Greening Our Homes & Gardens
Whether building a home from the ground up or digging in the garden, incorporate some green activities into the environment that matters most: your home. Some efforts require an initial investment of time or money, but they can save the environment — and your pocketbook — in the long run.
Green construction loans – Money-saving tip
Shop your banks or lenders for loans with special financing rates for building green features into your new home.
Don’t wait, insulate! – Money-saving tip
Add insulation to lower energy bills during the hottest and coldest times of the year. Common types include fiberglass, cellulose, rigid foam board and spray foam.
Paint wisely – Worth the extra cash
Choose low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and primers, such as the Portland-based YOLO Colorhouse Zero line. Check for products certified by Green Seal.
Install Marmoleum – Pocketbook neutral
Available in a fun variety of colors and styles, this natural, durable flooring can be installed without using glue. Marmoleum is also recyclable and biodegradable at the end of its life.
Seal your ducts – Money-saving tip
You can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent when you seal your ducts, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Renewable power – Worth the extra cash
Join TVA in supporting renewable energy through TVA Green Power Switch program—only $4.00 more per block each month helps the development of clean, non-polluting energy resources in our own backyard.
CFL light bulbs – Money-saving tip
Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use 25 percent of the normal light bulb wattage, last up to 10 times longer and save you $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb’s lifetime, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
ENERGY STAR – Money-saving tip
When you purchase a new appliance or electronic product, make sure you choose an ENERGY STAR-certified product to save the environment and your pocketbook.
Unplug it! – Money-saving tip
Unplug electronic products when not being used. In the average home, 40 percent of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Green Landscaping and Gardening
Native plants – Pocketbook neutral
When you plant flowers and shrubs that are well-suited to the Southeast climate, you'll end up using less fertilizer and pesticides.
Reuse grass clippings – Money-saving tip
Leave your grass clippings on the lawn. Since these clippings release nitrogen, you'll avoid the cost and environmental impact of fertilizer.
Go solar – Worth the extra cash
Try solar-powered lighting in your yard or on your patio, such as Malibu's Solar Floodlight from Intermatic.
Plant a rain garden – Pocketbook neutral
These amazing, specialized rain gardens soak up water from nearby roofs, driveways and sidewalks. The naturally filtered water ends up in local aquifers, rivers and other bodies of water.
WaterSense toilets – Worth the extra cash
Today’s average toilet accounts for one-third of home water consumption, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA’s WaterSense label certifies high-efficiency toilets that could reduce water bills by about 10 percent.
Measure your use – Money-saving tip
Calculate your water use and find ways to conserve more water (and money), using the online calculator from Regional Water Providers Consortium.
Install a rain barrel – Worth the extra cash
Collect natural rainwater to use in your garden. You’ll spend some money on the rain barrel itself, but it won’t take long to recover the cost, thanks to a lower water bill.
Fix the faucet – Money-saving tip
A dripping faucet can waste gallons of water every day! Install washerless faucets and update the washers on your sinks and showers.