Problem is, all things aren’t equal. Sometimes it seems like being eco-friendly is nothing but hard work and money. Have you heard how much those solar panel systems cost? Do you know how long it would take to install brand-new attic insulation? Serious environmentalists know the benefits of these things, but many regular people are put off by the apparent cost of entry into green-hood.
In this article, we’re going to set some things straight and show you how everyone can find some ways to go green. Yes, even people who are really busy and don’t like spending money can help. These tips will not only make you more eco-friendly, they’ll also save you a collective $600+ every year. And they won’t take long to do, either.
Here are 5 simple eco-tips that will save your time, money, and planet:
#1 — Switch to CFL lighting
Lighting accounts for about 7% of an average home’s energy costs. Switching to CFL bulbs (compact-fluorescent lighting) is easy and simple to do, and saves about 66% on energy costs compared with similar incandescent bulbs. On top of that, CFL bulbs last about 10 times longer than traditional bulbs, so they save you the headache of replacing regular lights all of the time.
Cost of 20 CFL bulbs:
$5-7 per bulb, $120 annually
#2 — Use a water-saving shower head
A typical shower head uses 4-5 gallons of water per minute (GPM) — and that can get expensive if you like to take long showers. Energy efficient or water-saving shower heads can be found in a range from 1.5 gpm to 2.5GPM, which can save you over 50% on your water costs (and make your hot water last longer, too).
Cost of shower head:
$25 from Amazon.com
50% less water usage due to showers, roughly $200
#3 — Wash clothes in cold water
Unless you’re dealing with some really serious stains, there’s not much benefit to washing your clothes in hot water (and it will make them shrink more). A good detergent and a cold-water wash can get your clothes just as clean, and switching to cold washes could save a staggering 85% of the energy used per load.
Cost of cold water wash:
$61 for an average household
#4 — Inflate your car tires
When was the last time you checked your car’s tire pressure? I know, I can’t remember either. Problem is, low tire pressure (even slightly off normal) can significantly increase the rolling resistance of your car. That means lower gas mileage, and lower gas mileage is more expensive and worse for the environment.
Cost of inflating tires:
50 cents at a gas station
$38 for the average American
#5 — Get a programmable thermostat
The average homeowner spends about 35% of their housing-costs on heating and cooling alone. Getting a programmable thermostat can lower those costs by up to 20%, depending on how aggressive you are with your temperature settings. The key is to set the temperature lower at night (when we’re sleeping anyhow) and only warm the house during the day. If you live in a hot climate (or it’s the summer) you can do the opposite. The less energy you use on climate control the more money you’ll save.
Cost of thermostat:
As low as $40
About $200 per year, depending on where you live
Use these tips and save $619 yearly
The total savings for all of these tips combined is a rather hefty $619 per year. All of that, and the immediate cost to you is a only few hours of work and about $100. Not too bad for saving the environment, eh?
Share your thoughts:
Have you used any of these eco-tips before? How did they work out?
Do you have any other good ideas to add to the list? Let us know in the comments.