When working toward home energy efficiency, how green is too green?

Would you ever recycle used plastic bags, refuse to purchase products based on how they were made or go dumpster diving to avoid purchasing brand-new clothes? These practices, considered by some to be commendable tenants of green living, may be frowned upon by many Americans.

In the last several years, a wave of green living practices has swept across the country, allowing homeowners to simultaneously slash their energy bills and help save the environment. From using CFL bulbs to more extreme reforms like installing bamboo floors or purchasing $20 LED bulbs, most homeowners have embraced some degree of energy efficiency. But, at what point do green practices cross the line into making life more difficult?

A new survey by CouponCabin.com determined that nearly three-quarters of consumers considered reducing showers to save water and searching in dumpsters for reusable products to be excessive green practices, while about half of respondents frowned upon reducing their laundry practices to save energy and reusing plastic bags. In total, 64 percent said that it is possible to be "too green." Still, long-term savings can result from some reforms.

"The payoff from implementing green methods at home can be tough to measure, but is often a win-win," CouponCabin president Jackie Warrick said in a press release. "Not only are the savings a great benefit, but you're also helping to conserve resources and be friendlier to our planet."

While many of the green actions most respondents cited were related to lifestyle changes, half of respondents said they used CFL light bulbs and about a quarter used a water purifier. Homeowners in the Tri-State area can contact a D.C. home inspector if they want advice on how to make changes to their home that will help reduce their energy bills.