There is a common misconception that to be green or eco-conscience you need to spend a lot of money and too much time to have a solid impact. But this is not true. Here are three simple steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and have an immediate impact on your wallet as well.
1. USE COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULBS - This is an item that is a little pricey, but if you attempt it bit by bit or room by room its not as hard on the wallet. Focus on rooms that get the most use : living room, kitchen, family room or office. To start, take notes for a few days to figure what one room you seem to use the most and change out those bulbs. Then try to find the second most used room and when you can afford it, change out those bulbs. Its all about small steps that in time can be very effective. Here are some statistics I gathered from the Energy Star website:
If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars. ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. Save about $30 or more in electricity costs over the lifetime of each bulb. CFL's produce about 75 percent less heat, so they're safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling.
2. UNPLUG APPLIANCES WHEN NOT IN USE - Here is a way to save energy that costs you nothing and can save money in the long run. I'm sure we all have some appliances that are plugged in and are drawing electricity even though we are not using them. Do you shut your computer down every night? Do you have a clock in every room? Do you have a VCR or DVD player with a clock and memory to maintain? Did you know that even if your TV is off it is still drawing electricity to power a memory device? Coffee makers are another culprit.
A good rule or thumb is to ask yourself what appliances need to be re-set after a power outage. These are items you need to address. If you are unsure of any particular appliance, unplug it. If it is not plugged in, it can not draw electricity.
3. STOP USING PAPER TOWELS - This can be tough one when you have little ones, I know, but I have found some great alternatives. Cloth napkins are one way to at least cut back on paper towel use and if you bargain shop you can usually find some decent ones for less than .50 a piece. Another great product are those chamois style towels that suck up so much liquid. I have a bunch and love them, they wash up easily and hold up well too.
You may need to spend a bit to practice these tips, but try to look at the money spent as an investment in your home and in your planet. In time, you will save money due to the actions you have taken and the wise purchases you have made.
Put these three tips into action as soon as you can and if you want to take your green efforts to the next level, visit http://greenmomhappymom.com to get your FREE ECourse on how to completely green your home without breaking the bank.