Going Green Doesn't Have to Cost Money!
Going green doesn't have to cost a lot of money or take up a lot of your time! By making simple changes throughout your daily routine you can not only make your home more green you can save money too. There are countless energy saving tips online, some are free while others can cost a pretty penny. If you're not in a position to spend money on making your home more green below are easy ways to save energy at home and reduce your carbon footprint.
Monitor your Thermostat
Monitoring your thermostat couldn't be easier! The standard thermostat today can be programmed to maintain a certain temperature on specific days and times. If you own a smart thermostat you can take it a step further and control it right from your phone. So the next time you leave your home and forget to turn the air up you can do it from your phone. Then when you're on your way home you can turn the air back down, so it's nice and cold when you arrive home. You can take it a step further and instead of keeping the air conditioner set to 68 degrees in the summer turn it to 72 degrees. On the flip side if you keep your heat at 74 degrees during the winter months turn it down to 70 and get out the blankets if needed. Walking around your house in shorts and a tank top during the winter months because you keep your home like a sauna isn't really necessary.
You don't have to stop showering in order to save water all you have to do is make a few changes throughout the day. Instead of taking a bath opt for a shower, which can easily save 50 gallons of water. Install a low-flow showerhead and save even more water. Turn the water completely off while brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your face. Also, always run the dishwasher and washing machine with a full load, use cold water instead of hot when possible. Do you know 90% of the energy your washing machine uses is to heat the water? Now, there is a time and place when hot water should be used, but overall there are more benefits to using cold water.
Seal Windows & Doors
Sealing windows and doors should be on your home maintenance checklist. Just like changing the AC filter and trimming trees you should be inspecting your windows and doors at least once a year. Even if you have brand new energy efficient windows you'll still need to add a bead of caulk around the window to properly seal it. Over time caulk can crack and shrink, so you'll want to remove the old caulk and replace it with fresh caulk. Changing weatherstripping around door frames is another must. If you have older windows that aren't energy efficient you can add window film during the colder months to help keep the heat in.
Swap out your incandescent lightbulbs for more energy efficient lightbulbs, like light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Not only do these light bulbs last longer they are much more energy efficient too. Replacing lightbulbs is just another example of how you can make your home more energy efficient for a small amount of money. And make sure to turn these new lightbulbs off when leaving a room!
If you're not using your cellphone charger unplug it! Cell phone and battery chargers still consume energy even when not in use and the same holds true for other items you have plugged in. Those small appliances sitting on your kitchen counter should remain unplugged unless in use. While you're not going to see huge decreases in your energy bill it will add up over time.
Reduce Your Garbage
One of the most popular ways to reduce your garbage these days is by starting a compost pile. If you're not familiar with composting it's a natural way to recycle organic matter, such as vegetable scraps and garden waste. So while you're reducing your food waste you'll also be creating a great fertilizer. It doesn't take a lot of exterior space to start a compost pile and it's not as hard or smelly as most people believe. Recycling paper and plastic is another great way to reduce your bulk garbage. And using reusable bags when shopping will cut down on having to recycle paper and plastic bags.
It doesn't have to cost a penny to be more energy efficient at home. However, if you decide to invest some money there are many green changes that can increase the value of your home. The most popular upgrades homeowners are investing in today include energy-smart windows, solar panels and on the more cost-effective side smart home technology, like a nest thermostat.
Also, if you don't live alone make sure everyone else in your home is on the same page. Kids are notorious for leaving lights on, game consoles running all day and take hour long showers. If you instill energy saving habits when they're young it'll be a lot easier going forward.