Creating an eco friendly home doesn’t require a complete re-vamping of your facilities. Of course, you can go all the way with solar lighting and heating but there are several ways to make your home eco friendly without investing in technology.
Ok, let’s get this one out of the way first. Everybody is familiar with the recycling bins we keep in the kitchen or utility room. You can get colored bins to add a decorative touch or use stainless steel containers for more high-tech look. Personally, I don’t like washing my trash, but I recycle in other ways. I save my bread sacks and foil, and recycle aluminum cans. If you assign a different family member to each different recyclable, you’ll have more success in keeping up with this chore. And, keep in mind, just about everything can be recycled!
It may seem like a small savings, but switching off the lights really does save money. One typical light-bulb left on 24/7 will increase your electric bill by $5 a month. That can add up in a hurry. But, don’t forget other electrical appliances. Even when they’re turned off, they will pull electricity off of the grid. It’s called vampire electricity. One way to avoid this is through surge protectors. Take, for instance, your entertainment center. Use a multi-prong surge protector for your different items in the entertainment center. These surge protectors have an on/off switch, so you can turn off the entire section with just a flip of the switch.
You may be hanging on to that 20 year old refrigerator for as long as possible (ours is 30 years old). However, it is not very energy efficient. Energy efficient appliances and windows can save you a ton of money every month, so don’t see having to get a new ‘fridge, or having to replace your windows as a real budget breaker. Keep in mind that you can actually recoup a lot of your investments in new, energy efficient items.
CUT DOWN ON JUNK MAIL
You can save a lot of trees by cutting out junk mail. To do so, go to http://opt-out.cdt.org/ to be taken off of junk mail lists. It can clean out your mail box, save you time, and save trees too.
SAVE OLD BATTERIES
Everything seems to run on batteries these days, From your electric toothbrush to your remote controls to your favorite watch, batteries amount to tons of toxic debris every year in America’s landfills. You can stop that, however, by recycling your batteries.
If you have an old roof on your house, you may be able to help the environment by replacing it, Most roofing materials these days have UV reflective finishes on them. This will not only cut down of your heating bills, but it will create a cooler neighborhood. Heat collected by neighborhood houses can create a heat footprint that actually affects the weather, pushing rain clouds out of the way as the heat rises. An eco-friendly roof will cool down your house and the climate, as well.
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- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: www.sxc.hu/photo/1164587
Harry Carr loves trying to save energy where possible and enjoys helping others achieve the same goal. He currently works as a solar panel electrician in Taunton.