Sustainability at Home

Sustainability at Home

 

Being green doesn’t just have to stop when you leave work for the day. Socket has many great tips and resources for you to translate sustainable living best practices into your everyday life at home!

 
 

 

Ways to Save Energy

 

Turn out the lights when you leave a room or leave home

  • Saving money on your home energy bills is something we all want to do.There are many little things you can do to put a few extra dollars in your pocket each month, while also helping the environment.

 

 

Make use of natural light whenever possible.

  • Leave the lights off. If just 200 people in Nashville found one light they could turn off for 24 hours, they could save as much as 300 kWh. If it is 2,000 people they could save up to 2,500 kWh.

 

Turn your thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer when you leave for work.

  • Even just a few degrees’ adjustment can make a big difference. Socket recommends keeping the temperature at 68 in the winter and 72 in the summer.

  • Or buy a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts or can be timed for your schedule.

 

Unplug electronics when not in use.

  • This is especially important if you’re going out of town for multiple days

 

 

Set your water heater to a lower temperature.

  • Some water heater thermostats come preset to 140 degrees, which can cost you more money. Make sure your water heater is set to 120 degrees.

  • This is also recommended to help prevent accidental scalding and burns from water that is too hot – especially important with little ones around.

 

 

Be mindful of energy use when cooking.

  • A six-inch pan on an eight-inch burner will waste more than 40 percent of the stove's energy.

  • Use pots the same size as your burners. Use lids when possible so you can cook at a lower temperature.

 

 

Put the shades down.

  • This helps hold in the cool when it’s hot, and vice versa.

 

 

Get a home energy audit and look for financial incentives to make energy efficiency improvements to your home.

Various organizations in Nashville offer incentives and other education resources to help make a home energy audit or retrofits more feasible:

 

 

 

 

Ways to Reduce Waste

 

 

Avoid disposable items when possible.

  • Instead maintain and repair durable products or reuse disposable items for different use.

 

 

Purchase products with minimal packaging or that are made of recycled materials.

  • Your consumer choices matter. The more demand for products with sustainable materials, the more affordable they will become.

 

 

Reuse or recycle bags and containers whenever possible.

  • If you can’t find a use for a plastic bag, check to see if your local grocery store collects them or re-use them as trash or doggie bags.

 

Recycle everything you can in your curbside recycling.

  • Remember, curbside recycling is picked up once a month in Nashville and it is single stream so you don’t have to sort out different types of materials.

  • If you don’t have curbside recycling, Nashville has multiple recycling drop-­off sites located throughout the county.

 

Compost your food and yard waste.

  • Compost is great nutrition for your garden. Buy Home Compost Bins, Digesters and Compost Kitchen Containers from Public Works. Public Works has a ton of resources for how to compost at home, including:

    • Home Compost Bins, Digesters and Compost Kitchen Containers are available for sale by Metro Public Works

    • Public Works offers instructions on how to compost

    • Public Works The Dirt on Composting booklet

    • Public Works offers advice on composting with worms

    • Public Works offers a “Master Composting Class” each fall. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    • Visit Public Work’s Backyard Composting Demonstration Site at the Omohundro Convenience Center

 

 

Don’t throw hazardous waste in the trash.

  • Hazardous waste includes items such as gasoline, pesticides, oil based paint and electronics.

  • Davidson County residents can take these items for recycling to the household hazardous waste facility. See this list of all acceptable items at the  household  hazardous waste  facilities.

 

 

Report illegal dumping or littering to Public Works

 

 

Participate in planned Neighborhood Clean-ups or organize your own.

 

 

Adopt a Street, Highway, Stop or Stream

Take part in one of the following beautification efforts through Public Works

 

Ways to Save Water

 

 

Use Metro Water Services as a community resource.

 

 

Only run the dishwasher when it’s completely full.

  • If you don’t have a dishwasher, plug up the sink or use a wash basin instead of running water

 

Choose the shower over a bath and keep it short.

  • Showering uses less water than a bath if you watch the time.

 

 

Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving.

  • This way you are only running the tap when you actually need water.

 

 

Install low flow faucets and showerheads.

  • Low flow appliances may cost more in the upfront, but the water you will conserve will save you money down the road.

 

 

Fix household leaks immediately.

  • Small household plumbing leaks can quickly add up to gallons a day. Wasting water needlessly uses electricity.

  • In large cities, the biggest draw on electricity is supplying water to residents and cleaning up the water after it has been used.

  • Take a good look at your water bill every month. Unusually high use could mean you have an undetected leak.

 

 

Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator.

  • Have cold water at the ready instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.

 

Only run the laundry machine when it’s a full load.

  • Or if you have the option on your machine, set it to the appropriate load size selection.

 

 

Sweep your driveway rather than hosing it off.

  • Use a hose with a cut off nozzle when washing your car or watering your plants.

  • Keep your stormwater drain clear of leaves, grass clippings and other organic debris.

 

Make water smart landscaping choices.

  • Choose native, low-maintenance or drought-tolerant landscaping that require less water. Mulch plants to reduce water loss.

  • Understand how much water your landscaping or garden really needs so you don’t over-water.

  • Water lawns and gardens early in the morning or after dark to reduce evaporation.

 

 

Make rain your friend.

 

 

Dispose of your medication safely.

  • It’s important not just to save water, but to keep Nashville’s water clean. That’s why it’s critical to dispose of medication at home safely and not just flush it down the drain.

  • Learn how Metro Water Services can help you with Safe Medication Disposal.

 

Ways to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

 

 

Start a backyard garden.

 

 

Visit the Nashville Farmers Market or your local farmers’ market.

  • Farmers’ markets are not only an awesome resource for healthy, fresh, local food, but they are a great way to support your local economy.

  • Nashville Farmers’ Market is open seven days a week and located right in the heart of downtown!

 

 

Take advantage of the Nashville Public Library “Be Well” program.

 

Get outside and visit a Metro Parks and stay active.

Find one of our local greenways, trails, parks, playgrounds, community & nature centers through Metro Parks & Recreation.

 

 

Use the NashVitality App.

 

Take the stairs.

  • If 200 of us all chose the stairs for only 10 flights per week we could save 36 kWh and burn a collective 6,000 calories. That is like 20 cheese burgers. Move that up to 2,000 of us and we save 250 kWh and burn a collective 60,000 calories. If just 20,000 of the 1.5 million of us chose stairs for 50 flights in a week, we could power 12 houses for a whole month and save 6,000 cheese burgers worth of calories (that's 3 million calories if you are counting).

 

 

 

Ways to Engage

 

 

Teach your children about sustainability!

 

 

Ask your child’s teacher to sign up for a tour of Public Work’s Recycling Education Station.

  • Public Works provides tours to classrooms at one of their recycling facilities so you can see how Nashville recycles in person! Sign up here.

 

Volunteer!

  • Plan a Community Tree Planting

  • Volunteer with Hands on Nashville’s Home Energy Savings program

  • Volunteer with the Urban Green Lab when it visits MNPS schools. Being green doesn’t just have to stop when you leave work for the day. Socket has many great tips and resources for you to translate sustainable living best practices into your everyday life at home!