Living green isn’t always synonymous with saving money, but thanks to innovation and new technology, living green and saving money can go hand in hand. It is absolutely possible to commit to a life of living green while not compromising a monthly budget. Many times, living green is actually better for your wallet because it is not always necessary to invest in expensive equipment to get you started on the right track.
Change Your Habits
This is quite possible the easiest way to save energy. You should begin by remembering to turn electronics off when they are not being used, especially if they are plugged in. This can include televisions and computers, which use up a lot of energy even when they are not being used. In addition to this, there are items that are “phantom loads”. These are the things that seem to be turned off but still draw power. The television remote and entertainment system are examples of these leeches.
Often times, there is a more efficient alternative to an appliance that you already own. A simple toaster uses much less energy than a toaster oven (900 watts compared to 1300), so opt for the toaster if you are just making a few pieces of toast. Instead of using your regular oven, opt for a slow cooker. This is more energy efficient and you won’t have to worry about burning the meal. It also takes much less tending to. When using a computer, choose a laptop over a desktop. This will not only save on space, but also on energy. Interestingly enough to go with your computer, an internet USB stick can plug into the computer and will use less energy than a modem and router setup.
When the time comes that you are in the market for buying a new large appliance, look at the energy that it uses as well as other features that it may have. Many time you can find how many kWh they use per year. Choose the lowest number on the appliance that has all of the features that you need. There have been major changes made in appliances being energy efficient since 1992.
- It is very important to remember not to waste energy while you aren’t home. This means heating and cooling an empty house is a no-no. In the winter, 68 degrees is sufficient while you are home, and 55 degrees while you are away.
- You can make your refrigerator more efficient by cleaning the coils. Vacuum the dust out and then wipe with a damp cloth.
- Carpool with neighbors or coworkers. This will not only save you money, but on the days that you are not driving, you can actually relax on the commute.
- Start your own compost pile in your backyard. There are lots of items that can be made into compost, so it will also cut down on your overall garbage.
- To go paperless, read your news online, and cancel subscriptions to magazines and newspapers.
- Start using cloth napkins rather than paper, file taxes electronically, and opt to receive bills via email rather than snail mail.
- Talk to your power company about installing solar panels for energy. This is not a totally cheap option, but it can give you a tax credit and cut back your monthly electric bill. It is something that will pay off over time.
- Pack your lunch in a paper bag rather than plastic, and choose foods with minimal packaging that will end up in the trash.
- Save water by repairing leaky faucets and installing water saving toilets and shower heads, and only running the washer and dishwasher when they are full.
The end result of utilizing these cheap and easy ideas is that you’ll be operating a house on about a quarter of the power most households use.