More and more people are now trying to "go green." How can you do the same? By following these steps, you can help the environment, all while saving money. Go green and save some green in the process!
- During the winter months, turn your thermostat lower a few degrees than you normally would and a few degrees higher during the summer season. This will save on heating and cooling costs. Also, think about getting a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat lets you choose what times and temperature you want it to run. It allows you to choose different temperatures in your home at different times of the day to meet your specific needs. Turning a programmable thermostat to a lower setting will result in energy savings.
- Whenever you can, wash your clothes in cold water. Did you know, close to 85% of energy used in the washing machine goes towards heating the water? Cool has never been so cool.
- Try using a clothing rack to dry your clothes instead of using energy to dry them in your dryer. During the summer months hang your clothes on an outside line and enjoy the perks of fresh air dried laundry.
- Dispose of your normal lightbulbs and install compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). An ordinary light bulb uses only 10 to 12% of the input energy to generate light (the rest is mostly emitted as heat). A CFL is about 4 times as efficient and uses about 40 to 50% of the energy. We hope a lightbulb just clicked in your brain!
- Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by turning off your water in the morning and before bedtime, while brushing your teeth, you can save up to 8 gallons of water per day! This can add up to more than 200 gallons a month.
- Take shorter showers. Period. A 4 minute shower can use anywhere between 20 to 40 gallons of water! By shortening your time in the shower, you are saving water, in addition to money. It's really that simple.
- Use your dishwasher and washing machines ONLY when you have full loads. When it comes to dishwashers and washing machines, they should be fully loaded for ideal water conservation. Many companies who make dishwashing soap recommend you don't pre-rinse dishes. You use 1.7 to 6 gallons of water every minute when you run your kitchen faucet at full blast, when rinsing your dishes.
- When you use your washing machine, beware of the permanent-press cycle. This cycle uses an extra 20 liters (5 gallons) for the extra rinse. You should try to always use the regular or normal cycle.
- Whenever you cook pasta or anything else that requires you to boil water, don't dump that water out. Save it, and once it's cooled, use it for your garden or to water your plants throughout the house.
- Speaking of plants, bring them inside. They actually help purify your air.
- If you're close enough, walk or bike to work. This will save you on gas money, parking and improve your health.
- Car pool with an employee if you live close to each other to help save money.
- Whenever you are driving on the interstate or highway, use your cruise control. This will keep you from speeding, but also save you fuel.
Avoid Bottled Water
- Skip bottled water all together. Not only is it expensive, if the bottles aren't recycled it can harm the environment. Use a water filter instead to purify your tap.
- Bring a reusable water bottle to work, preferably aluminum. This will save you from bottled water as well, and keep money in your wallet.
Plant a Tree
- According to the U.S. Department of Energy, strategic planting of trees can reduce an unshaded home's air conditioning costs 15% to 50%.
- The Arbor Day Foundation states that the overall effect of the shade created by planting a healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners running 20 hours a day!
- During the winter season, trees can help block the wind from your home, saving you money on heating. The Journal of Horticulture claims that saving on heating costs can reach as much as 25%.
- Buy locally raised organic meat, eggs and dairy. When you purchase from local farmers, you keep money in the local economy. Also, make fresh fruits and vegetables a bigger part of your diet.
- Shop at your local farmers market. Local farmers deliver fresh, local food that is not only healthy, but environmentally friendly. It's also typically less expensive than the grocery store, and by buying organic at a local's farmers market, you are reducing your carbon footprint.
By following these tips you can reduce you carbon footprint and keep more money in your wallet. Go Green!