You may be one of the millions of people making eco-friendly changes around your home, but have you thought about going green in the garage?
Garages store more than just cars. They store paint and cleaning supplies, tools and lawn care equipment – all of which can pose environmental hazards. These tips from the experts at Black & Decker will help you green your garage.
This summer, millions of Americans will be working hard to improve their backyards, but what does that mean for the environment?
According to the EPA:
- Gas-powered lawn equipment produces as much as one-tenth of the smog-forming pollutants from all mobile sources
- It is estimated that the few ounces spilled during refueling lawn and garden equipment alone total about 17 million gallons of gasoline, most of which evaporates into the air to contribute to the air pollution problem
- The average gas mower produces as much air pollution in one year as 43 new cars driving 12,000 miles each
- We can save by mowing less often. By letting grass grow higher (to, say, three inches before cutting), you allow each blade to develop a deeper root system, which in turn creates a healthier lawn that will naturally resist weed growth (thus reducing the need for herbicides).
Keep the hose in the garage
- A lot of water is wasted through the end of a garden hose. Here are some tips.
- Water the lawn less. Before turning on the sprinkler, ask yourself if it is really necessary. If it is, don’t water too much. Set a timer to remind you to move the sprinkler or shut off the water, or use a sprinkler timer. Even better, hand water rather than using a sprinkler.
- Wash the car less. A lot of dirt can be washed off of a car by simply letting it sit outside in the rain. When it needs washing, consider using a car wash that uses recycled water. If you wash at home, use a bucket rather than a running hose except for the final rinse.
- Use the broom. Do you really need to use your hose to clean off the driveway and sidewalk? Probably not. A broom can do the job just as effectively.
Make Recycling Easier
The garage is the perfect place to set up your own home recycling center. It’s also a high-traffic location, reminding your family to make recycling a habit. Avoid clutter by investing in stackable recycling bins, and reach out to your local recycling center for sorting requirements and regulations.
Make sure your garage is well insulated. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that sealing and insulating garage walls and ceilings can be a cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and save money on your utility bills. This can include weather stripping, installing energy-efficient windows and installing an energy-efficient door from the garage to your house.