Four Green Ideas That Won't Put You In The Red For The Holidays

November 10, 2011

Are you searching for that perfect holiday gift for the family? Are you trying to dig up some extra money for gift giving? How about going green for the holidays! Not only do the following 4 green ideas help you save on your energy bills, but they also help you lessen your impact on the earth. Double bonus. You save household money and you tread a little lighter. The money you save can go into more presents for the holidays. 1) Are Electronics Draining your Budget? - Ever stop to look at all those appliances plugged into outlets? You can never find a spare outlet to plug in the vacuum? Even appliances that are turned off can sap electricity. Easy Green Solution: Plug your major electronics like entertainment centers into power strips and when not in use, simply turn off the power strip. This goes for computer stations, stereo systems, and the kitchen station with the coffee pot, toaster oven, blender and microwave. 2) Filter Changes - Simply changing your air filters monthly and making sure the proper vents are open while others are closed depending on the season will help keep the warm air in, and keep the energy bills down. 3) Go Light on the Lights - Do you still use incandescent lights? It's time to switch. LED and compact florescent bulbs have a longer life as well as a lower impact on your electricity bill. If you are hesitant to make the investment, do it in stages. Change them out as your old lights burn out and slowly you will give your whole home a lighting makeover. 4) Laundry with a Lighter footprint - Washing machines are an expensive appliance to run. Between water and energy use they can account for a large chunk of change in the home energy bill. Consider investing in energy efficient appliances in your laundry room. Front loaders use less water, and have a higher capacity so that you need to do fewer loads with less water to heat. Unless you have heavily soiled items, use the warm or cold cycle and save even more since 90% of the energy is used to heat the water. Line drying when possible can add to electricity savings. Bonus Idea: Recycle - Do you throw away plastic bottles, soda cans, and newspapers? Start recycling. While this isn't a money saver for your budget, recycling is your chance to have a positive effect on the environment. If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25,000,000 trees a year. An Aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now. Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator. Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour. Most of them are thrown away. Plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kills as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every years.* With just these few green tips and adding recycling to your routine you can create some more cash for the holidays, and pat yourself on the back for having taken the steps to make a difference in how you use natural resources. Think of a new home as a new start. *All recycling statistics come from A Recycling Revolution Image source: ©PhotoXpress.com
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