Frugal Living – How to go green on a budget
I am among the thousands of people interested in environmental conservation. I want to think I am making a difference and want to leave the world better than I found it for my children. I am also trying to live a more frugal life and going green seems to go hand-in-hand.
Going green is a subject that would take thousands of pages to try and cover. There are hundreds of categories each broken down into individual subjects about green living. I want to just scratch the surface on a couple of ways I have started to conserve while still living frugal.
According to a mass number of articles, the average person uses 27% more electricity than needed. This can be caused from a number of things such as leaving lights on while the room is empty, using the wrong watt light bulb, having your thermostat set higher (or lower) than needed and your hot water heater.
· Leaving Lights On- We have all been guilty of this one. We tend to leave lights on when the room is empty or leaving the TV on without someone watching it. Simple things like turning a light or TV off will not only start you toward “green living”, it will save you money on your electric bill
· Replacing Light Bulbs- This is a project I am on now. At first I was going to just replace all of the light bulbs in the house with the energy efficient ones. I thought this would save money on the electric bill and I would be going green. The issue with that is cost…The energy efficient light bulbs cost much more than traditional light bulbs and I felt as though it was wasting to remove a perfectly good light bulb to be replaced with one of the energy efficient ones.
The solution: I wait until one of my traditional light bulbs burn out and then replace it with an energy efficient one. This way, I am not wasting by throwing away a perfectly good bulb, but I am replacing with energy efficient saving me money and going green at the same time.
· Thermostat Controls- Continuously adjusting the thermostat on your central heat / air is something many of us do, not realizing the extra cost we are incurring each month as well as the energy we are wasting. According to sources, for optimum energy savings you should have your thermostat set to 74 degrees for the summer and 68 degrees for the winter. Once you set it, leave it on those settings and do not modify. Use your ceiling fans to cycle the air instead of running the temperature up and down.
· Hot Water Heater – More money (and energy) is wasted every year on heating and cooling water than any other according to recent articles. Although most manufacturers set water heater thermostats at 140ºF , most households usually only require them set at 120ºF. Water heated at 140ºF also poses a safety hazard – scalding. Reducing your hot water heater to 120ºF will also make your heater and pipes last longer because it slows the mineral buildup and corrosion.
For each 5º you reduce your hot water heater, you will save roughly 5% on your electric bill. This can add up to some huge savings throughout the course of the year.
While these are only a few topics, I have many other going green tips on my website. For more information, please visit penny pinching.