In order to become environmentally conscious you have to start somewhere. Why not start at home? It is true that the first step to any lifestyle change has to start with yourself. Going green is no different. Often the initial expense of making updates to our homes causes us to hesitate. But the truth is that while going green may take some initial expenses, in the long run you will save more money than you spend.
There are simple fixes that will go a long way and not cost a penny, and then there are major updates that may initially shock you. However, give it some time and you will be thankful for the decisions you made to change the look of your carbon footprint.
1. Monitor the temp: Most of the energy used within the home comes from heating and cooling. Keeping your temperature below 68 degrees during the colder months can save 3-5 percent on energy used per degree. Likewise keeping your thermostat above 78 degrees during warmer months can save in a similar fashion. Investing in a thermostat that you can program will assure that your temperature changes and you don’t even have to remember a thing.
2. Limit use of paper products. This includes paper towels and paper plates. Cleaning is much better with an old ripped up t-shirt anyway. Likewise when you buy cleaning products, opt for ones made for your new lifestyle. Better yet, make your own!
3. Trade in your old light bulbs for energy efficient ones. Not only do Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs last 10 times longer, but they also use 66 percent less energy. This is a no brainer and hopefully causes you to take a trip to the store immediately. But while we are talking green, maybe you should walk or ride a bike.
4. Trade in your old hardwood floors for bamboo. This may be a more costly investment, but the flooring will last longer and creates a sharp look to fit your new intelligent way of living.
5. Update your old appliances and opt for one that carries an energy star logo. Appliances are said to use on average 18 percent of a home’s energy. Refrigerators are the biggest use of them all. Throwing out your outdated refrigerator could save you $150 before the year ends. Imagine if you updated them all.
6. Trade in old technology for new eco-friendly devices. Or at the very least invest in chargers that are green. Make sure to unplug these devices (including your TV) when you aren’t using them. It is a waste of money and energy to have your TV or phone charge constantly plugged in. This is a habit you will have to learn to break, but over time it will become a part of your routine.
7. Is it time to replace your furniture? Well if that is the case you should think about donating to someone in need or taking to a local thrift store and updating it with furniture made from recycled materials. Or if you want to really wow your house guests with your updates, think about adding a vintage look to your home. This furniture will likely be added to our waste if you don’t make a home for it with you.
8. When trying to cool your home during summer months make sure to keep your blinds closed as this will help to keep the sunlight out. As an extra bonus, according to http://www.securitychoice.com, keeping your blinds closed will also keep out unwanted intruders.
Now that you have decided to update your home, make sure to do your research and make as many changes as possible. Start with the changes that aren’t going to take a bite out of your budget and when you start seeing savings from those, go for the bigger more costly items such as new flooring and appliances.
Article by Samantha Peters, who is interested in bringing attention to the convergence of clean technologies and the environment.