Top 10 Ways to Make Your New Home Green


Low-flow Plumbing Fixtures

There are many low-flow features you can add to your new home to conserve water and cut down on your water bill costs, including faucets, showerheads and toilets. Toilets are the most obvious starting point because they use 26 percent of the water in your home. Today's industry standard for toilets is 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). If you were updating an old home, you would see significant savings compared to older toilets that use as much as 3.5 gpf. But there is still room for more water savings when installing toilets in a new home. Many high-efficiency toilets on the market use as little as 1.28 gpf, which can add up to a savings of 3,000 gallons of water per toilet, per year [source: Kohler].

So, what's the downside to low-flow toilets? Many consumers complain that less water per flush means more cleaning. However, manufacturers are listening to customer complaints, and are continuing to add new features to their water-efficient toilets. For example, American Standard's EverClean surface is silver based and inhibits bacteria, mold and mildew growth so it doesn't need to be cleaned as often as a regular toilet surface [source: American Standard]. Also, many eco toilets can be more expensive than standard models, but if you go with last year's high-efficiency model, you can usually snag one at a discount.