city of greenvillesustainability
Audit your home’s energy use
A quick but thorough self-energy audit of your house can save energy and money. The Department of Energy outlines tips for a do-it-yourself home energy assessment.
Replace conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs)
Using high-efficiency CFLs saves energy and money. According to the Department of Energy
and the US EPA, Energy Star CFL bulbs are up to 66 percent more efficient and last up to 10
times longer than standard bulbs. CFLs are available in a variety of sizes and shapes.
Fluorescent lamps contain a small amount of mercury and must be disposed of properly.
For more information about CFLs and how to make the switch check out these websites:
Facts about CFLs
Turn off and Unplug
Turning off and unplugging electrical appliances when they are not in use will save
a surprising amount of energy. Many appliances enter "passive standby" mode when
they are turned off, which allows the appliances to start up quickly when switched
on. Other appliances continuously use energy to power clock displays. According
to Energy Star, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics and appliances
is consumed while the products are turned off. Unplugging appliances will help avoid
this energy waste.
Duke Energy has a program for renewable energy in South Carolina. Duke Energy’s
renewable energy plan, carbon off-set program, and technologies can be found here.
Check it out to see how you can save not only money but also the environment!
Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Washing clothes in cold water allows clothes to last longer and colors to stay brighter
in addition to saving a significant amount of energy. It is recommended to finish
the washing process with line drying the clothes to save even more energy.
Why to line dry
Fill the Dishwasher
When possible, run your dishwasher only with a full load in order to cut down on
water and energy usage.
Check Your Water Heater
As recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy, set your water heater thermostat
no higher than 120°F and keep it well insulated. Also, switching to a tank-less
water heater means your water will be heated as you use it rather than keeping a
tank of hot water.
Change the Air Conditioner Filter
Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended.
Maintaining your air conditioner
Replace Old Appliances and Use ENERGY STAR® Products
Inefficient appliances waste energy. When buying new household products (such as
appliances, electronics, and lights), look for ones that have earned the ENERGY
STAR® rating. They not only meet federal energy efficiency guidelines, but can save
you money. More
How to buy energy efficient home appliances
Energy Star Rebate Information
Energy Saving Purchasing Tips
Switch to Double Pane Windows
Double pane windows keep more heat inside your home so you use less energy.
Today's windows | Choosing Windows
Weatherize Your Home
Caulk and weather strip your doorways and windows.
Insulate Your Home
Make sure your walls and ceilings are insulated.
Introduction to Installation
Adjust Your Thermostat
Move your heater thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer. When cold, try putting on a sweater or jacket instead of turning up the thermostat.
Let the Winter Sun in and Keep the Summer Sun Out
During the colder months, opening your curtains or blinds during peak sun will utilize solar heat and daylight, reducing your heating and electricity bills. Also, closing the shades at night will help keep heat inside. Contrarily, make sure to close your curtain or blinds during the hotter months of the year to keep your home cool.
Consider Alternate Sources of Power – Wind and Sun
Alternative power generation not only is a greener option because it is renewable
but it can also save costs – the wind and sun are free to use! Learn more about
installing alternative power generators including solar panels, small wind turbines
and geothermal heat pumps.
Green Design and Renovations
Before building a new home or renovating the home you currently live in, check out
sustainable remodeling and construction ideas, techniques and suggestions. This
can make your investment last longer and more cost effective.
Information and Resources
LEED for Homes
Capture Rain Water
Capturing rainwater is a great way to reuse water for tasks around your house like watering plants and your lawn. This is a smart and cost effective way to cut down on your water use.
Ways to capture rainwater
Save Water in the Bathroom
Two thirds of the water used in an average home is used in the bathroom, and a lot of it goes into the sewer. Anywhere from 2-7 gallons of water are used every time a toilet is flushed. Do not use the toilet to flush items that can go in a wastebasket or garbage can and be aware of toilet leaks.
Install low-flow showerheads and faucets
Using less water in the shower means less energy to heat the water. Additionally, taking a shorter shower will also help to conserve energy, produce less greenhouse gases, and lower your energy bill. Showers account for 2/3 of all water heating costs.
When a low-flow is appropriate
You might have heard this frequently but it is recommended to turn off the faucet while you shave or brush your teeth. You are just running clean water down the drain and wasting money.
Inflate Your Tires
Keep the tires on your car adequately inflated and check them monthly.
How to inflate your tires
Change Your Air Filter
Check your car’s air filter monthly in order to ensure higher gas mileage and high
How to change your filter
Buy a Hybrid Car or Fuel Efficient Car
When buying a new car, be aware of fuel efficient options in the car market. The
average driver could save 16,000 lbs. of CO2 and $3,750 per year driving a hybrid.
Compare different hybrid cars to see what the best fit for you.
Carpool When You Can
Carpooling with friends and co-workers saves fuel money. Email co-workers to set
up a carpool system at your work place or in the neighborhood.
Don’t Idle in Your Car
Idling wastes money and gas, and generates pollution and global warming causing
emissions. Except when in traffic, turn your engine off if you must wait for more
than 30 seconds.
Walk, Bike or Bus It
When running errands during the week, walk, bike or take the bus instead of driving.
You will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions and save money in addition to getting
more exercise and relief from commuter stress.
Trails and Greenways
Recycle in Greenville
Recycling helps to reduce carbon emissions and save energy.
Use Recycled Paper
Make sure your printer paper is 100% post consumer recycled paper.
How to understand
labels | Paper guide
Ditch the Plastic
2.5 million individual plastic water bottles are thrown away every hour in the US.
Start using a reusable water bottle and just say no to plastic!
Reusable water bottle information
Bring Cloth Bags to the Market
Try using your own cloth bag instead of plastic or paper bags. This reduces waste and requires no additional energy. Bags can often be purchased at the check line of most major grocery stores.
Buy Local and Minimally Packaged Goods
When possible, make the effort to buy goods that comes from a local source and that are minimally packaged. Be aware and conscious of these points when shopping. Less packaging can reduce your garbage by about 10%.
Greenville Chamber of Commerce
Check out Greenville’s Farmers Market
Farmers markets dramatically reduce the journey that food takes to your table and avoid costly,
wasteful packaging and emissions. Stop by Saturday Market for a variety of local products.
In The Yard
It is recommended to water grass or plants only if they show signs of needing it
rather than on a fixed schedule or if rain is forecast. Water during the coolest
part of the day to avoid excess evaporation and let the water sink in slowly. Water
applied too fast runs off into storm sewers.
There are many sustainable and green options for managing stormwater runoff at your
house including rain barrels, bioswales, and rain gardens.
Water Conservation |
EPA Watersense Program
Use a Push Mower
Use your muscles instead of fossil fuels and get some exercise with a push mower.
Trees and Vegetation
Strategically planting trees in your yard can reduce heating and cooling bills.
Trees provide shade, reducing air conditioning costs by up to 30 percent (USDA Forest
Service). Evergreen trees are excellent windbreaks for homes, reducing heating costs
and providing a beautiful year-round landscape. Trees also store carbon, which helps
reduce global warming effects. The Greenville Foundation makes it easy to plant
a tree in Greenville.