The headlines, advice from top-tier scientists and calls from climate activists all tell a similar story: humans need to take drastic measures to curb emissions to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Of course, much of that change needs to happen on a systemic and industrial level – big companies need to change their practices and hold themselves accountable. But individuals can help too, especially homeowners. According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS, for short), residential energy use accounts for 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.
That’s a large percentage, but you can help reduce it. What’s more, you can even save money while doing so! Going green doesn’t have to be a selfless sacrifice. With these simple tips, you can help do your part and save a little for a rainy day.
Save Money on Your Energy Bill with New Windows
Energy Star estimates that homeowners can save 45% on their energy bill by replacing windows and doors with efficient models. The replacements will cost money initially, but after a while, they will begin to pay for themselves.
Just make sure to choose a window company that designs, manufactures and installs efficient products. For maximum efficiency, choose triple glazed windows, which feature three panes of low emissivity glass separated by argon fills.
Cut Your Water Usage with Low-Flow Appliances
If you want to cut down on your water use, the best course of action is to replace your water appliances with low-flow alternatives.
Again, these replacements cost money upfront but will save you money in the long run. Bear in mind that not all low-flow showerheads and toilets are created equally; take a look at this Wirecutter review of the best low-flow showerheads for reference.
Try DIY Cleaning Solutions
Conventional cleaning products contain a number of chemicals that can be environmentally harmful via local waterways. To break your home’s reliance on chemical cleaners, consider making your own products.
This Good Housekeeping article contains several terrific ideas for DIY cleaners. Many of the ideas use stuff you already have kicking around your home – vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol and salt.
Exercise Your Green Thumb with a Vegetable Garden
An organic vegetable garden is a great way to use your compost, rejuvenate the soil around your home and feed the local bees. As a bonus, you can cut down on your weekly grocery spending by supplying your table with homegrown veggies.
Gardening takes practice. If you’re eager to try, read through this guide to getting started. It contains practical advice for how to do everything from test soil pH to measure soil drainage.
Switch to Multi-Use Products
Finally, a small, straightforward way to reduce your residence’s environmental impact and save money is to switch from single-use products to multi-use products wherever possible.
Instead of grabbing a plastic straw for that morning smoothie, get yourself a washable metal straw. Instead of reaching for cling film to store leftovers, get yourself a beeswax food wrap. Each of these gestures may be small, but each adds up.
Being environmentally friendly and being financially prudent aren’t mutually exclusive. Save money on everything from energy to single-use plastics with the tips above!