More and more Americans are going green and living lifestyles conscious of their impact on the planet. What’s more, going green is a great way to save money.
If you’ve held back from greening up your home because you think you’re going to be out a mint, think again; Going green has a measurable impact on your family’s budget.
Here’s five ways that you can start saving money and the planet at the same time.
Ditch Energy Hogging Appliances
One of the biggest expenses that a home has is its electric bill. If you’re using old, energy-hogging appliances, it’s time to shop around for something newer and more efficient.
EnergyStar appliances say how much they’ll cost you each month right on the label.
Your refrigerator is the worst, costing you potentially $100 a year more than a newer, more efficient one. A new washer and dryer can also save you over a hundred dollars over the course of a year while significantly lowering your carbon footprint.
You might also be eligible for tax rebates, giving you further savings.
Insulate Your Home
When it comes to insulation, there’s basically no such thing as too much. In fact, up to 70 percent of your home’s energy waste could be due to a lack of insulation.
You need to fill up empty space and low-density insulation with something that’s going to keep the heat where it belongs — in your home. Have your home evaluated for areas that might need more insulation (this can be done by a professional or you can try it yourself).
It might cost you money up front, but it will pay dividends over time in the form of lower utility bills. It will also lower your carbon footprint.
Weather Strip and Replace Windows
Ever feel a draft near a window? That’s the feeling of money going literally out the window. If you have old windows, there’s a good chance you’re wasting big bucks every month on your energy bill.
Replacing your windows and weather stripping the ones that you already have can save you as much as a whopping $500 per year. Much like replacing your appliances, you can also qualify for a tax credit when you buy EnergyStar windows.
If you can’t afford new windows, you can save money by covering your windows in plastic or other forms of insulation. While you’re at it, caulk up any cracks that might be letting heat out.
Control Your Water Heater
It’s a part of your house that you don’t think about very much, but your water heater could be costing you money and increasing your carbon footprint.
You should be insulating your water heater and pipes like the rest of your house. This can save you as much as $8 per month when you insulate the water heater alone.
But also keep your hot water at a moderate temperature. Fifty degrees Celsius is warm enough to take hot showers but not so warm that you’re wasting money and energy.
While you’re at it, fix the dripping faucets around the house — it can cost you as much as $8 per month.
A Few Little Things
Some small things that can make a big difference include:
- Placing lamps in a corner near a mirror increases the efficiency of your home’s lighting.
- Change out your old style bulbs for more energy efficient models
- Do dishes in the dishwasher, not by hand; This can save you up to 66 percent of the hot water.
- Unplug electronic devices from outlets when they are not in use.
- Hang laundry instead of using a dryer.
Paying attention to these small things will help you to maximize the savings while minimizing your family’s carbon footprint.
Save Money, Save the Planet
Whether you’re ecologically conscious or not doesn’t really matter; By not going green you’re flushing money down the toilet and throwing it out the window.
By making your home into a green super home you’re saving money that you can spend on things like your retirement or your family’s dream vacation.
This Earth Day, dedicate some time to finding ways you can save money and the planet at the same time. You’ll be glad you did.
“Go Green and Save Green: How to Save Money by Saving the Planet” was written by Nicholas Pell.