Green living enhances your home while giving more thought to the environment. There are a wide variety of eco-friendly furnishings and sustainable home decor products to make your home chic. Did you know there are other ways to go green in your home? Sure decorative accents are wonderful, but certain lifestyle adjustments and repairs can also have a lasting impact. The Daily Green is an online guide to “the green revolution.” Recently featured on Good Morning America, here are 5 ways to go green and save money. Click Here to read Dan Shapley’s article “Saving Money by Going Green: 17 Tips That Can Save Hundreds.”
Green Idea #1: Rent, Borrow and Freecycle
Projected Savings: Hundreds
Consider this: One study showed that the average power tool bought for use by a homeowner is used for just half an hour in its lifetime. And yet, most homes on any given street might have the same tool sitting in the basement.
Borrowing is free, so it’s a good first choice. Ask around, or post a note on a community bulletin board, before you shell out for that new table saw, the kitchen appliance you need for only one special occasion recipe or a wheel barrow for that once-a-year garden project.
Freecycle is an example of borrowing on Internet steroids, since it connects people getting rid of useable stuff to people who want that same stuff. Need a new computer keyboard or mouse? Ask the network. Replacing your microwave oven? Offer it to the world. It’s as easy as connecting, arranging a time and place to meet, and giving stuff away, for nothing.
Green Idea #2: Do a Home Energy Audit
Projected Savings: up to $570
The average U.S. household spends $1,900 on energy bills, and much of that energy is wasted. Most homes, particularly those not built recently and to Energy Star standards or better, can benefit significantly from simple improvements that can pay off significantly. Making standard efficiency improvements on an inefficient home can save as much as 30%, or $570.
For instance, caulking cracks, sealing windows and ducts, and using draft snakes can save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs.
Green Idea #3: Adjust Water Heater Temperature Settings
Projected Savings: $30-$475
The average U.S. house spends $1,900 on heating, hot water and electricity. Hot water represents as much as 25% of that cost, or up to $475, according to the Department of Energy, and much of it is wasted. Turn down your hot water heater so that the tap water isn’t scalding, and wash your clothes in cold water, to save 6% or more on your bills — a savings of roughly $30 a year.
Green Idea #4: Switch to Energy Efficient Lighting
Projected Savings: $112
t’s not a get-rich quick scheme, but lighting represents a significant share of a home’s energy bill, about 11% — $210 annually. So wasting less energy is a way to make a buck.
Replacing old incandescent light bulbs with efficient compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), light emitting diodes (LEDs) or even halogens can save up to 75% on your annual lighting bill. Factoring in the cost of replacing bulb and the longer lifetime of today’s efficient bulbs, relative to incandescent bulbs, and the energy savings amounts to about $112 a year for the average home with 45 light fixtures. That means you’ll pay off the investment in about two years, then start enjoying savings in the third year. A rule of thumb: $1 spent on lighting upgrades pays back $6.
Green Idea #5: Fix Water Leaks
Projected Savings: $20
A leaky faucet will leak about 3 gallons of water a day, while a leaky toilet might leak 22. Even with the low cost of tap water in the U.S., those leaks can add up to nearly $20 in a year. Fixing them now saves you the money, and the drip… drip… drip… annoyance.
Want to read more? Stay up to date on all things design by following our Manhattan Interior Design Examiner page. We are also the National Interior Design Examiner. You can also follow us Twitter, Facebook, and our Blog of course.