Sunday, November 8, 2020


 By Naomi Shaw

at Home by Going Green

Photo courtesy of Naomi Shaw

Green living has never been more accessible or diverse. Every day, we see new ways for buildings, cars, businesses, and households to continue regular operations while becoming more environmentally friendly. Going green is not nearly as hard as it used to be or as complicated as people might think. Anyone and everyone can and should work to make their daily lives greener and lower their carbon footprint. Thankfully, there are various ways to live green at home without breaking the bank or sacrificing any of the comforts you have come to expect from modern life. Use some or all of these suggestions to save money while going green at home. Adopting any single green step is good progress, but the more ways you convert your life to be more environmentally friendly, the bigger and better the impacts will be. 

Big Changes Create Big Results

Most of the ways people make their lives greener are by incorporating smaller changes. While small changes are easier to adopt, they can take longer to show results or make a difference. Small changes are fantastic and should always be celebrated, but there are other ways to make bigger changes that result in bigger impacts. One of the most significant changes you can make is changing your house's fuel sources. Grid-based electricity and natural gas are the most common household fuels, but there are other options. 

When most people think about going green with energy or fuel sources at home, they imagine solar panels are the only option. Roof-mounted solar panels are a renewable energy source that is gaining popularity as it becomes more accessible. Still, it is not the only path available to homeowners wanting to go green. Most people never think about their water heater as long as it is working, but you can replace your old water heater with a more efficient and green propane water heater. Propane is a cleaner fuel than other choices, and the increased efficacy helps you pollute less while saving money. Switching out your old water heater for a new propane water heater is a major project, but professional installers will ensure your system is stable and ready for long-term use to give you complete peace of mind. 

Unplug And Turn Off

One of the largest expenses in any household is the monthly energy bill. We use electricity more than we might realize as almost everything in our modern world requires some form of energy. We use electricity all the time on purpose and by accident, whether you leave the air conditioning on overnight, leave the lights turned on, or leave your TV plugged in even when it's off. Adding a programmable thermostat will help eliminate accidental extended HVAC usage while keeping your house at a comfortable temperature you can still customize. Get in the habit of turning off lights you are not using and encourage housemates to join. You can make a reward chart or system to help teach kids eco-friendly and energy-saving habits, so the whole family can join the process of going green.

When it comes to larger electronics like TVs, computers, and game consoles, turning them off is not enough. Many of these electronics will still draw energy from the outlet even while turned off. To stop these so-called energy vampires, plug all the offending devices into a power strip with a surge protector and unplug the power strip. The power strip makes it, so you don't have to fight with individual plugs every time you want to cut off energy vampires. 

Use And Repair Rather Than Instantly Replace

Photo courtesy of Naomi Shaw (Click to enlarge)

One of the best ways to live green is to not contribute to the global waste crisis. Throwing out plastic, paper, cardboard, or any still usable materials only adds to the worldwide landfill and is likely avoidable waste. It can be tempting to buy the new version of something you already have but buying the latest and greatest when you don't need it only creates more waste. You should switch from incandescent bulbs to CFL or LED bulbs, but not while your old bulbs still work. If an item you have still works, use it until it dies and then replace it with a greener option. If an item breaks, look for ways to repair it rather than automatically throwing it out. Many mechanical products can be fixed or taken to a specialist for repair; do not assume that it must be thrown out because something broke. Use what you have, fix what breaks, and resist the urge to replace items that are still working fine. 

Going green has never been easier. Anyone can go green at home without sacrificing modern conveniences or breaking the bank. Switch out your old water heater for an efficient propane alternative for a more significant impact on your carbon footprint. Unplug and or turn off electronics you are not using, use the items you have until they truly die, and even if something breaks, try to repair it before you send it to the landfill. These small steps can make a difference on your bottom line and help you lead a greener life.

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