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Contrary to what certain frogs would have you believe, it is rather easy to be green. Not only that, but it saves money. Lets have a look at some ways to green up your home that will also help to keep a little bit of green in your pocketbook.
First, and probably easiest to manage, are your light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are a great way to save energy. In fact, they use about ¼ the amount of energy that a regular incandescent bulb does. Unfortunately, they contain Mercury, which can be toxic to humans and the environment. So, if youre going to use CFLs, its best to use them where they arent likely to be accidentally broken. If you really want to save energy, though, the best bet is LED bulbs. Theyre a little bit more expensive (a low-end bulb will run you about $18, and they go up to roughly $80), but they quickly pay for themselves by using 10% of the energy that the old incandescent bulbs used. And they last nearly 50 times longer.
Another great way to save energy is to wash laundry in cold water, rather than hot. An estimated 90% of the energy that you use when you wash a load of laundry comes from heating the water. Over a national average of 392 loads of laundry per household, per year, that adds up to a lot of energy saved. And while youre at it, make sure youre using an environmentally friendly laundry detergent like Seventh Generation, which only uses biodegradable, plant-derived materials. Dont forget to get the concentrated one, since over 400 million gallons of water are wasted diluting commercial laundry detergents.
While were on the subject of hot water, your water heater is one of the biggest consumers of energy in your home. It uses, on average, about twice as much energy as your refrigerator. A low-flow faucet can help reduce hot water consumption and the energy required to reheat it. Insulating your water heaters tank and the first six feet or so of pipes reduces the amount of heat that leaches out into the air. Just make sure you follow the manufacturers recommendations when putting it on. Gas water heaters are more efficient than electric ones. Every three months, you should drain about a quart of water from your tank to remove the sediment that accumulates in the bottom. It impedes water flow and reduces the efficiency of your water heater.
One of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact is to reuse and repurpose things. Every item you buy from a thrift store or Craigslist is one less item that ends up in a landfill. This can really save you money when it comes to electronics. Many people sell their used models when they upgrade to a newer one. Cell phones, in particular, use a lot of energy and materials both in production and daily use. Keeping your current phone longer, or buying a used or refurbished one, can lessen the impact these essential devices have on the environment.
Using these tips can save a lot of energy, which not only saves money, but it helps to keep our Earth clean. Its a win-win situation.
Nisha represents as site called http://www.loftcentre.co.uk/. She enjoys writing about home DIY and home design.