5 Ways to Save Money and Be Green
As technology progresses everyone is interested in being more efficient and environmentally friendly when it comes to their homes. With many options available, it can be overwhelming to know how to start and how to go about implementing some of today’s options. Here are some great ways to begin which can also help save you money.
Small changes for big results – An 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 are tracked in by your shoes. Purchase a fun or decorative door mat and take off your shoes by the door. Other easy ideas include turning off lights when you leave a room, set your water heater to a max of 120 degrees and install a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature.
Don’t forget your landscaping – Very often people focus on the interior of their homes when choosing to make green changes. However, your landscaping outdoors can have a positive effect as well on the environment. Your landscaping can be both environmentally friendly and sustainable. Replacing a traditional lawn with some native grasses can require 50% to 70% less water, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. This can save you nearly 60 hours a year in maintenance.
Beware of becoming “greenwashed” – Not every product on the market is environmentally friendly. Some claim to have a concern for being eco friendly but still have harmful chemicals in their ingredients list. Always be sure to check the labels and if in doubt, do some quick research online to verify.
Green upgrades pay off – A great place to start saving is with your local utility company to check for any savings or incentives. Also, be sure to check for any tax incentives should you be interested in upgrading any of your systems to energy efficient ones including adding solar panels. Smaller changes like planting trees for shading your home can reduce cooling costs or replacing bulbs with EnergyStar ones can save a lot over time.
Purchase a LEED certified home – If you are shopping for a new home and don’t want to add green features on your own, consider purchasing a LEED certified home. These homes do come at a premium, but you realize the savings over time with considerable savings and efficiency all while being environmentally friendly.