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1. Harvest your rainwater. Look closely at the home in the picture. See that barrel positioned beneath the rain gutter? It is a rain harvesting system designed to safely collect and store rainwater that would otherwise go to waste. A hose at the base of the barrel allows the owners to water the garden with stored rainwater. Watch your tank fill up and the water bill go down!
Browse rain barrels
Another rainwater harvesting system, this one fed by a rain chain and designed to blend seamlessly with the plantings surrounding the house for a natural look.
2. Add a green roof. A green roof, which is basically a giant raised-bed garden placed atop a roof, can help cool the air, insulate the interior of your home, and even provide extra room to garden in urban areas where space is at a premium. Sound like a lot of trouble? You can install one on the roof of your garage. You will enjoy many of the same benefits, with lower cost and less effort.
9 Cooling Rooftop Gardens
9. Seek out reclaimed timber. Before starting a major renovation project, it may be worth your while to explore sources in your area — or even on your own property — for reclaimed wood. Old beams and boards have a patina that new wood simply can't match, and you can feel great knowing you've saved a few trees from the lumberyard.
10. Invest in solar panels. If you are looking to make a change that will have a big impact, consider installing solar panels. The initial investment can be steep, it's true, but the payoff in energy savings can be well worth it, especially if you plan to live in your home for years to come. Some states also offer rebate programs for homeowners who go solar, which can help offset the cost.
High Design With Solar Panels
Easy Green: Weekend Detox for Your Home