Even if the average adult doesn’t have a lot of time to spare in contemplation of the plight of our planet, including the rampant waste and pollution that could be hastening our end, most homeowners are delighted to hear about strategies that could help them to save money on their monthly bills. And if you happen to harbor some interest in the green living movement, or you are concerned about pollution, global warming, and other environmental issues, you’ll be happy to hear that there are plenty of steps you can take in your household that will allow you to cut your carbon footprint and save some money at the same time. Many of them are also pretty easy to implement. Here are just a few environmentally-friendly fixes that will help to make your home greener with little fuss or muss, potentially resulting in savings over time.
- Add recycle bins. If you live in a state that requires recycling, chances are good that you’ve already started a system of bins to ensure that any products fitting the bill are given a second chance to be useful, rather than cluttering up the landfill. But if you haven’t yet jumped on this eminently eco-friendly bandwagon, you’ll be glad to hear that doing so is cheap and easy. For nothing more than the cost of a couple of trash cans, you can begin sorting aluminum, plastic, and glass to recycle. And the best part is, if your trash company doesn’t offer pick-up (or even if they do), you can take your items to your local recycling center and get money for turning them in. Yes, you can actually make money by going green!
- Update plumbing fixtures. By switching to aerated faucets for your sinks and showers you stand to cut your water consumption in half, potentially reducing your water bill by a significant amount. Of course, you could accomplish the same goal by showering every other day instead of daily, but by spending a little on new fixtures up front you could save a lot over time, and still enjoy the level of hygiene you prefer. Motion sensor faucets are another great option that ensures you don’t needlessly leave the water running.
- Increase air tightness. When you perform a home energy audit (or hire a professional technician to do it for you), you’ll be able to pinpoint areas of waste in your home, allowing you to seal up leaks and increase insulation so that your home is air tight and energy efficient. This can help you to conserve energy and cut the cost of heating and cooling your home.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Even if you can’t afford the expense associated with installing new insulation and double-paned windows, you could still help to decrease energy usage by using a programmable thermostat to set a schedule for heating and cooling that accounts for your presence or absence and compensates by adjusting the temperature in your home accordingly.
- Upgrade to Energy Star products. Whether you have a frozen air conditioning unit and you decide it’s time to upgrade to a more energy-efficient unit, your fridge is older than you are, or you still use old-school, incandescent light bulbs, you’ll find that there are Energy Star products that can cut your household consumption and lower your utility bills in the process. If you’re going to buy something new anyway, why not opt for an Energy Star product that can save you a ton down the line?