8 Green & Easy Ways to Save

 

Did you know:

From 1970 to 1989, residential buildings accounted for 33% of energy consumption in the U.S. According to the most recent figures, residential buildings accounted for 22% of energy consumption in the U.S. This is largely due to better insulation, and energy-efficient windows and appliances.

If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb, we would provide enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, save more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.

It pays to go green at home.  According to a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, for every dollar decrease in annual home energy expenditures, house values increase between $11.63 and $20.73

 

Recycle Batteries. Use rechargeable batteries for anything battery operated. This will save money and help the environment with less chemical waste.

Reduce other disposables in your home by replacing them with reusable products.

 

Print Less.  Do you really need to print out emails and documents as often as you do? If you have it on your computer and need to take a document with you, put it on a flash drive to view on your laptop. Of course, if you don’t have these items, you may need to print if you are referencing documents or websites on-the-go.

When printing is necessary, reuse whatever you can. Once you no longer need the printed copy of your document or email, do not throw it away. Flip it over and use it for scratch paper, or put it back in your printer to use the other side.

Want to do more? Purchase recycled printer paper.

 

No More Paper Towels.  Replace paper towels with cloth kitchen towels. Pull your hand towels and kitchen towels out of your linen closet and place them in your kitchen. You can hang a couple, or use a basket to have several available at all times. When you need to dry your hands or a dish, or wipe up a mess, use a towel. Once the towel gets to wet or soiled, wash or launder and reuse.

Want to do more? Be sure you add other items to the load of laundry so you are not running your washer and dryer when it is not needed.

 

Slow Down.  We are all very busy. And it can be easy to speed along a freeway, highway, toll road, etc. If we are honest with ourselves, most of us probably do not stick to our local speed limit. However, if you drive below 70 miles per hour you can save a lot of money on gas. Leave on time to reach your destination, and slow down while driving.

If you keep your speed between 30 and 60 miles per hour, you can increase your gas mileage by up to 30% according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report website.

Want to do more? If you are local to your place of work, walk or bike to work. You can also use public transportation if it is available. If all of those options aren’t feasible, try to find a friend who will carpool with you.

 

Eat Less Fast Food.  We haven’t forgotten how busy we are… but fast food has a huge impact on the environment, your budget, and your waistline.

Fast food uses a lot of packaging that simply gets wasted. Think of the straw, lid, cup, wrapper, box, and bag that comes with nearly every meal! Fast food can also cause a long list of health problems because of high fat, cholesterol and sodium content. And then there is the amount of money fast food costs. When you get a “combo” meal (burger, fries, drink) it can cost $7 per person!

If you eat fast food three times per week, using an average of $17.00 per meal for three people, that adds up to $51 per week. That is over $2,600 per year. If you reduce that to once per week, you save over $1700 per year, and you are more likely to be healthier too.

Want to do more? Avoid fast food altogether and bring a sandwich and snacks from home in case you need to eat while you are out.

 

Turn off the Water.  Water costs money and the extra running water that isn’t being used adds up to a lot you could be saving.  You can waste up to 35 glasses of water by leaving the water on while you brush your teeth. What we suggest is wetting your brush, filling a glass or cup with water, then turning the water off. Brush, and then rinse using the water in the glass.

After you shower, be sure you turn off the faucet completely.

If you are rinsing dishes in the sink, or washing your dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for a long time. And if you need to walk away from the sink to do something else, be sure you turn off the water before you get side-tracked.

Want to do more? Check all your sinks and showers and other water sources for leaks. Be sure nothing is leaking or dripping. If you find a faucet that is turned off and still drips, take some time to tighten it up.

 

Turn of the Lights.  This is a simple, yet forgettable action. Over the last several weeks I have realized how often all the lights in our house are turned on. I know that is a waste of energy, and a waste of money.

Remember all the times your parents told you to turn off a light when you leave a room, and follow that tried and true advice.

Want to do more? Change to CFL bulbs to save even more. These bulbs will become the requirement between 2012 and 2014 – you might as well get a jump on the future now. CFL bulbs use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and can last up to 10 times longer.

 

Less Bottled Water.  Tap water is not for everyone although many bottled waters are coming under scrutiny for being no less filled with contaminants than tap water. And, did you know that bottled water can cost up to 1900 times more than using your own tap water? What’s the point? If you need the convenience of drinking water while you’re out and about, we’ve got that covered as well.

I recommend switching to an in-home water filtration system. Nothing fancy, just a BRITA or PUR type water container which contains a filter. Just fill it up, and you’re ready to have great water. Both brands offer coupons to buy their product on their websites.

 

Do you have other tips for going green to save green? Share your ideas here and discuss them with friends and family. Make the changes that make sense for yourself and your family. Change is good, pass it on!

 

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