In the past, terms like “eco-friendly” and “sustainability” were confined to the lexicon of hippies, meditation gurus and radical far-left conservationists. Well, times have definitely changed, and more and more people are beginning to follow the mantra of green living. Wondering if it’s possible to save money AND help the environment? You betcha! Here are a few things you can do to start:
- Fix That Leak
When you have a leaky faucet, it’s like you’re literally flushing money down the drain. More than just that annoying drip-drop sound that keeps you up at night, a leaky faucet can waste more than 10 gallons of water a day. That’s around 3,650 gallons a year! Leaky faucets can cost you—in both your water bill and sleepless nights.
- Use More Efficient Light Bulbs
Is your house a little too dark? Replacing your old lights with Compact Fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) will help you save on your energy costs, not to mention the fact that they’re much brighter. CFL light bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs, and they can last up to ten times longer. As you can see, investing in CFL bulbs is a very bright idea.
- Hang-Dry Your Clothes
It’s time to pull the plug on your dryer. According to the Pew Research Center, only 33% of Americans today think having a clothes dryer is a necessity. Hanging your clothes to dry not only helps you save on energy costs, it’s also better for your clothes. Just think of all the extra space your laundry room will have.
- Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
No longer can you blame your bad hair day on your old showerhead. Installing low-flow showerheads help you save water (about 350 gallons worth a week), which can add up to around $70 a year in savings. While older models may have had the annoying drawback of leaving your hair limp or dry, newer models work as good as—if not better than—most standard showerheads. You can find new models for under $10.
- Unplug Unused Appliances
Get ready to flip the switch: Nearly 75% of your home’s electricity is used by appliances that are turned off. Unplugging your electrical outlets when you leave during the day has been found to help cut costs and help keep your appliances in better working order. OK. We get how it may seem a little far-fetched to unplug each and every appliance when you leave the house in the morning. So instead of encouraging you to unplug everything, try unplugging a few. According to Energy.gov, Americans spend nearly $100 a year on appliances that are turned off. So try unplugging the bigger items in your home, like your TV, toaster and desktop computer, to help you cut back on energy costs. That’s right. It pays to listen to us.
- Save Paper. Use a Water Bottle
More than 130 billion paper cups are thrown away in North America each year. Investing in a BPA-free water bottle (or a thermos if you’re a coffee aficionado) will go a long way in conserving paper, and it can help you save a little money too. Coffee shops like Starbucks actually give discounts when you bring your own cup. Save money and reduce waste? It’s a win-win.
Have a few eco-friendly tips we’re missing? Drop us a line in the comments section below and let us know how you cut costs.