjected to years of water damage stemming from a shoddy tile job that allowed water to leak against the wood. Can you imagine the toxicity associated with this? The owner of this house finally realized this problem after his children constantly complained of illness and allergies.
Considering that water damage accounts for more than 90 percent of all construction lawsuits, please be vigilant about protecting your household from unwanted water damage, which can easily make your family sick. The sustainable fix is simple. To prevent water damage from a situation like this, try one of two solutions. If you’re dealing with new construction (or even an extensive remodel), have the bathtub area hot mopped like you’d do with the shower pan. If you’re just redoing the tub area, use a waterproofing roof underlayment product and place it up and around the framing and bottom plywood area where the tub rests.
I can’t tell you how many tubs I’ve pulled out with rotted wood. Use my practical experience to your advantage—avoid mold and toxicity issues!