1. Weatherize Your Home
Weatherizing your home with energy saving projects can keep money in your pocket. Almost half of your home’s energy usage is spent on heating or cooling your home. When your house leaks air from drafty windows or leaking fireplaces you’re needlessly paying for wasted energy. Some projects that you can help seal up your home include insulating your attic door or using a chimney balloon. To learn about other weatherizing projects read this DYP column.
2. Put an End to Phantom PowerPaying for electricity you aren’t using? ‘Phantom power’ is the energy being wasted by having electronics plugged in that aren’t even being used. Anything in “stand-by” mode sips energy. That includes DVD players, computers, and most chargers. Phantom power adds up to 10% of the total amount of energy we use at home. Unplugging the electronics or using a power strip to shut them off when they aren’t being used will bring you instant savings on your electric bill.
3. Create Your Own Green Cleaners
You can’t beat the cost of some basic green cleaners that you probably already have in your pantry. Create your own cleaning toolbox with white vinegar, baking soda, borax, and hydrogen peroxide. These are a whole lot cheaper than store bought cleaners and are just as effective. For instance, I can buy a 128 oz. jug of vinegar for $3.49. That’s the same price of the leading glass cleaner that’s only 26 ounces. If I make a glass cleaner using 1 part vinegar to 1 part water, my jug of vinegar will last nearly 10 times longer than that chemical glass cleaner for the exact same price! Check out our ‘Green Cleaning’ section to see how to make your own cleaners.
4. Buy Used Items
If you’re in the market for furniture, clothes or similar new possessions consider buying second hand. Giving these items a second chance helps reduce consumption of new virgin materials. Two of my favorite stores are Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore but don’t overlook other resale shops that cater to specific markets like children’s clothes or sporting goods.