Save Some Green by Going Green
The fundamental reason behind the trend of all things "green" is to make recognizable progress toward halting further ecological devastation to the planet. Setting debates on the causes of climate change aside, the majority of people realize the earth is changing and want to do something about it.
However, reaching out to the public to do the greater good may be one approach, but presenting going green as a way to save some green (i.e. cash in the pocket) may be a more effective means of motivation.
Running a household, business or car all takes money. However, by making some changes to your lifestyle and the way you view and use energy could mean savings in the long run. With the cold-weather season on the horizon, and the higher home-heating costs that typically come with it, now is the time to add a little green to your lifestyle.
1. Install a programmable thermostat in your home: A programmable thermostat will regulate temperatures in the home and negate the need to raise or lower the thermostat manually, which can waste energy. Simply program the thermostat to the temperature you want during the day or night -- or while you're not home -- and it will do all the work. Setting the temperature a little lower while you're out or sleeping (when the heat is in use) can save you hundreds on heating bills.
2. Clean or change the filters in your HVAC system frequently: Making sure the filters are free of debris will enable the entire unit to operate more efficiently, which in turn saves energy and money.
3. Adjust the temperature on your water heater: Lowering the temperature on the water heater so your hot water isn't as hot can save on average $25 to $50 depending upon whether you have an electric or gas heater. Plus, the temperature change isn't likely to be noticeable, and you have the added benefit of knowing young children or the elderly are less likely to be scalded when turning on the tap.
4. Upgrade appliances: Appliances certainly cost money, but the investment now will help you save later on. Take for example an upgrade to a front-loader washer and dryer that will save on energy and water use. Also, consistently washing clothes in cold water (there are special detergents that work exclusively on a cold-water setting) will save you money.
5. Be refrigerator smart: Consider changing the location of the fridge if it is next to the stove or dishwasher, or even in direct sunlight. The added ambient heat will force the unit to work harder to keep foods cool.
6. Make the sun work for you: The sun often gets a bad rap due to the potential dangers for skin cancer from exposure to UV rays. But the sun can be a way to harness energy -- through solar panels -- or even to just warm up a home without having to turn up the heat. During the day keep blinds and curtains open to allow sunlight to filter into the house. It'll warm up a space and eliminate the need to turn on lamps while the rays are bright.
7. Rethink driving habits: Vehicles are big contributors to greenhouse gases. Cut down on pollution by walking or biking for errands near to your home. Reducing aggressive driving while behind the wheel can also save on gas. And when taking road trips or using a vehicle frequently, choose the one in the household that gets the best gas mileage as your primary vehicle.