If you aren’t sure how you can save on energy while at the same time do Mother Nature a favor, then you don’t have to look very far. Here are 8 easy-to-implement home improvement projects that will save the earth, and the dollars too:
1. Dry clothes the old-fashioned way.
Build a clothesline to dry your clothes instead of using your dryer. Just imagine the amount of electricity that you will be shaving off your monthly utility bill as well as the non-renewable energy you would be saving. Additionally, the smell of air-dried clothes is a lot better than the ones coming from your dryer. Just purchase a pulley kit and tie across two posts and you are done.
Quick tip: If you live in an apartment with no balcony why not get a free-standing clothes horse? Clothes may take longer to dry but it’s still more cost-effective and eco-friendly.
2. Use natural lighting where possible.
If you have a north-facing bathroom, a dark stairwell, or even a rear hallway that is rarely bathed by warm light, why not install tubular skylights on these areas to allow natural light to enter without the need for turning on the electricity? The only way you can see your way through is by switching on the lights. Unfortunately, using lights in the middle of the day is actually counterintuitive. A much better solution is the use of the natural light from the sun to illuminate darkened areas of your house.
Quick tip: If you rent your place rather than own it, and you’re not in a position to install skylights, there are still things you can do to reduce your consumption of electricity such as refraining from using lights during the day and switching to LED lights.
3. Save water by installing a recirculating pump.
Install an on-demand recirculating pump underneath your bathroom sink in order to recirculate the water back to the water heater before it eventually leaves the tap. The problem with water heating is that it can take time before you achieve your desired water temperature. In such cases, you may leave the tap open and as such are not only wasting invaluable water but also the energy required to heat your water. A recirculating pump draws water from the heater and courses it back to the piping and into the heater. This reduces water and energy wastage. Only when the water is hot enough will it eventually leave the tap.
4. Guilt-free hot water.
Your hot water system can act like a very extensive network of radiator pipes, giving off heat to the surroundings. Just imagine the amount of energy it will need to keep the water hot if a hot water pipe travels a considerable distance from your hot water tank to your bathroom. You can help your hot water system by insulating the rest of your pipes so that heat will not escape into the outside environment. You save on energy while at the same time you improve on the time it would take to really enjoy a hot bath.
5. Plant trees.
Trees are excellent natural coolers. They can effectively block out the warm rays of the sun during summer and the icy chill of winter winds. Deciduous trees will provide your home the kind of insulation it requires in addition to the energy savings you will get from cooling costs. So, plant one or two red oaks now and in just a few years you will already be enjoying as much as 40 percent reduction in your cooling energy expenditures.
Related Post: 5 Simple Ways to Drastically Reduce Your Eco Footprint
6. Invest in a thermostat.
Invest in a programmable thermostat to allow you absolute control of your energy expenditures at home. Schedule when you want your air conditioning units to automatically switch on and when your heaters kick in. While the annual savings may be modest, with a very minimal initial outlay of about $50, you have already achieved a return on your investment within 6 months.
7. Get your green thumb on.
Create a mini garden in your front lawn or even in your backyard. Channel your gutter water away from the storm drain and towards your mini garden. If you have trees, ornamental plants, and even grass, then consider this as a welcome treat for these plant life.
8. Switch to more eco-friendly cooling options.
Lower air conditioning energy consumption by augmenting its cooling power with a ceiling fan. Installing a ceiling fan or even a wall fan should enable you to increase the temperature or even fan speed settings of your air con.
Sharing knowledge and ideas is one thing, implementing them is quite another. For a sustainable future, we need to put into practice what we learn. So having said this, which of these project will you commit to this week?