I love an old house – cozy, sturdy, with its own unique creaks, cracks and character. I also love modern conveniences. When we moved into our new, 1977 built, home last year, I fell in love with the charm of the house and the neighborhood. And even though I am sure this house was finished with all of the top of the line appliances and modern touches for the era, a lot has happened since then. Along with the many new technologies that have developed, so has our understanding of the environment and the numerous things we can do to pass on a better world to our children.
When my husband and I started planning the remodels and upgrades in our new-to-us home to bring it current with the times, we were excited to learn about the Change the Current campaign with Colorado Springs Utilities. What a great opportunity to learn new ways to be efficient with energy and water use on projects we were already planning to undertake.
Saving Water (and Money)
At our old house, we were already watering only at night to cut down on evaporation losses and using drip lines where possible. So right off the bat with our new, larger home on a larger lot, we noticed the larger utility bill. Much of which, having bought the house in June, was contributed to the sprinkler system. It was quite apparent that along with all the grass and space came a need to refine the watering schedule, upgrade to new, more efficient sprinkler heads and most importantly, isolate and fix the existing leaks!
We even brought our kids into the conversation by encouraging them to play in the sprinklers in the zones that need it most. (Thank goodness for all the rain we got this year! We were able to cut way back on watering.) We are teaching our kids ways to not waste water that they can understand – like turning off the sink when they brush their teeth.
Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
Between the watering system, upgrading old appliances (the refrigerator died the first month we were here) and our remodeling projects (can anyone say carpeted bathtub and bathrooms?), we found it easy to replace old showerheads and toilets with more efficient ones that use less water, don’t leak and save us money. We also found simple ways to upgrade to new light fixtures that require fewer bulbs but still provide adequate and directed light using LED bulbs.
After getting some ideas from watching videos on the Colorado Springs Utilities website, we even found ways to switch some of our lights used at night to motion sensor lights to help guide the kids to the bathroom or guide late arrivals to the back door without having to leave the lights on all night.
Remodeling a home can be a challenge, especially for parents with young children who just want to help you out. Why not use the opportunity to teach them to help the environment, be more efficient and save you money while you are at it? Efficiency is not always top of mind but it can make such an impact on your home and our city.
Together We Can Build a Brighter Future
Do you have some home improvement projects coming up? Need tips on ways to save water and energy? Here are some next steps to make a difference:
- Take the pledge and join Colorado Springs Utilities in their effort to #ChangeTheCurrent.
- When you take the pledge, you are also entered into a drawing for a $500 gift card to Home Depot or Lowe’s Home Improvement!
- Check out the many resources available on the Colorado Springs Utilities website.
- Pay attention to small changes that can make a big impact: changing bulbs, shutting off lights, change faucets or showerheads to an efficient brand, and set thermostats to save energy while sleeping or away.
- Involve your kids in learning about the ways they can #ChangeTheCurrent too.