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How to Go Green on a Budget

Shower Flow

To conserve water, use low-flow showerheads and faucets.

Going green offers plenty of benefits – from preserving the environment to generating savings on energy and utilities. Many argue, however, that greening can be quite expensive, especially when you think about smart gadgets and renewable energy installations. But this does not always have to be the case. You can go green and reap the benefits through simple, inexpensive ways.

Here are a few tips on how you can go green on a budget.

  • Use energy-efficient lighting

    Switch to LED bulbs. They may cost a bit more initially, but they also last about 8 to 20 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs. They also consume around six times less electricity while giving off the same or more luminance.

  • Turn off unused lights and water heaters, and unplug unused appliances

    As long as they’re plugged, many appliances continue to consume electricity even when they’re in “off” mode. The same is true of tank water heaters that have not been switched off. If you need to change heaters, consider switching to the tankless variety that can supply heated water on demand.

  • Watch your thermostat settings

    Make sure you’re not heating an empty house. In the winter, set your thermostat to 68 degrees when you’re at home and to 55 degrees when you’re away. Use the fireplace for added heating.

    During the summer, the ideal setting is 78 degrees. In the spring or fall, when the temperature is cool but not freezing, open the windows and turn off the thermostat. Keep the fan on “auto.” And if it’s within your budget, consider replacing your old thermostat with a programmable one.

  • Make sure your home is well insulated

    Check your home and ducts for leaks and make sure they’re sealed to prevent heated or cooled air from escaping. In the summer, close all windows and doors, and draw the shades down when the A/C is on. Use ceiling fans to circulate cooled air. If feasible, switch to double pane windows to improve your home’s insulation.

  • Avoid using disposable items

    Paper napkins, disposable razors, disposable diapers, paper plates, and similar products add to consumer waste. As much as possible, choose reusable products, such as fabric napkins and diapers, coffee mugs, ceramic plates, and the like.

  • Reuse and recycle

    Before trashing them, reuse items like plastic bags and bottles, old newspapers, tin and aluminum cans, milk containers, and shampoo bottles. You’ll find plenty of creative ways to make these products useful again. Additionally, instead of buying brand new furniture, linens and other household needs, consider buying second hand or used items.

  • Decrease your water consumption

    Check your water pipes for leaks and repair or replace damaged ones. Conserve water by using low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets. Reuse water from boiling pasta or vegetables in watering your plants. Look into rainwater gathering systems and use the water to clean your car or the garage.

  • Wash more efficiently

    Use your dishwasher instead of hand washing. This consumes less water. But instead of using the appliance’s heat dry feature, towel dry the dishes to save on electricity. Additionally, run the dishwasher only with full loads. The same goes for your clothes washer. When washing clothes, use the cold setting and air dry as much as possible instead of using the dryer.

If you’re looking for a green home in Lake Conroe and surrounding areas, Katherine Maher can help you find the perfect property. Give her a call at 936-525-0095 or send an email to Katherine(at)lakeconroe(dotted)com.