5 Ways to Save Money and Be Green
As technology advances everyone becomes more interested in being efficient and environmentally friendly when it comes to their homes. However, it isn’t always easy being green. With all the options that are available today, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin and how to go about implementing some of today’s options. Here are some ways to start which can also help save you money.
Small changes with big results – A very easy way of cutting down on the pollution in your home is to just take off your shoes. This is because 30 – 40% of indoor contaminants enter your home by your shoes. Pick out a fun or decorative entry mat and take off your shoes by the door. Other small changes include shutting off the lights when you leave a room, set your water heater to a max of 120 degrees and purchase a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature.
Beware of becoming “greenwashed” – Not all products out there are truly environmentally friendly. Some claim to have a concern for being eco friendly, but still have harsh chemicals in their ingredient list. Always read the labels and if in doubt, do some quick research yourself to verify.
Don’t forget the landscaping – Very often people focus on the interior of their homes when choosing to make environmentally friendly changes. However, your landscaping can have a big effect as well on the environment. Your landscaping can be environmentally friendly and sustainable. Replacing your lawn with native grasses can require 50% to 70% less water, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. That can save you nearly 60 hours a year in maintenance. Also, succulent gardens can be a great alternative to other plantings that require regular watering.
Green upgrades pay off – A great place to begin for this is with your local utility company to check for any savings or incentives. Also, check for any tax incentives if you are interested in upgrading any of your systems to energy efficient ones including adding solar panels. Even smaller changes like planting trees for shading your home can reduce cooling costs and replacing bulbs with EnergyStar ones can save a quite a bit over time.
Purchase a LEED certified home – If you are in the market for a new home and don’t want to implement green features on your own, consider purchasing a LEED certified home. These homes do often come at a premium, but you realize the savings over time with considerable efficiency all while being environmentally friendly.