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Easy Ways to Live Green and Help the Environment

The Earth is facing some tough issues with climate change, carbon emissions and so many other major environmental crises. It can be difficult to figure out how individuals can make a difference while still maintaining quality of life and not breaking the bank. Here are simple and relatively painless ways to make a difference.

Watch the heat by taking the two degree pledge. Turn the thermostat up two degrees in the warmer months and down two degrees during winter. This will not make much of a difference to the comfort levels but it will certainly help the house to use less power and will also save money

Make a commitment to install CFL (compact fluorescent light bulbs) when the current incandescent ones burn out. CFL bulbs use much less power and last many times longer than traditional ones. As a bonus they are now so mainstream that they are quite affordable to purchase. Check with local utility companies for rebates or incentives as many companies are willing to offer reasons to help families make the switch.

Low flow shower heads and faucets have come a long way since they first became widely distributed. These days it can be difficult to tell if low flow items are in place. Switching to these more efficient models is quick and simple and will save money and lower consumption levels for both power and water.

Stop the phenomenon of phantom power. Even in standby or hibernate mode many appliances and other devices still draw a significant amount of power. Instead of simply turning things off, take the extra time to unplug them. Install power bars within easy reach so that all you have to do is flick a switch to ensure that electronics are only sucking power when they are in use.

If the household has a forced air furnace or an air-conditioning unit take the time to check the filters regularly to see if they need replacing. Anything with a clogged filter will have to work harder to produce the same results, so keeping filters clean will save money on the power bill and reduce the wear and tear on these expensive appliances.

Install a programmable thermostat. The average household savings is around $180 a year, plus the satisfaction of a smaller carbon footprint.

Install weather-stripping and caulk gaps. This will save money on the heating bill, reduce environmental impact and make the home more comfortable.

Grow a herb garden. Pick a sunny windowsill and purchase inexpensive seed and starter kits. Growing herbs is very simple and they require minimal effort to keep producing. Not only will fresh herbs improve the flavour of meals the plants will help to improve the air quality in the home.

Pack a lunch. If you order in for lunch make a commitment to bring your own lunch instead, even three days a week. You will save piles of money and also be eating healthier. Homemade meals have lower levels of sodium fat and calories than convenience foods.

Following these simple steps will save money and reduce environmental impact without causing any negative effects on lifestyle.

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