| Following a green lifestyle inside the home can appear to be expensive, inconvenient and difficult. With technologies like solar panels, grey water plumbing and more, the decision to go green can appear daunting. However, there are several small choices you can make in your home as early as today that will help lower your energy costs, lower your carbon footprint, and promote environmentally safe lifestyles. |
The easiest, and most obvious, is to simply change your lightbulbs. Incandescent lightbulbs produce more heat than light, and most of the energy produced is simply lost. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs convert most of the energy used into light, not heat. Compact fluorescent lights also save about 75% more energy than incandescents, and can last much longer as well.
Second, use your utilities wisely. This means no half-loads of laundry or dishes. It's such an easy fix that it seems more difficult to actually do the opposite. Washing half-loads wastes time, energy, water, and of course, money. An easy way to compliment this practice is to also purchase Energy-Star safe appliances.
Third, purchase reusable bags when shopping at a grocery store. This greatly cuts down the amount of waste that comes from paper and plastic bags. It can be a little difficult to remember, but the best way is to simply put your bags in your car trunk immediately after unloading, or to simply have two sets.
Fourth, conduct an energy audit of your home. An energy audit is simply a run-through of your water, electrical, heating, and utility use as well as your insulation and rate of air change. This can be done at home, by yourself, and only takes about an hour or two.
Lastly, innovation is key. Simply repurposing certain household items for other uses can greatly reduce the amount of waste your home produces. This includes reusing empty jars to hold spices, pastas, and other items. Also consider starting your own herb garden. They take up little room, and can lower your food costs by a nice amount. And with recent emphasis on compost bins in large dining areas, consider making your own!