There are plenty of reasons to go green nowadays. Even if you don’t have any particular hankering for saving the planet and leaving something better than a desert wasteland for your children, there are some great reasons why you should make the effort to be more eco-friendly.
The fact is that many of us are into the green agenda simply because it can help us save money and cuts down on pointless waste. Small, personal changes all add up to have a huge impact on the world we know and love.
Whilst some government are having a tough time with the renewable energy industry, in some ways the US government is working hard to make the US as energy independent as possible.
More and more of us are making the effort to ensure we cultivate those green habits that make a big difference in many little ways. If you can’t afford to have solar panels installed on your condo roof or update your heating system to something more eco-friendly, there are still plenty of things you can do gradually and even on a small budget to make your home greener.
Here are 6 easy ways to be greener without breaking out in a sweat or busting your bank balance.
- LED Lighting
LED lighting wasn’t too popular for a long while because it didn’t produce enough light to read a soup can by. Research and development over the last couple of years seems to have solved this problem and the lighting is now comparable to other bulbs on the market. If you are switching from old fashioned filament bulbs to LED you can expect to save as much as 90% of lighting bill.
Are they expensive? Well, a single bulb will set you back around $15 to $20 which seems a large amount. But here’s the thing: LED bulbs are highly efficient and use less power than even the latest CFL bulbs. They also last at least five times as long. In other words, they not only save you money on your electricity bulb but they also reduce the need to buy replacements and are cheaper overall.
If you are working on a limited budget, then you can buy one or two at a time as and when you can afford them. Before you known it, your house will be lit by LEDs and you’ll be saving a significant amount on electricity bills.
- New Floors
Updating your flooring might seem like a weighty financial commitment but you can work on a room at a time if you have a limited budget. Worn carpets and old underlay can mean that your home loses heat and is less eco-friendly than you would want, particularly in winter. Changing to a greener and warmer replacement over time, such as bamboo flooring, can make a big difference to your fuel bills once you have it installed.
If you want a flooring solution that is both economical, environmentally friendly and keeps your feet warm in the cold season, then maybe it’s something you should take a serious look at.
Heat loss through the roof is a big problem with many homes but very few people ever check that they have the right amount of lagging up in the attic once it is installed or whether it has degraded over time. Lagging is relatively inexpensive and can be bought in rolls over a period of time. The best time to buy is in the summer months where, if you shop around, you can find rolls at a more competitive price.
- Natural Cleaning Products
Of course, there’s more than one way to go green. The products you choose in everyday life are also important if you want to have less of an impact on the environment. The good news is that you don’t have to depend on supermarket products that damage the environment and possibly your health. There are plenty of new companies that produce natural cleaning products which are manufactured responsibly and have less impact on both your local environment and the world as a whole.
If you don’t want to spend money on products, you can, of course, make some of your own. There are plenty of natural solutions such as adding baking soda to warm water for cleaning a kitchen work surface or the inside of a fridge. It’s amazing what you can do with a little cider vinegar or a lemon if you go the homemade cleaner route.
- Save food and water
In the West we are lucky enough to have food and water on constant supply. All we need to do is pop down the local store and buy what we need whenever we want. Unfortunately, this has led to many of us becoming wasteful in our habits. Food is left unused and then thrown away and we don’t think twice about buying far more than we really need.
Sending your leftovers to a recycling plant or starting your own compost heap means that you are not wasting so much. If you also make the effort to only shop for what you need and make sure to use everything you buy it can greatly cut down the amount that is wasted.
Here’s our top tip: Never food shop on an empty stomach!
We are just as wasteful with our water usage in the West. Because we have easy access delivered straight into our homes we think nothing of wasting millions of gallons collectively each year. Simple measures such as introducing a water collecting tank in the garden, putting a brick in the cistern of your toilet to reduce the flush or taking shorter showers can add up to reducing your impact on the environment at hardly any cost to yourself.
- Cut down on the car
Need to get down to the store? Why not walk if it’s a nice day. You’ll get much needed exercise, you’ll save on valuable petrol and cut down your dependence on fossil fuels. We can’t all afford a new hybrid car that runs partly on electricity but we can certainly all be more intelligent when it comes to using that gas guzzling Chevy or Pontiac.
It takes just a few simple changes to the way we go about our daily lives to make a huge, collective impact. The green revolution is not really about big projects that cost millions of dollars, it’s about individuals making small and important changes to the way they behave.
And the great news is, the more you get into the green agenda the more money you are likely to save.
Featured photo credit: WoodleyWonderWorks via Flickr Creative Commons