5 Green Practices to Save Money. Just about everybody is going green these days. You hear about it daily in the news, politics, and even in fashion and technology. Switch to organic foods, turn off your thermostat, recycle! The green fatigue quickly sets in on you, and you’re not even sure what you’ve accomplished by “going green”. “Organic foods cost more money!” “I’m freezing without my thermostat!” “What do I recycle and what don’t I?” It can all be so frustrating, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, there are some easy ways to go green, save money, and help the environment all at the same time without completely remodeling your lifestyle.
Install energy-efficient windows
Replacing single-pane windows with a newer set of energy-efficient windows can save homeowners anywhere from $126 to $465 per year in heating and cooling costs alone. Energy-efficient windows come in several different types. The way to find the most effective energy-efficient window is to look into the window’s “U-factor” and “R-value”. The U-factor details the window’s ability to conduct heat. The lower the U-factor, the more efficient it will be at saving energy. The R-value details the degree of the window’s insulation. The higher the R-value the more energy efficient it will be.
Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED lights
The average American home uses forty-five light bulbs on a daily basis. As much as 90% of the energy used by incandescent bulbs is lost on heat radiation. LED lights do not waste nearly the same amount of energy, and they last far longer. One testimony to the effectiveness of LED lights comes from Eco-Story LED Lighting Solutions. The company was selected by The Timberland Company to give its stores an “eco-friendly shift in lighting.” The results of the LED implementation were both economically and environmentally beneficial. According to their recent press release, just ten months after the LED system had been installed, the company saved a staggering $100,000 in electricity costs for 50 of its stores that were retrofitted. Some of the benefits of LED lighting include: incredible energy reduction; long bulb life; reduced A/C costs due to lower heat output; EPAct tax credits of up to .60 per square foot; and potential utility rebates. Also, using LED lanterns to save energy costs is another great idea, not to mention using UV LED flashlights as well.
Use energy-efficient refrigerators
The money it takes to buy a brand new refrigerator is nothing compared to the amount you will save in energy costs in the long run. The refrigerator is one of the biggest users of energy in the home, as it consistently runs to keep your food safe for eating. In fact, your current old fridge could be using 60% more energy than a newer fridge would use. Look for a fridge that has the Energy Star logo on it if you wish to go green and save money at the same time.
Build your own solar panels or wind turbines
This step may sound difficult, but you can easily build your own solar panels and wind turbines with materials acquired at your local hardware store. Green homes use less energy and therefore save more money. Installing solar panels or wind turbines can save you from wasting thousands of dollars in energy costs. DIY solar panels will not be able to power your entire home, but they certainly can reduce your energy costs by lowering your home’s total energy consumption.
Save water by installing rain barrels to your gutters
Saving water is a very important part of going green. 30% of the water used by the average American is used outdoors on the lawn, garden, and car-washing. Garden hoses spray about 10-gallons of water per minute, so a simple washing of the family car can use 100 gallons of water easily. If you hook up your roof gutters to rain barrels, you will be able to make use of rainwater that would otherwise just collect in your lawn.
Use more cold water – green Practices to Save Money
Green Practices to Save Money. Also, much of the energy and water wasted in our homes is due to washing clothes in hot water. It takes energy to wash clothes in hot water, and with the kinds of detergents available now, hot water isn’t even vital to cleaning clothes. Using cold water will work just as fine, and save you energy in the process. Make sure to also only wash clothes when you have a full load or set the water level down to match smaller loads.