Thursday, 22 November 2012

10 Green Ideas That Save Money and Help The Planet

Green ideas can help mankind in different ways. Living greener helps to conserve scarce resources like energy and water for our future generations and reduce carbon emissions to help make the planet a better place for everyone. What is often overlooked is how much money you can save as well.

Conservation is important for all, and we can take some simple steps in our day-to-day life for helping our planet earth and saving some money. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

1. Change your lights
To environmentally friendly, we have to think of getting alternative power and light sources. As much as 20% of our electricity is used for lighting. CFLs or the compact fluorescent light bulbs are very helpful for this purpose. It has been estimated that if every household replaces a light bulb with a CFL, the reduction in carbon emissions would be equal to that achieved by removing one million cars from the road!
2. Turn off your computers at night
Many people have a habit of leaving their computers in sleep modes at night. This results in wasted electricity, the so-called phantom energy. The computers should be turned off when are not in use. This will help you save around 40 watt hours of electricity every day. In monetary terms this saving amounts to a lot too. If you do not like to wait, then you can set your computer for having an automatic start-up a few minutes before you start the work. You can also boot up the computer while you are pouring your morning coffee or tea. If a desktop is not necessary then go for a a laptop which consumes less energy.
3. Plant a tree
You can plant a tree to provide shade to your house. This will be good for the surrounding environment and can provide cooling effect for your home as well. After a few years, the trees become big enough to give you ample cooling and can help in reducing the expenditure that occurs on running the air conditioner. It has been found that well-placed hardwood deciduous trees can reduce the cooling costs of a home by up to 40%. Get you whole family and involed and plant a tree for each family member.
4. Use the cruise control feature of your vehicle

Most of the modern vehicles come with the feature of cruise control, which improves fuel economy on long road trips. Cruise control helps to keep the vehicle at more steady speed while traveling through light traffic on freeways. This saves fuel; cruise control equipped cars can give around 15% higher mileage. If your car has a cruise control feature you will benefit from using it when the conditions are right. Gasoline prices are at an all time high, so cruise control is a good value-for-money feature of modern automobiles.
5. Adjust your thermostat
You can save energy by adjusting the heating levels of your thermostat. During summers you can adjust your thermostat to a 5 degree higher temperature and during winters, adjust it at a temperature that is five degrees lower. The more modern thermostats are programmable and are a better choice, as they can regulate the room temperature automatically at times you select. There is no reason to keep a cool home during the summer when you are away at work or on vacation. The savings can be dramatic. Remember that when you lower 1 degree on the thermostat, you save 10% of the energy used.
6. Use rechargeable batteries
Some 15 billion batteries are manufactured each year. Most of the batteries that are produced and sold today are disposable alkaline batteries. Out of this huge number of batteries only a small number get recycled. You can use the greener alternative of rechargeable batteries. The batteries can require an upfront investment in a charger, but the investment is well worth it, and gets recovered within a year or less, depending on your usage. You can get a charger and a set of rechargeable batteries to use the batteries in alternation for fulfilling your energy requirements. You can also avoid visiting the market repeatedly for getting batteries. Purchaisng a battery charger is greener and good value for the money.
7. Stop using the paper bank statements
Try stopping the monthly paper bank statements that you get in your land mail and go online for your bank statements. You might also get rewarded for doing this, as some banks will give you a cash bonus or can also donate money to good causes on your behalf. If every household stopped the use of paper bank statements and opted for online bank statements, the savings would be enough to educate around 17 thousand graduates of high school at a public university for a year. Trees will also be saved by saving paper.
8. Break ice in a better way
Salt is used for melting the ice that gets accumulated on sidewalks and steps after a big winter storm. These ice-melters are dangerous for pets and animals and hard on the plants as well. Salt can also leach into the wells and pools of drinking water as well. Therefore try to avoid using such ice melters. Many stores have on offer the pet safe-deicers for use around your home.
9. Pay bills online
You can save some trees and late fees if you pay your bills online. Almost all organizations that issue monthly bills have options for online payment. Some estimates reveal the fact that around 18.5 million tress can get saved each year if all the households start paying their bills online. This will also help in reducing the emission of carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse effecting gases by around 2.2 billion tons and would also result in the reduction in production of solid waste by around 1.7 billion pounds. And another bonus is that you save on postage.

 10. Share the ideas
Use the knowledge that you acquire from different sources and also pass it to those you know. Environmental conservation and protection should be a concern for all individuals. By passing on the knowledge and ideas on living green and saving money to others, you give them a tangible benefit as well as improve the overall greenness of the world.


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