Many people hold the misconception that being eco-conscious in their buying and spending habits means they need to cough up more dough. Yes, this may be true in some cases, like paying more for organic groceries than non-organic.
And sometimes there is startup cost to implementing “green programs” in your home and life, but they really do pay off over time. Yes, going green can save you money and here are some ways to get started today.
1. Use LED light bulbs
When first considering eco-friendly lighting options, one might *GASP* at the cost of a singe LED light bulb. $40 buys you one LED light bulb. Before you have a heart attack, consider these benefits. Lighting with regular, incandescent bulbs accounts for 11% of your energy bill. LED light bulbs last 25 times longer and can save you over $700 dollars over the life of the bulb! Those savings are huge! Yes, they cost more up front, but LED light bulbs will last for ten years and will pay for themselves, and then some.
2. Weather stripping
In many homes, especially older ones, there are small cracks under doorways that suck the circulating air out of the house. This means that you are spending more to cool or heat your home than you need to be. If the circulating air was trapped in your house, your system would not need to work as hard to regulate the temperature. Using weather strips under doorways is the most efficient way to prevent air from escaping. It will cost you $50 to $200 to weather strip your home, depending on how many doorways you have, and it will be well worth the investment.
3. Use public transportation
To minimize your carbon footprint, use public transportation whenever you can. Even if you decide to use public transportation just a few times a week to get to work, you can make a big impact! With the price of gas skyrocketing, riding your public bus may even be cheaper than the cost of the gas you are using when you drive to and from work.
4. Skip the clothes dryer
Not only does putting your clothes in the dryer decrease their lifespan, but using the dryer increases your electricity bill. Buy a clothes rack or a clothesline to use instead. You should notice a change in your electrical bill immediately!
5. Get a water aerator
36 states will experience severe water shortages over the next five years, so we need to do something now to start conserving. Buy a water aerator, which only costs about $2. This little device will reduce the amount of water that comes out of your faucet, but the water pressure will remain the same. You can save 1 to 5 gallons every month by installing a water aerator, which translates into dollars saved!
6. Make your own cleaning products
With just a little effort, you can make cleaning products that are just as effective. Mix baking soda and liquid detergent to create a soft scrub for sinks and bathtubs. Put detergent, vinegar, and water in a spray bottle and use as window cleaner. Alternatives like these are not only cheaper than their store-bought counterparts, they don’t release harmful chemicals into the air and pollute your home.
7. Plant a vegetable garden
If you have the space, why not use it to grow your own veggies? While it will take extra time, you will save money at the grocery store and it can be a great learning experience for your kids!
Going green can save you money. If you implement these changes one at a time, your budget won’t feel the effects nearly as much as if you went all out at once! While some of them have upfront costs, you will save enough in the long run that it’s worth it! Being eco-conscious does not have to cost an arm and a leg. Use these cost-saving tips now to begin your journey to “green-hood.” Good luck!
Image courtesy of novakgroupllc.com
About the author: Julia is a writer passionate about health, fitness & being green. When she’s not running her dog she can sometimes be found writing about Sono Bello, cooking and a myriad of other topics. She’s also a fan of Sono Bello on Twitter and Sono Bello on Facebook.