Contrary to popular belief, going green does not have to be hard or cost money, in fact it can even save you money. There are many small things that you and your family can do within your home to save money while reducing landfill waste and the use of natural resources. Discover a few ways to go green and save some money by choosing a green home.
Changes the city can help you can make in your home
If you are a utility customer of Fort Collins Utilities or Loveland Water and Power they offer a Home Efficiency Assessment to the community at absolutely no cost to you. These minor changes in the house can actually make a very large impact on your personal water and energy use, while helping you lower your utility bill! They are happy to provide this service virtually and drop products off at your doorstep, just note that you will be needing to walk around your house to show them some data and appliances. Whatever qualifies for an upgrade can be done with these products, and most are fairly simple to install. **Homeowners and renters are eligible for this free service
♦Home Efficiency Assessment
During the assessment they will…
- Conduct a basic inspection of your home, appliances, windows, toilets, and heating/cooling system.
- Install appropriate efficiency measures based on your home’s needs. These products may include LED light bulbs, water conserving shower-heads and aerators, smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, clotheslines and high-efficiency toilets.
- Educate you about water and energy efficiency practices and services.
For more information or to schedule your assessment visit their website.
Changes you can make in your own home
Composting is free and can provide you with rich soil to garden with. You will never have to buy soil and can easily grow plants and vegetables. To create your own bin, get a large trashcan with a locking lid, then drill about 25 holes all around the bin and attach the bin to small platform (allows it to drain). Once you start putting approved items in the bin go outside and roll it around in the grass every few days.
♦Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
You can save approximately $75 dollars a year by replacing your traditional incandescent with energy efficient light bulbs. On average energy efficient light bulbs typically use way less energy and can last much longer, not needing to be replaced as much.
There are quite a few options to save money and energy when it comes to laundry. Here are a few: wait till you have a full load of laundry to wash, line dry your clothes, wash your clothes in cold water and when it comes time to get a new washer and dryer buy an energy efficient one.
♦Weather-Strip & Caulk
One of the main ways we use a lot of energy, especially in hot and cold climates, is through air-conditioning and heating. One way to reduce the use of heating and air-conditioning is to properly weather strip and caulk all windows and doors keeping your home cool and warm when needed.
♦Reuse and Reduce
Use items more than once when you can to avoid throwing them out; this might mean buying quantity over quality. Another way is to join The Freecycle Network or Buy Nothing group on Facebook you can swap used goods with neighbors for free and also keeping more waste out of landfills.
Start making your own cleaning products. Not only can you customize, make them eco-friendlier but you will also save money buying products. On average, most DIY cleaners cost less than a $1 to make per bottle compared to $5-$15 per store bought bottle.
♦Unplug & Turn Off
Put all your major electronics on a power strip and shut off when they are not in use. Even if your electronics are shut off, they still will continue to draw electricity thought out the day. Another tip is to make sure you unplug your cellphone when completely charged and always power everything down while not in use to save on battery life.
There is an extremely easy way to make your toilet a low flow toilet. Simply add a brick, wrapped in a waterproof bag or take a plastic water bottle and fill it with sand putting it into your tank. This will reduce the amount of water with every flush. Once you are ready for a new toilet purchase a low-flush toilet.
Change up your shower head with an energy-efficient shower head that will use half the amount of water. These shower heads are low flow but will significantly cut your water bill down. Another option is to install a tap aerator which will also cut down water usage without changing the water pressure.