Whatever your thoughts on global warming and environmental issues are, it’s always worth seeking out a greener way of life. Why? Because, to put it simply, it will save you money. One of the best ways to embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle is to reduce your home’s carbon footprint. The houses that we live in are energy drains, and if you can cut back on the amount you use, you will help the planet, and also give your bank balance a boost. Let’s investigate some of the things you can do that will have the greatest effect on both.
Switch Your Light Bulbs
Let’s start with something nice and easy – changing your light bulbs. Change your ways and use compact fluorescent bulbs instead of your usual bulbs and you will spend less on electricity. It could save you up to $150 annually. You will also cut the amount of carbon dioxide your house spews out each year. Fluoro bulbs give off almost 1,300 pounds less than the incandescent versions over the course of 12 months. That is an astonishing amount pollution to save. You could also switch over to halogen lighting if you wanted to make more of an impression. It’s far cheaper to run, and if you have a dimmer switch, it will give a lot more control over the amount of energy you use.
Insulate Your Home
Insulation is so important to keep the heat in your home. If your property isn’t insulated well, it is almost like burning dollar bills and letting them smoke out of your chimney. Start with your roof or loft space. It’s simple to do, and you may even be eligible for a grant. You can also insulate your cavity walls – although this will take a little more investment on your behalf. However, over the years, you can expect to get that money back from savings on your heating costs.
Keep On Top Of Your Air Conditioning
Air conditioning and central heating are two wonderful things. They help keep us warm during winter and cool during the hot summers. However, they are energy drains – especially if they aren’t working properly. It’s essential, therefore, that you have regular maintenance on your air con and heating systems. The better they work, the less energy they need to run. And the less your energy bills will be.
Solar panels used to be the preserve of the very wealthy, but in recent years the cost of installation has come down a great deal. In fact, the price has dropped so much that the average home can expect to save enough on electricity bills to pay for it within five years. That’s not a bad little investment. So, it’s clear that a good solar power system can save you money, but did you know it can make you money, too? Houses with solar power rarely use all of the energy that they store, so any excess that you have is sold back to your energy company. They bring it back to the grid and use it to give others electricity. Of course, the money you make will just offset your bills, but it’s nice to know you are getting one over the utility companies, all the same! And let’s not forget, solar power also increases the value of your home.
Upgrade your windows and doors
How are your doors and windows looking? If they are old and out of shape, then think about upgrading them. It could be a quick fix to get them resealed, and ensure there are no gaps. Or, you could have double or triple glazing installed. Any of those options will help your home become more efficient at containing the heat you generate. In fact, you can even make a surprising amount of savings just by using simple draft excluders on your windows and doors.
Be Careful What You Eat
The next time you go grocery shopping, keep a close eye on where your fruit and vegetables come from. If they were grown on a different continent, there are two costs to consider. The first is the carbon footprint it makes by transporting it to you where you live. The second is the cost to you – don’t expect the supermarkets to take the extra costs on themselves. So what’s your alternative? Well, you could try eating seasonally, and locally. That means you will cut out the CO2 emissions it takes to get your food from source to your dinner plate. You will also be helping local businesses and farmers, too.
Stop what you are doing for a second. I want you to take a walk around your house and look at all of your plug sockets. How many of them are in use? If you are like most households, you have plugs for all your gadgets, either charging needlessly or not at all. Both will be costing you money. The simple act of making sure everything is turned off can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a single year. So switch off completely – and avoid using the standby settings, too.
Drink Your Own Water
If you have clean water coming out of your tap, drink it. Bottled water is a huge contributor to CO2 emissions and landfill, and, quite frankly, is a waste of your money. Most tap water is safe to drink if you live in the western world, and you can even stick it through a filtration pitcher if you have any concerns.
Choose More Efficient White Goods
Most modern appliances are on the ball when it comes to energy ratings, but some are far superior to others. You should learn how much energy is used when it comes to cooking and storing food – it might surprise you. For example, if you microwaved a meal for half an hour rather than cooking on the stove for two hours, you can save almost a dollar. Do that for every meal, and you can quickly see how much you could save over the course of a year.
So how about it? Will you go greener? Let us know in the comments section below.