It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. Just a few small, inexpensive changes can make a big difference – both for the environment and for your wallet!
It doesn’t get much greener than a composter. Food waste and lawn clippings can make up to 25-50% of your household’s trash. Rather than sending it to the landfill, how about putting it into a backyard composter? It’ll end up as nutrient-rich fertilizer that you can then use in your own yard. For an even cheaper alternative, find plans online and make your own composter from an old trash can.
Estimated cost: free-$50
2. Smart Power Strips
Turning off your electronics when you’re not using them will save electricity, but did you know that they still draw power? You could use a traditional power strip and turn it off when not in use – but how often would you actually remember to do that? A smart power strip remembers for you, cutting off power to certain items when it senses that power consumption has dropped. Estimated cost: $35
3. LED Light Bulbs
We’ve talked about the advantages of LED lights before, but to summarize: LED lights are more durable than other types of lights; they’re more energy efficient than both incandescent and CFL bulbs; they last longer (up to 50,000 hours!); and they’re non-toxic and mercury-free. If you start switching over to LEDs as your current bulbs burn out, pretty soon constantly buying and replacing light bulbs will be a thing of the past.
Estimated cost: $2-5 per bulb
4. SnapPower GuideLights and SafeLights
Speaking of LEDs, that’s all we use in our SnapPower GuideLights and SafeLights. Our lights cost less than 10 cents a year to operate and they last for 25+ years. Because they use a light-detecting sensor to turn on and off, they’re not using electricity all the time. And they eliminate the need for bulky incandescent nightlights. We’d say that’s a win for your household and for the environment.
Cost: GuideLight $15 each; SafeLight $17 each (Choose a multi-pack for an even better deal!)
5. Programmable Thermostat
With prices starting around $20, a programmable thermostat is truly an inexpensive way to make a big impact on the environment…and your electric bill. Look for one that’s pre-programmable so you can set your heating and cooling temperatures around the times you’ll be in and out of your home to cut down on wasted energy. Set properly, a programmable thermostat could save you about $180 a year in energy costs.
Estimated cost: $20-200+
6. Draft Guards
Here’s an inexpensive, low-tech item that’ll help cut down on your energy use. Draft guards are fabric-covered foam strips that slip under or around your door to prevent air from passing through, so you’re only heating or cooling the areas you mean to. If you’re crafty, you can even make your own out of items you probably already have around your house (and don’t forget to make some for your windows, too).
Estimated cost: free-$15
It All Adds Up
All the little changes you make to save energy, reduce waste, and live more efficiently can add up to big benefits for the environment and for you. As we’ve shown, going green doesn’t have to be costly. in fact, your small investment now can result in significant savings in the future.