July 28th, 2014 8:11 AM by Jackie A. Graves
Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, chances are you care about
protecting the environment – and saving money. Here are some tips from the
American Bankers Association to help you do both.
Location, location, location
Carefully consider the location of your home. If you’re close to
work, shopping and entertainment, you may not need a car. Without a car you
would save money on gas, car insurance and maintenance, not to mention reduce
pollution. If you’re thinking about moving further out, try to find something
near public transportation and shopping.
Light up the house, not the electric
Replacing incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient
compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs will save you about $6 a year in
electricity costs per bulb and more than $40 over its lifetime. According to
ENERGY STAR, if every American home replaced just one light bulb, we would save
enough energy to prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Remember to recycle used CFL bulbs. Go towww.epa.gov/bulbrecycling? for recycling locations.
Some like it hot, hot, hot…or cold, cold, cold.
Closely monitor your thermostat. Adjusting it just a few degrees
while you’re out can save energy and money. You can make it easier by
installing a programmable thermostat. Use fans and close the blinds during the
warm months and let the sun in for natural warmth in the winter. Also, change
your filter every three months.
How low can you go?
One way to save water is by using low-flow toilets. The most
cost-effective way to do this is to simply take a 1 liter plastic bottle, fill
it with water and place it inside the tank. This will reduce your water use per
flush. Another way to save water is placing an aerator on all of your faucets.
Make it mean-green-clean.
Cleaning supplies can be expensive and are made with toxic
chemicals. You can save money and the environment by making your own cleaning
supplies. All you need are some basic household ingredients like vinegar, lemon
juice, baking soda and borax to clean everything from windows to tile. Look
online for recipes and suggestions.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
Sticking to this mantra can help you save money around the house.
Use a rag instead of paper towels. Buy products in bulk, concentrate or
refillable containers to reduce packaging waste. Look for products made from
recycled content. And don’t forget to recycle!
Win-dos for your windows.
There are a number of ways you can make your windows more energy
efficient without replacing them. For better insulation from the weather you
can caulk exterior joints, put shrink wrap on them or hang blackout curtains.
Fan the green flames.
To keep your refrigerator running efficiently, keep the fan clean.
The motor won’t have to work as hard if the fan is clear of debris.
Houseplants are like living air-filters. English Ivy, rubber
trees, peace lilies and red-edged dracaena can help clean the air and look
Vampire energy is sucking you dry.
On or off, anything plugged into the wall sucks energy. Vampire
power costs U.S. consumers more than $3 billion a year, according to the U.S.
Energy Information Administration. Unplug your electronics and appliances when
they’re not in use.
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