“Going Green” isn’t just good for the Earth, it’s also great for your pockets! The Green Movement has evolved from the idea of hippies composting their old apple cores to the fiscally responsible choosing sleek new bamboo floors. Not only is being green noble, but it is smart. Making green choices can give you both an immediate financial benefit and pay dividends in the long run. Some choices are small while others are more substantial investments, however, any way you slice it they are improvements that will benefit you and the planet. Here are five tips to going green you can apply in your home.
1. LED Light Bulbs
Yes, I’m sure you have heard this before, but that is because it is such a simple and effective step toward going green. The biggest draw comes from their lifespan. The average LED light bulb lasts between 11-22 years and is 80% more energy efficient than an incandescent light bulb!
2. Watch Your Water
We might all like to think we do a perfect job minimizing our water waste, but it really makes a big impact to see the facts on paper. Did you know that turning off the water while you brush your teeth can save four gallons a minute, or that by substituting a broom for a hose when cleaning the driveway you are saving 80 gallons of water? There is a great website created by a group of cities in Arizona, wateruseitwisely.com, with a useful and straightforward ‘100+ Ways to Conserve’ list where these two water saving fun facts are found. Stop by the site to see other small improvements you can make and how big the water savings can be.
3. ENERGY STAR Appliances
Although many are familiar with the ENERGY STAR logo, not everyone knows that it is actually a government program that was created to help consumers identify the most energy-efficient appliances. Every appliance must meet a certain criteria in order to earn the ENERGY STAR approval. Many things are taken into consideration including the obvious energy savings, but price is also considered. If an appliance has the same features as a cheaper, standard version, in order to earn the ENERGY STAR approval, the product must make the extra cost up through its energy savings.
4. Programmable Thermostat
Would you ever pay for a dinner at a restaurant that you were not in and that you did not eat? This is the equivalent of leaving your home at that nice, comfortable temperature while you are out on vacation. Inefficiently running your thermostat is one of the most common and easily remedied mistakes a homeowner or renter can make. The most important place to begin is to actually inspect your usage, review your bills and see your trends. In the summer the warmest part of the day is the afternoon while the average worker is in a crisp office being cooled by someone else’s thermostat, and your home is all alone with no one to impress yet still pumping extra hard to reach your desired temperature. This would be a good time to relieve your air conditioning of its extra hard job. Going out of town even if just for the weekend is a great time to save money and adjust your thermostat accordingly. You will really see the benefits when you receive your next bill!
5. Preferable Materials
Doing some home renovations? Be sure to look into your sustainable options. There are so many now as this green wave has really taken off. Using reclaimed building materials can save you big money while looking chic. The EPA states on their website, “salvaging building materials and reusing them saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.” Sustainable materials such as bamboo, cork and concrete are other winners in the green book. Whether it is a small project or a full home makeover, ensure all of your options have been thoroughly considered.
Making green choices can be as small and simple as the flick of the wrist and end up saving you 22 years without changing a single light bulb. They can save you big money and add to the longevity of your home. Check it out and see what other adjustments you can make to your home.