The green living movement has grown rapidly over the last several years, with more and more people becoming aware of the challenges facing the environment, not to mention how humans have contributed to those problems. As a result, many consumers are clamoring for products and services that help them to adopt a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. However, there is still a large segment of society that believes going green is an expensive undertaking, only suited to those who have money to spare. As it turns out, however, a greener lifestyle doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and in many cases there are simple steps you can take that will save you a ton of money over time. One great way cut your carbon footprint and save money at the same time is to make a few changes at home that will help you to conserve energy. And here are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling.
- Schedule an energy audit. Okay, so you’re going to have to pay a professional to conduct an energy audit for you. Although you can find tips and tricks online that will help you to do some of it on your own, you really need a pro if you want the best assessment of your property. But the result is that you’ll discover all the areas of energy waste in your home so that you can install weather stripping, seal leaks, replace insulation, and basically ensure that the air you pay for stays inside.
- Replace burned-out bulbs with modern options. If you’re going to pay to replace your light bulbs anyway, you might as well spend a little bit more up front and buy energy-saving CFLs. They fit into standard fixtures, use a fraction of the energy of an incandescent bulb, and last up to ten times as long, saving you a lot over time. You might also get lamps that use LEDs, which require even less energy. And of course, use natural lighting whenever possible.
- Program your thermostat. If you don’t yet use a digital thermostat, now is a good time to replace your inaccurate, outdated dial. And while you’re at it, make sure that your thermostat is of the programmable variety so that you can set up a schedule for heating and air conditioning that works for your lifestyle and saves energy when you’re not at home.
- Use power strips. You’re probably already doing little things around the house to save energy, such as turning off lights when you leave a room and setting electronics to power down when not in use. But you may not know about phantom drain, which occurs when your electronics continue to draw energy even though they’re turned off. Luckily, you can stop this drain by simply plugging your electronics into a power strip that you can easily cut the power to by flipping the switch.
- Use online resources. While you can use sites like http://www.electricityprices.org.ukto find the best rates for home electricity prices, you may not know that many also offer energy-saving tips that can help you to cut your energy usage and thus reduce costs even further. In fact, there are a wealth of websites and blogs designed to help you expand your knowledge of green living and potentially save money in the process. So if you like what you’ve seen on your monthly utility bill just from the simple changes you’ve tried, don’t hesitate to build on your success by learning more about going green and doing your part for the environment in the process.