Summer is that time of year when the kids are out of school, and the season calls for spending time with the family and enjoying the warm weather. “Going green” has been an ongoing positive trend, with eco-friendly building products, hybrid vehicles, the retrofit of production methods and solar power being the trending topics of current news. With any big change, individuals often get caught up in the thought that one person cannot make a difference, but over time it’s actually the collective small efforts from many people that can make the biggest impacts and changes. In fact, small efforts in the conservation of water or energy, changing the bulbs you use or building a patio cover could actually help you to not only save the planet, but also save money. Here are BackyardXScapes.com’s top ways to stimulate your bank account and save money by going green.
1) Replacing old incandescent light bulbs with Fluorescent (CFL) ones can save you up to $30 dollars in energy costs over the duration of that energy efficient bulb. Fluorescent bulbs not only use 67% less energy, but also last much longer.
2) Turn off appliances and lights when not using them. In addition to turning off your TV, computer or lights, things we may forget to unplug such as leaving your ipod, phone, or camera battery charging when it’s full, drains energy and over time can reduce the life of your battery as well.
3) Since it’s summer, whenever possible hang dry your clothes and wash in cold water.
4) Dress to the weather so you don’t have to rely on your thermostat to keep you comfortable.
1) By turning off the water while brushing your teeth or soaping up in the shower, you can drastically reduce the amount of water used per month and also save on your bill.
2) Low flow toilet systems, faucet and shower heads are inexpensive and the money you save on your water bill will pay for the investment.
3) For your garden use drought tolerant plants that don’t require that much water to survive. You can also use realistic artificial turf instead of real grass.
Reduce Your Use of Fuel
1) Whenever possible walk or bike to your destination. This will not only promote your health but also save you gas money and reduce carbon emissions.
2) Telecommute or Carpool, anytime you can reduce one car off the road it makes a huge difference.
3) Take public transportation, subways, trolleys, buses and trains save you money on insurance and gas.
Become a Conscious Buyer
1) Don’t buy bottled water, carry a re-usable one instead. 60 million bottles of water are thrown away each year to waste, and so much oil is wasted on making plastic bottles. It’s also calculated that bottled water can cost up to four times more than water purchased in gallon tanks, and it’s not any safer than filtered tap water.
2) Buying a water filter can save you money on purchasing water, and help conserve resources that go into the production of bottled water.
3) Select clothing that doesn’t require dry cleaning, this will reduce your maintenance costs and reduce chemical waste.
4) Buy products that are packaged in biodegradable materials, or that has little packaging, or some that can be recycled.
Dispose of Items Responsibly
1) Since electronics such as laptops, cell phones, vacuums, radios and computers are the hardest to recycle, donate working ones for re-use or dispose of them at designated stations that specialize in recycling electronics. Visit here, for government information on where to dispose of your electronic goods.
2) Since our storm drains end up filtering to the ocean, be conscious of what you are pouring down the sink and these drains. Car washing products, oil, and chemicals pollute our oceans and kill off marine life. Look for green friendly cleaning products.
3) Make your own cleaning products. The internet is filled with great info on how to make household cleaning products from natural ingredients that can save you money, clean effectively and not harm your kids or pets.
Though it’s easy to get caught up in our every day lives and routines, small decisions we make can heavily impact this earth. The more conscious we are in our decisions, the better we can help in preserving the planet for future generations. If you ever forget just remember, “REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!”