CFL blub (AP Photo/General Electric Corp)
If you made a list of the best possible ways to go green, what would be on it? Your list may include purchasing a hybrid car, installing solar panels, buying new energy-efficient appliances or setting up a fancy water purifier. Sound expensive? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to be rich to help the environment, and the even better news is that you can actually save money while going green. Here is the first in a four part series of simple ideas that can help you go green while going easy on your wallet.
Save on Home Utility Bills
• Switch on a new light. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, last up to 10 times longer and will save you a bundle over the bulb’s lifetime. They’re easy to find these days at low prices at grocery, home improvement and department stores.
• Get clean in cold. About 90% of energy used by washing machines goes just to heating water! Switching to cold water can save the average household more than $30 annually. Always washing with full loads will help save even more money.
• Stop energy vampires. DVD players, computers and cell phone chargers are among the devices lurking in your home that “suck” energy when turned off and in standby mode, costing the average home $100 per year. Using a power strip, looking for appliances with the “Energy Star” logo and unplugging chargers when not in use will help prevent this energy and money loss.