Magnetic Refrigerators
Magnetic Refrigerators
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric have teamed up to create a revolutionary new type of refrigerator that uses magnets to create cold, also known as the magnetocaloric effect (lowering or raising the temperature of the material by changing the magnetic field).
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
The Building Technologies Office is ushering in the next generation of heat pump systems, which warm and cool your home by moving heat from one space to another. A fuel-fired, multi-function residential heat pump that can reduce primary energy consumption by 30 percent.
Clothes Dryers
Clothes Dryers
The same concept behind heat pump technologies that keep your home comfortable can also be used for another important application: drying your clothes. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric are developing a new type of clothes dryer that uses a heat pump cycle to generate hot air needed for drying.
Smarter, More Connected Homes
Smarter, More Connected Homes
We live in an increasingly connected world -- the same is true for our homes. New electronic devices and appliances can now be linked to the Internet to provide real-time data that makes it easier to understand and lower energy use.
Next-Gen Insulation
Next-Gen Insulation
Insulation is one of the most important ways to reduce your home heating and cooling costs. The Industrial Science & Technology Network is developing new foam insulation made with environmentally friendly and advanced composite materials that ensure heat doesn’t escape from the attic, walls and other areas of the home during cold winter months.
Advanced Window Controls
Advanced Window Controls
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pella Windows are working on new highly insulated windows that use sensors and microprocessors to automatically adjust shading based on the amount of available sunlight and the time of day to ensure proper lighting and comfort, saving consumers energy and money.
Reflective Roofing Materials
Reflective Roofing Materials
Cool roofs coated with materials containing specialized pigments reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than standard roofs. Expect these types of roof systems to get even “cooler” due to new fluorescent pigments developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PPG Industries that can reflect nearly four times the amount of sunlight of standard pigments.

Energy-Saving Solutions

From heating and cooling to electronics and appliances, it takes a lot of energy to power our daily lives. Our homes use 37 percent more energy today than they did in 1980. But without energy efficiency -- through technology innovation and federal energy conservation standards -- this number would be a lot higher. In fact, even though our total energy use has grown, our energy use per household is down about 10 percent, despite that our homes are larger and contain more devices.

Energy Conservation Solutions

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22 May 2019

A Homeowner’s Guide to Zero-Waste Living

It’s no secret that there is a growing global trash problem. The average American produces approximately 4.4 pounds of trash everyday, which adds up to over 1,600 pounds of trash per person every year. Sadly, this trash eventually ends up...

The post A Homeowner’s Guide to Zero-Waste Living appeared first on HomeSelfe.

It’s no secret that there is a growing global trash problem. The average American produces approximately 4.4 pounds of trash everyday, which adds up to over 1,600 pounds of trash per person every year. Sadly, this trash eventually ends up...

The post A Homeowner’s Guide to Zero-Waste Living appeared first on HomeSelfe.

It’s no secret that there is a growing global trash problem. The average American produces approximately 4.4 pounds of trash everyday, which adds up to over 1,600 pounds of trash per person every year. Sadly, this trash eventually ends up in one of the thousands of overflowing landfills scattered across the U.S. that pollute and harm the environment.

It’s up to each and every person to reduce the amount of waste they produce in order to combat the world’s trash problem. Many people have decided to do their part by living a zero-waste lifestyle, which means they live in a way that produces as little waste as possible. How can you adopt this eco-friendly lifestyle at home? Follow these tips to live waste-free in every room in your home:

How to Create A Zero-Waste Kitchen

Reduce Food Waste

It’s estimated that most families waste about $1,350 in food every year. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce the amount of food waste produced in your home. Serve leftovers for dinner, donate the food to the needy, invite friends or family members over to eat extra portions, or use your food scraps to create other meals.

Buy in Bulk

Buy grocery items such as toilet paper, paper towels, and other non-perishable goods in bulk. Products that are packaged in bulk are packaged with less material than single-serve products. For this reason, buying in bulk can reduce the amount of packaging waste produced in your home.

Guide to Zero-Waste Living

Use Reusable Shopping Bags

The plastic bags used at grocery stores cannot be recycled, so they will be sent to landfills. Do your part to keep waste out of landfills by bringing a reusable shopping bag to the grocery store instead.

Don’t Use Disposables

Landfills are full of disposable items such as plastic silverware, paper plates, paper towels, and paper napkins. Avoid using these disposable items when preparing, serving, and eating food so you don’t contribute to this problem.


Recycled goods are not sent to landfills, but rather to recycling facilities where they are processed and reused. Set up a recycling bin in your kitchen and encourage everyone in your family to use it on a regular basis. This will drastically reduce the amount of waste your household is sending to a landfill every year.

How to Create A Zero-Waste Bathroom

Use Recycled Paper Products

Look for toilet paper and tissues that are made out of recycled paper. Using recycled paper products can instantly make your bathroom more eco-friendly.

Buy Toiletries in Bulk

Buying in bulk isn’t just for the kitchen—this strategy can be implemented in the bathroom, too. Purchase shampoos, conditioners, and soaps in bulk so you can reduce the amount of packaging waste you produce in your bathroom.

Make Your Own Air Freshener

The air fresheners that are sold in stores will end up in landfills, so it’s best to make your own air freshener using zero-waste materials. Grab an old glass spray bottle and fill it with water and about 10-20 drops of a sweet-smelling essential oil. Spray this solution to cover up bad smells in your bathroom, and when the bottle is empty, simply fill it back up again!

Create Your Own Toothpaste

Making your own toothpaste is an easy way to cut back on the product packaging waste you are throwing away in your bathroom. Combine a few ingredients, including baking soda, cinnamon, and organic coconut oil, in a blender to whip up a batch of DIY toothpaste.

How to Create A Zero-Waste Laundry Room

Make Reusable Dryer Sheets

Every load of laundry produces at least one piece of waste: a used dryer sheet. Put an end to this problem by making reusable dryer sheets. Cut an old towel into small pieces and add 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil to it to create a reusable dryer sheet. Once the scent starts to fade away, add more essential oil so you can keep using it again and again.

Wash After Multiple Wears

The more a clothing item is washed, the more worn down it becomes. Over time, repeated washes can cause the color to fade and the fabric to weaken. If an item is no longer wearable, it will probably be thrown out. Therefore, if you want to live a zero-waste lifestyle, preserve your clothing for as long as possible by limiting the number of times each item is washed. If something is not noticeably stained or dirty, wear it one more time before putting it in the wash.

How to Create A Zero-Waste Bedroom

Create Fewer Spaces For Junk

A simple way to achieve a zero-waste lifestyle is to create fewer spaces in your home for items you don’t actually need. Minimize the number of countertops, shelves, and other storage spaces in your home, and you will be less tempted to purchase items that will eventually become waste.

Use Natural Fibers in the Bedroom

Select materials that are made out of natural fibers when purchasing bed linens, towels, and window treatments for your bedroom. Natural fibers such as cotton and wool will naturally break down in the environment, so they will never clog your local landfill.

How to Create A Zero-Waste Dining Room

Keep Disposables Out of the Dining Room

Disposable items such as paper napkins, paper table cloths, and plastic silverware should not be allowed in your dining room. Use items that can be washed and reused over and over again to reduce the waste produced in your home.

Serve Smaller Portions

Reduce food waste by getting in the habit of cooking and serving smaller portions of food. This way, the people in your home will eat everything on their plate instead of leaving food scraps behind.

How to Create A Zero-Waste Yard

Start Composting

Food scraps and yard waste make up about 30% of the average household’s trash. Keep these items out of the garbage—and the landfill—by creating a compost pile in your backyard. Add leaves, branches, twigs, and other yard waste to your compost pile in addition to fruit and vegetable scraps, egg shells, and coffee grounds. After a few months, the soil at the bottom of the pile should be a dark color, which means it’s ready to use as fertilizer in your yard.

Return Plastic Containers

Have you recently planted new plants or flowers in your yard? If so, you may have a few plastic containers sitting around. Don’t throw these in the trash—instead, take them back to the nursery where you purchased the plants.

How to Create A Zero-Waste Closet

Donate Clothing

Don’t throw away clothes that are no longer in style—donate them to local non-profit organizations instead. This helps you give back to your community and ensures your old clothing will not end up in a landfill.

Launch A Clothing Swap

Organize a clothing swap event with people in your community. A clothing swap is a great way for everyone in your neighborhood to get rid of items they no longer need in a zero-waste, eco-friendly manner.

Use Old Clothes As Rags

Are some of your clothing items falling apart or looking a bit worn down? You may not want to wear them anymore, but you can still make use of them around your home. Cut them into strips of fabric and use the pieces as rags instead of throwing these items in the trash.

Repair Clothing

A lot of people throw away clothing items that have holes, broken zippers, or snags. But, if you want to live a zero-waste lifestyle, teach yourself how to repair these issues so you can extend the lifespan of your clothing and reduce your waste production.

How to Create A Zero-Waste Home Office

Go Paperless

How many paper bills do you end up throwing away every month? Cut down on this waste by hopping on your computer and going paperless. Go through a stack of last month’s bills and adjust your settings online so the service provider only sends you your bills via email moving forward.

Stop Junk Mail

Most households receive junk mail nearly everyday in their mailbox, and eventually, this mail ends up in the trash. Don’t throw away pounds of paper every year—instead, manage your mail so companies stop sending you junk. Visit DMAChoice’s website to remove your name from mailing lists so companies stop sending you catalogs, flyers, and offers that are not relevant to you.

Use Refillable Pens

Purchase refillable pens instead of plastic, disposable ones. As soon as the ink starts to run out, simply refill the pen instead of tossing it in the trash can.

Print on Both Sides of the Paper

A lot of the waste that is generated in your home office is probably paper. Reduce the amount of paper that you waste by printing on both sides of each sheet. By printing on both sides, you can cut the amount of paper you use in your home office by half!

Implement some of these strategies in your daily life to start reducing the amount of waste you produce at home. Make sure you get everyone within your home on board with these strategies so you can produce as little waste as possible as a household. Before you know it, you will be living a lifestyle that is completely free from waste!

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