Going green doesn’t have to cost a lot of green with these free-to-inexpensive tactics that help reduce a home’s carbon footprint.
1. The right light
Many people still use the old teardrop shaped lightbulbs. However, the simple switch to spiral style energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs can save up to $70 per year and reduce lighting costs by 75%.
2. Out with the old
When it’s time to replace old appliances, check the sticker for the ENERGY STAR logo. These energy-efficient appliances can help reduce approximately 130,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over their lifecycle. A big bonus here is that an average family can save up to $11,000 on energy costs over the course of the appliances’ lifespans when they switch to ENERGY STAR labeled products.
3. Beat the heat and rule the cool
Heating and cooling costs can tip the scales at over $1000 per year. Replace air filters regularly, install a programmable thermometer, and have central heat and air systems inspected and serviced annually for a 20% or more savings on these costs per year.
4. Seal the deal
Drafty windows and doors not only allow warm and cool air to exit the home but also allow tiny little pests to invade. A $5 tube of caulk or an inexpensive pack of weather stripping can go a long way to help maintain a home’s internal temperature and save money on heating and cooling costs.
5. Chill on the landfill
It may sound cliché but there’s a reason that the term reduce, reuse, and recycle has become so popular. Donate large items, reuse others, and recycle glass, metal, and plastic to help eliminate the massive volume of usable goods that are cluttering up the nation’s landfills and trash heaps.
6. Let go of the H-2-O
It takes an immense amount of energy to treat and filter water for domestic use. Additionally, many homes are still outfitted with old-fashioned inefficient water heaters. Run only a full dishwasher, fix leaky faucets, and turn off water when not in active use.
7. Compost the most
Americans discard an average of 40% of the food they buy each week. This organic matter could be used to fertilize the land instead of bogging down the landfills; compost this excess to have a more beautiful and eco-friendly lawn.
These seven simple steps can go a long way to help save Mother Earth while making piggy banks across the nation a little fatter. For more information about energy conservation check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s website epa.gov.