The idea of making your home and life completely eco-friendly can be more than a little daunting. However, once you realize that your carbon footprint is literally as deep as your wallet, you might find your current spending to be far more overwhelming.
Being resource conscious is known to be financially beneficial, not just in the long run, but in terms of immediate monetary savings. Here are a few of our suggestions on how to be environmentally conscience without breaking the bank:
Switch Your Lights to LEDs
90% of the energy used by incandescent bulbs is wasted through heat. If used properly, LEDs can last over a decade. That’s a lot of light bulbs you won’t have to be buying over the years.
Gas heating is cleaner than oil and generally cheaper than electric. Services vary by location, so whether you’re researching propane companies in Bucks County or San Francisco, make sure you learn what is available in your neighborhood specifically.
Get an At-Home Water Filter
Bottled water may very well be considered one of the greatest scams of all time. On top of that, faucet water is markedly cleaner than bottled water and faucet or pitcher filters are easy to buy and affordable. Shop around and find the best choice for your home.
Eat Less Meat
No buts about it, cow flatulence is actually contributing to global warming. Going vegetarian for one day a week is an easy way to take action on this issue without making drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle. It also has the added bonus of many varied health benefits, such as decreasing your blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk of heart disease.
The stigma against shopping secondhand is slowly disappearing, as is the strain on your wallet from buying retail markups. Lamps, curtains, candleholders, china sets, costumes, clothes, jewelry, books, you name it — thrift stores and yard sales are home decorating gold mines.
Fill up the Tank, Empty the Trunk
Driving on empty is literally one of the worst things you can do to both your car and you wallet. Make sure to keep your gas tank from dropping below half full — it will make a world of difference.
While we do recommend keeping your tank relatively full, we advise you to keep your trunk relatively empty. The heavier the vehicle, the more energy will be expended in order to get it moving, and the more gas it will burn; on the other hand, the lighter the car, the heavier your wallet, and the greener the planet. Everyone wins!
As the snow melts and spring finally begins to settle in, it’s time to break out the power washer, dig out the patio furniture, and get ready for those sweltering kick back days of summer.
Here’s our advice for creating an inviting area that can be enjoyed all throughout the spring and summer seasons.
Start a Garden
While having a lavish greenhouse isn’t necessary, having a small garden can be a key aesthetic factor in livening up the atmosphere of any outdoor area.
More importantly, gardening is healthy for you. This socially acceptable form of playing in the dirt is known to relieve stress, while working outside in the sun has been known to alleviate symptoms of depression.
Being able to cook with ingredients you’ve grown also allows you to control and limit the kinds of chemicals and pesticides that are added to you food.
Aside from the aesthetic and medical benefits of adding greenery and color to your back yard patio, growing fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, basil, and other edibles and herbs has the added benefit of bringing both flavor and pride to your summer barbeques.
Get yourself a grill
In today’s health-conscious world, grilling foods is one of the most acceptable and beneficial ways to prepare an enormous variety of meals without feeling pigeonholed into an overly restrictive dietary mentality. The benefits of grilling outweigh most other forms of household cooking. For example, marinating meat before grilling is known to dramatically decrease the presence of cancer causing chemicals in cooked foods.
Gas grilling also allows for more fine-tuned control of heat distribution, which makes it perfect for the health-conscious cooking style known as “slow and low.” Take the time to research gas distributers in your area, as propane suppliers in PA and various other states might offer different kinds of services depending on your grill (commercial, private, industrial, etc.).
Maintain Patio Furniture
Different kinds of patio furniture require different care and maintenance. Always make sure the furniture you invest in is solid and sturdy, then clean and test it regularly — nothing spices up a get together quite like someone falling backwards out of the plastic chairs you picked up at the dollar store.
When not in use, all patio furniture should be kept covered or in a storage unit or garage. This ensures protection from damage caused by the elements and local wildlife. It will extend the life of your patio furniture for years to come and will reduce overall clutter in the festive space you are attempting to furnish.
Before setting up any tables, chairs or umbrellas, make sure any damage caused by weather or wear is repaired, or the items replaced.