Will I Need To Spend More?
Ok, this is the number one question when a consideration is given to going green. Does going green mean having to spend more? Retrofitting your home with new, energy and water-efficient appliances and fixtures can seem like costly projects at first, but, the main consideration is the long-term return on investment, these changes actually save you more in the long run. Additionally, you can reduce cleanup and health care costs as well as damage to the earth.
Need real facts? Let's talk figures:
- Choosing energy-efficient products really can reduce a third of the home's energy consumption and save the average family approximately $400 a year. It's also true that your savings can be higher than this estimate, depending on your where you live and your current energy use. You may want to make use of a handy Home Energy Calculator provided by the U.S. Department of Energy to find out your potential savings.
- Switching to water efficient fixtures can save 2500 gallons of water a month, and reduce the average household utility bill by as much as $170 per year. Use the EPA's Water Savings Calculator to find out how much you can save.
- To encourage customers to upgrade to eco-friendly products, many companies offer rebates, tax exemptions, and recycling incentives for proper disposal of old products. To find rebate programs in your area, check out Energy Star's rebate locator and WaterSense's rebate finder.
Still saving up for those big upgrading projects? No problem. Here are some no-cost tips you can do right away:
Wash clothes in cold instead of hot water. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a washing machine uses up to 90 percent of its energy to simply heat the water in a laundry load, and the higher the temperature, the greater the cost to you and the environment.
Clean the lint filter in your gas or electric clothes dryer. This will help your appliances be more efficient and can save $34 in energy costs a year.
Recycle and get paid. Depending on your location, each aluminum can or plastic bottle can be worth $.10.
Turn lights off when not in use. How much energy and money you can save depends on your light bulb watts and electric cost. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates you can save about .04 kWH for each 40 watts bulb turned off per hour. If your electric rate is 10 cents per kWH, you would be saving $.004 for each 40 watts bulb turned off for one hour.
Saving the environment can also mean saving money, so start going green today!