It may surprise you to learn that you can live a greener life and save energy, time and money in the process. Most people are concerned about the environment and proactively try to reduce the carbon footprint for their family as much as possible.
Other people are under the misconception that living a greener life is too difficult and costly to even consider – or even believe “What difference can my family make?” The truth is there are a lot of small changes that each family can do that will leave a positive impact on the environment.
Listed are 7 small steps that will make a big impact on your family’s life, as well as the environment.
A small step as simple as installing water-reduction or water-saving shower heads reduce water usage by one-third over non-reduction shower heads without sacrificing the pressure. This eco-friendly choice is not only good for protecting the clean drinking water but also less usage often means lower monthly water bill cost.
INSTALL SMART LIGHT SWITCHES
When you have young children (or teenagers for that matter) in the home, it seems that the lights are constantly left on. A quick and painless solution is to install smart light switches. With a minimum investment, you can purchase smart light switches that have timers or occupancy detectors. After the DIY task is completed, the benefits will show up on the next electric bill.
SWITCH TO LED LIGHTING
When making eco-friendly changes, upgrading the home’s lighting is a simple way to save energy. Compared to the incandescent bulb, the LED bulb has an average lifespan of 45K hours longer. Energy saving LEDs offer different lighting choices – diffused bulbs, track lighting, floodlights to spotlight and many more. While the initial purchase of LEDs may cost a little more, they offer a solid return on your investment.
MAINTAIN YOUR HOT WATER HEATER
According to Energy.gov, a hot water heater accounts for 18% of the home’s energy usage. Here are some cost-effective, energy saving tips that will reduce your monthly water heating bills.
- Use an insulation jacket to wrap your hot water heater.
- Set the thermostat to 120F – there will still have plenty of hot water.
HANG YOUR CLOTHES TO DRY
If you live in a region with a mild climate, you can take advantage of the free sunshine to dry your clothing. Not only will drying your clothes outside save money on energy cost, but it will also help your clothing last longer. Not to mention, the sun is a natural disinfectant and the sheets will smell amazing.
WASH CLOTHING IN COLD WATER
Believe it or not, your clothing and even your towels will come clean in cold water. Using cold water most of the time will save a lot of money. Your water heater uses 85 percent of the power used when doing laundry, so it’s quite a big difference.
You can save tons of energy by walking more. Walk or ride your bike to work when you can, and you’ll reduce your energy usage plus get healthier. What could be better than that?
It’s amazing how incorporating a few eco-friendly tips into your lifestyle can benefit you and your family’s health and finances without sacrificing convenience.
AUTHOR’S BIO: Michael Tobias is the founder and principal of Chicago Engineers. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech class of 2004, with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with honors. His innovative approach to MEP engineering comes from graduating GE’s Engineering Leadership Program, where he designed wind turbines and biofuel power plant engines. Michael’s passion within design is energy efficiency and green technology.