How Green Is Your Household?

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house with hedge and lawn
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Your home doesn’t have to have a solar farm in the backyard in order to start operating a little greener. Take this quiz to get easy ideas for making your piece of earth more friendly to the world.  

Question 1 of 8

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closeup of lit cigarette
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Do you allow smoking in your home?

Allowing smoking in your home is like building a tiny smokestack inside. It introduces toxins and pollution into your clean air. 

Question 2 of 8

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African violet
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How many live plants do you have in your home?

Live plants are clean-air helpers. They serve as nature’s air filters, absorbing pollution from chemicals in furniture, carpets and electronics.

Question 3 of 8

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shady yard
Robin Zebrowski / CC BY 2.0 /
What about landscaping…have you chosen plants and trees that can help with solar heating and cooling?

One easy way to landscape with solar in mind is to put in deciduous trees near windows that face south, east and west. (Deciduous trees are those that lose their leaves.) These trees offer shade in the summer and let in heat from the sun in the winter. 

Question 4 of 8

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computer keyboard
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Do you keep electronics unplugged when you’re not using them?

Microwaves, TVs, computers and any other electronic device consume energy when they’re plugged in, whether they are being used or not. This is known as “vampire” electricity. Unplug for environment savings—and maybe even money savings on your next utility bill.    

Question 5 of 8

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partly cloudy sky with sunbeams
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Do you know the easiest way to “go solar”?

You don’t have to do anything extraordinary to use more of the sun’s energy. Simply make a concerted effort to open curtains and blinds to let natural light in and reduce your family’s reliance on artificial light bulbs.

Question 6 of 8

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kitchen interior
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How old is your fridge?

In many kitchens, the refrigerator is the biggest energy bandit. According to the EPA, replacing a refrigerator bought in 1990 with a new ENERGY STAR refrigerator can save enough energy to light the average home for almost four months. If your fridge isn’t up-to-date with the needs of the environment, look into newer models with energy-saving features. 

Question 7 of 8

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clean wine glasses
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When it comes to washing dishes—hand washing or dishwasher?

Believe it or not, a dishwasher uses much less energy than washing dishes by hand. According to the EPA, using an ENERGY STAR dishwasher instead of handwashing saves an average of 5,000 gallons of water a year—not to mention nearly 240 hours of your time!

Question 8 of 8

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bathroom interior / CC BY-SA 2.0 /
In the “loo”…when it comes to environmental-friendliness, is your toilet pulling its weight?

According to the EPA, toilets are the main source of water consumption in the typical home, accounting for almost 30% of indoor water use. Replacing older toilets with newer, more efficient toilets with the WaterSense label can save nearly 2 billion gallons of water per day across the US. It can also save in water bills. 

You scored out of 8
house with hedge and lawn
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay