Going Green: Eco-friendly Home Tips to Help Save Money and the Planet
Written by Milan Jara on 18th Nov 2014
As the old saying goes, we only have one planet, so we’d better treat it right. Whenever my wife and I work on a project together, we do our best to reuse existing materials or buy recycled items. But that is just one example of the many ways that you can save the environment. The best part about eco-friendly home tips is that they save you money as well as lowering your carbon footprint. So get ready to hug some trees as we give you a list of green home tips you can use every day.
Photo By Bruce Irving (Flickr)
Install Solar Panels
I realize that solar panels can be expensive, but let’s keep things positive by looking at the benefits of having them installed. You can recoup all of your investment, and then some, in solar panels with a combination of tax credits and savings on your energy bills. After a few years of lower energy bills, your panels will be paid off and then your savings become profit. Also, using solar energy means that your local power plant has to burn less fossil fuels to generate the electricity you need. With solar panels, you and the environment both win.
Cut Down On the Mail You Receive
Did you ever think about how much paper is wasted in the mail you get every week? You may not think there is anything you can do about your mail, but you can actually reduce the amount of mail you receive significantly by just doing two simple things. First, opt out of getting those unsolicited mailers by filling out the opt-out form that they all come with and sending it back to the company. Be nice; the company is just trying to generate revenue. Then, you can sign up for online bill-paying services and never get another bill in the mail. Now you’ve just reduced how much paper is wasted sending you mail you don’t want to read.
This one is actually kind of neat and fun. Set up rainwater collection barrels at the bottom of your gutter downspouts and use that to water your lawn, water your garden, wash your car, or wash the exterior of your house. There are rainwater collection and pumping systems you can buy that will help you save a lot of money on your water bills and reduce the amount of water you use from your municipal water supply.
Install a Programmable Thermostat and Use It
A programmable thermostat allows you to choose what temperature your house will be at certain times of the day. For example, you can turn down the heat a little when you are not home and save energy as well as money. A programmable thermostat that can be controlled by your smartphone is even more convenient and, let’s face it, pretty cool as well.
Along with these big tips, there are the little things you can do to make your home eco-friendly. You can switch out all of your old light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones, learn to recycle items instead of throwing them out, and have a toilet installed that uses less water per flush. The more that we do to help the environment, the more we can do to make the planet a better place for future generations.