A few simple and efficient ways to lower your carbon footprint
In today’s society, saving on your energy bills is two-fold—firstly, you do your part to decrease your carbon footprint and conserve the earth’s resources, and second, you can save some money on your monthly heating, electric, and water costs in the process.
Sure, you could install solar panels and thermal heating in your home, but you’re looking at some costly environmentally-saving ventures. Instead; focus on the small steps that you can take in your home to make it more energy efficient.
Here are five easy and effective ways to save on home energy bills while decreasing carbon emissions
1. Install energy-efficient appliances
You can find peace of mind when you ditch that old dish washer, water softener, or dryer awarded with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label because this means they use between 10 and 50 percent less energy and water than common appliances without the rating. You might pay a little extra for your new Energy Star-rated washing machine, however, you will also save a bundle in water and electrical because you will be decreasing both home energy costs.
2. Make the switch to more energy efficient lighting
One of the cheapest yet most effective ways you can save on your electrical bill is to swap your regular incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs (or CFLs). They only cost a few bucks—and they use approximately 75-percent less energy, which means they’ll pay for themselves over and over again.
3. Unplug your electronics when they’re not in use
Your television, DVD player, game system, computer, and stereo are all probably plugged in right now even though you’re not using all of them. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not still sucking up energy. The energy used to power home electronics—even when they’re not operating is called “phantom load”. Do Mother Earth and your local power plant a favor by unplugging the electronics you’re not using—either that or plug them into a power bar with an on/off switch and flick it off when they’re not in use or when you leave the house.
4. Check for leaks
Chances are, if you haven’t checked your home’s insulation in a while—extra energy is escaping through leaks in your windows, doors, attic, walls, and even ceilings. If you stop leaks the temperature in your home (via your furnace and central air) will improve—and so will your heating and cooling costs. Start by insulating your attic then check your windows and doors for any cracks and seal the areas where air is escaping.
5. Programmable that thermostat
You can save even more energy costs by programming your thermostat on a schedule. For instance, in winter, program yours to automatically turn up a half hour before you return home from work and stay that temperature until you go to bed. The temperature can automatically lower while you sleep and remain that way while you’re at work.
About The Author
Heidi D Dempsey is an environmental advocate, a dedicated mom of two boys, a loving wife, and a staff writer for ApronAddicts.com, a website dedicated to the love of cooking and looking good while you do it! You can often find her getting creative in the kitchen as she whips up something yummy in one of her flirty, color coordinated aprons.