"Don't shower for an hour conserve water and save power"
Everyone should have the desire to help conserve our environment, but many people don’t because they are misled to believe that it’s too costly or they would have to sacrifice their budget to do so. Living a sustainable lifestyle must be approached from a long term perspective. Some products that are biodegradable and energy-efficient can be more expensive, but when examining usage from a long term perspective, it is actually more cost efficient and prices have recently been dropping on sustainable products. This is part of the educational process that must be consistently implemented in order to bring a greater awareness to the consumer about the benefits to living sustainably. There are so many ways that you can begin to live sustainably without breaking your budget. In fact the affordable ways I am about to share with you will not break your budget. They are practical solutions that can actually save you money if implemented on a consistent basis. They definitely help me decrease my own personal home’s electric, water and gas bill. Here are some of the measures that can be taken to live sustainably at home.
- Search for any rebates, deductions or tax credits the government offers
Look for any available incentives and rebates that your state provides to its residents. For instance the government provides tax incentives to homeowners that install Energy efficient appliances, air or heating units, solar windows and roofs and there are many other categories. The deductions for installing energy efficient products can often result in rebates as well as offset some of your tax liabilities. This can be great news for first time builders and home renovators simply because of the savings they can receive from tax deductions as well as the long term financial savings of having a green home.
- Replace only those items that need replacing
I am definitely a proponent of this. I believe if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Get every ounce of usage out of it that you can. I don’t know how many countless of times I have had repairmen over to fix something that they said only had a short life left. They would always want me to change it out prior to it going out and that to me was a waste. There was one particular product in my home that worked ten years after a repairman suggested I replace it. I knew that replacing it too early would only lead to unnecessary waste in a landfill. Always remember that if things are still functional, you should not throw them away. You are just adding more waste to Mother Earth. This behavior often contributes to the overcrowded landfills which in turn adversely affects climate change. Make sure you are aware of the negative impacts of throwing something away that still has value.
- Purchase the right type of light bulb
When it comes to light bulbs, the incandescent light bulbs are have pretty much phased out. The reason is they use too much energy. This bulb definitely has had a long run of 134 years but now the CFL and the LED are light years ahead and have become the choice of manufacturers. When you purchase energy efficient light bulbs you can save as much as 80% according to Consumer Reports. The bulbs are available in many different wattages and cool and warm tones as well. I suggest you buy a couple of CFL or LED bulbs to see how you like the lighting before lighting your entire home.
- Insulate your home
Insulating your home is beneficial in more ways than one. If your home is not properly insulated you will always feel a draft in your home. Improper insulation will also keep your thermostat running because of the consistent pull to maintain the temperature in the home. Good insulation helps maintain proper balance and an environment that will keep you cool during summer and warmer in the winter. It can also lower the condensation and even noise level in your home. The results are savings on your energy bill. There are many cost effective options and brands that can meet your budget that will be effective. All you have to do is go to your local home store or do some research online to find the best options for your home and the right situation for you.
- Turn off everything when not in use
This tip I’m sure goes without saying. Parents are consistently telling the children don't forget to turn off the lights. Of course growing up I know you heard that at least a thousand times. There was definitely a reason for that. Unnecessary usage of electricity can cause an electric bill to go up very quickly. This tip is basic. When you know you are leaving the home, turn off all lights that is not used for security measures. Make sure items such as curling irons, flat irons or anything that is so easy to forget is on is turned off. This includes your computer as well. We use our computers and laptops so often it is easy to just leave them on. Don't forget to turn them off.
- Purchase a timer for your shower
After long and stressful day, who doesn’t want to take a long and refreshing shower? You can literally stay in so long and not realize the many gallons of water that have been wasted. It may sounds inviting, but it's not always reasonable when there are many places facing shortages of water. Many gallons of water can be lost in minutes. There are recent innovations that provide a mist instead of a water flow as well as shower heads with timers. Using these innovative products can dramatically reduce wasteful water usage from the shower activity. In doing so you are saving our natural resources and you are also lowering your monthly water bill. Share these tips with others and remember to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle…..It Matters.