2020 is a very good time to begin saving energy and money throughout your home. Begin with easy to do smaller projects and discover your energy-saving consciousness as it grows exponentially.
Perhaps the easiest project to begin your energy and money-saving lifestyle is to change your lighting. Consider replacing the lightbulbs in the ceiling fixtures and lamps in your home with LEDs. The LED, or light-emitting diode is not technically a bulb but a semiconductor, or diode, wrapped in plastic and it has no wires or filaments. At 60-75% more efficient than incandescent, fluorescent and halogen bulbs, replacement is a quick way to reduce your energy consumption and save money. Compare an LED flood light, which uses 11 watts, to create the light equivalent of a 50-watt incandescent bulb. LED lights last 25 or more years, so though the initial cost of each bulb may be slightly higher, over the life of the bulb you will save money.
You can appreciate the numbers provided by Viribright:
- Incandescent cost over 20 years: $211; uses $160 in electrical costs.
- CFL cost over 20 years: $54; uses $52 in electrical costs.
- LED cost over 20 years: $34; uses $30 in electrical costs.
Other factors that make LEDs more desirable for lighting your home are things like coolness—not how you dress coolness—but temperature as LEDS are cool to the touch. No more accidental burns to fingers or house fires from a tipped lamp! The disposal of LEDs is easy too; there is no mercury in an LED, which means throwing one away isn’t creating a hazard to the environment. Pair your LEDs with a smart device and you can control the lighting in your home from anywhere.
It may not be anyone’s favorite chore, but house cleaning is something everyone must do at some point. By using green cleaning products, you improve the quality of the air in your home by reducing the risks associated with the toxic chemicals that traditional cleaning supplies are made with.
Some combinations of traditional cleaning supplies can be more than a little dangerous–they can be deadly. A cleaner that contains chlorine combined with one that has ammonia in it creates chlorine gas, a substance first used on April 22, 1915 that resulted in 15,000 World War I casualties, including 5,000 deaths.
According to the National Poison Control Center, traditional household cleaners account for one of the top five reasons for calls. Green cleaning products significantly lower respiratory and eye irritations and skin burns. By using a green laundry detergent, you help eliminate algae overgrowth in our waterways caused by phosphates. You can save money using green cleaning products as well. Many natural cleaning sites like Clean Mama offer recipes for cleaning products you make yourself, as well as access to the products deemed safe in any environment.
Furniture and Textiles
When purchasing furniture make the commitment to re-use well-made pieces by re-furbishing and restoring. Look for items in re-sale shops or garage sales. Tips for creating masterful re-done furniture are easily available online at places like The Spruce.
Remember, each piece we re-use is one less piece in a landfill. The same mindset applies to textiles in and around your home. When a towel has passed its prime, consider ways to up-cycle perhaps by turning old towels into bathmats or dust rags. There are a lot of craft sites that share inventive ways to re-use almost any item in your house.
If it is time to shop for new textiles for the kitchen or bath explore items that are made from bamboo. Bamboo is a highly sustainable plant and bamboo towels have an incredible absorbency rate. According to My Sweet Greens, bamboo sheets are breathable, soft, smooth, have a thermal regulation effect— they keep you cool—and are both hypoallergenic and antibacterial.
Whether you live in a Denver apartment for cheap or a pricey Long Island 3-bedroom home, keeping your windows covered is an easy way to help control the temperature in your home. Blinds, shades and draperies allow you to let sunlight in, or keep it out, and that in turn will save you money on heating and air conditioning. Textiles on your windows also help block noise– another type of pollution. Measuring and installation videos are available online or in stores and many companies will help you through the entire process, including designing, measuring and installation.
Replacing your HVAC system is not inexpensive but once replaced, a new system can save you thousands of dollars by being more efficient. If your system is relatively new and in good working order you can simply switch to a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat is programmed by you; after a week it knows your daily routine for heating and cooling and will adjust itself automatically. Another advantage of a smart thermostat is the ability to sync it with your smart devices that allows you to change the settings from anywhere.
The amount of time and money you invest in going green to save energy and money is not as important as beginning the process to create a healthier home and planet for you and your family. Take a few steps and we all benefit.
About The Author: Sam Radbil is the content manager and a contributing author at ABODO. Sam previously worked as a content and media specialist at an Austin, Texas software startup. He has a Bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University and a Master’s degree in strategic communication from American University in Washington, D.C.
Photos by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash & maitree rimthong from Pexels
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