Making your home eco-friendly is easier than you think and it’s a surprisingly effective way to conserve cash.
PAY YOUR BILLS ONLINE
Not only are you saving trees but you’re also saving money on gas, and more than $50 a year on postage. Plus you will get five hours of your life back – that’s how much time you spend every year writing checks and stuffing envelopes!
WASH YOUR CLOTHES IN COLD WATER
Unless you’re battling tough, oily stains, switching from hot to cold water on laundry day will get the job done and you’ll soak up 90 percent less power. Another plus? You’ll subtract up to $63 from you utility bill annually.
SWITCH TO COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHTBULBS
Yes, CFL’s cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, but don’t let that turn you off: They burn 75 percent less energy and they last about 10 times longer. Replace five bulbs in your house with CFL’s and you’ll save $150 or more over the lifetime of the bulbs.
SHORTEN YOUR SHOWER TIME
Taking long, hot showers feels great but its murder on your water and heating bills. Simple reducing your showers by five minutes saves money and conserves up to 750 gallons of water a month.
TURN DOWN THE THERMOSTAT
When the weather gets chilly; minimize your carbon footprint by throwing on a sweater instead of cranking up the heat. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you can knock 5 percent off your heating bill.
SHUT OFF THE TAP WHEN YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH
If you let the water run during your morning and nightly brushing you’ll waste up to eight gallons of water daily that adds up to a scary 2,920 gallons of water each year.
SWITCH TO CLOTH NAPKINS
The average American uses 2,200 paper napkins a year. Limit your paper trail and conserve sash by using cloth ones when you eat at home.
BREAK YOUR BOTTLED-WATER HABIT
I don’t need to tell you that drinking a bottled water isn’t kind to the planet. But you may not realize how harsh it is on your wallet: If you drink a bottle a day you may be shelling out up to $500 on the stuff per year! Sip from a reusable aluminum bottle instead.
RUN YOUR DISHWASHWER
Hand washing dishes is tedious and time consuming you devote 230 hours a year to the chore. The good news? It’s more eco-friendly and so much simpler to lose the sponge and run a full load of dishes. If you have an Energy Star dishwasher most people do, you’ll be saving a whopping 5,000 gallons of water and reduce your utility bill by $40 each year.
ACTIVATE YOUR COMPUTER’S “SNOOZE CONTROL”
Simply setting your PC to enter sleep mode after 5 to 20 minutes of inactivity can save you up to $75 of energy per computer annually. Can’t figure out how to do it? Visit energystar.gov for instructions.