The Green Evolution has been taking place for a long time, but it has only gone mainstream in recent years. Besides for the obvious benefits to the environment, and our health, eco-friendly lifestyles are also increasingly cost-effective. It’s all about leaving the smallest possible carbon footprint in the world. The most inexpensive ways to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle are also the most obvious.
For example, heating and cooling systems are a major expense item in a home. During the wintertime, the thermostat should be turned to 55° at night while occupants are away, and 68° at night while occupants are at home. This will have a dramatic effect on the electric bill every month, and those cost savings can go towards a 401(k) retirement, fixed savings account, or a much-needed vacation.
Turn Off those TVs and Computers Every Night
Many folks are blissfully unaware that plugged-in items are actually still using electricity even if they are not turned on. Computers that are in ‘Sleep’ mode are actually still using electricity, and that electricity is being paid for. At the end of the workday, it’s important to turn off computers, TVs and ‘Sleep’ mode appliances. This not only saves on the electric bill, but it also extends the lifetime of the device.
On the issue of electricity, there are many ways to save on costs by using rechargeable batteries. In much the same fashion, it important to dispose of all batteries in a safe and secure fashion. While nobody enjoys filing taxes from their PC, this is certainly an eco-friendly way of saving the environment by minimizing the use of paper. On the topic of electronic filing, all accounts should be paid online, and paper statements should be eschewed. This will streamline your monthly payments, and save valuable time too.
Consider Alternative Energy Sources for Your Home
Some folks believe that saving money on electricity is only reserved for those who have money to spend on alternative sources of energy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The more people adopt an eco-friendly way of life, the cheaper an eco-friendly way of life becomes. A classic example of energy-saving is solar energy. Solar energy generates clean power directly from the sun.
It utilizes an abundantly available resource – ultraviolet radiation – to generate electrical power. With solar energy, and electric bill can be reduced by as much as 80%, and the home’s value can be increased by up to 20%. Further, the widespread adoption of solar energy has made it an attractive proposition for people who are looking for new homes.
The True Cost of Going Green is Evident in the Lifetime Savings on Energy
The sticker price on a home is typically the purchase price, but the attractiveness of a home includes many other variable costs such as the homeowners’ association (HOA), property taxes, water, and electric bills. By reducing the monthly payments on the electric bill, the home is naturally more attractive to a buyer, or a renter.
From this perspective, going green certainly makes financial and ecological sense. North Carolina State University conducted a study where it was found that the average savings on an energy bill range between $44 -$187 per month when solar energy was used. These savings range between $528 per year and $2, 244 per year. Over a 30-year mortgage, that can be as much as $67,320 (not taking inflation into account). That’s a reason to celebrate an eco-friendly way of life.