1. Install native plants
-You will save money on installation & maintenance.
-Native plants usually cost less because they are easier to come by
-Native plants require less time and water for maintenance since they are already adapted to the climate
2. Use alternate systems for irrigation
-1 sq. foot of yard requires a little over .6 gallons of water to be covered by 1" of water. To cover a typical lawn of 100' x 100' requires 6200 gallons of water!
You get charged both for using the water and the sewage that it produces so costs can add up quickly.
-Alternate methods include installing a rain cistern or barrel, and using rain water for irrigation purposes, you could also use a drip irrigation system or avoid watering your grass at all!
-For drainage, rain gardens are an inexpensive solution
3. Simple weatherproofing
-For a few dollars you can by weatherproof tape and door stops to install on doors that lead to the outside to prevent drafts and heat loss.
-Install thermal curtains ($20-$80 a set) According to the Department of Energy (DOE), 25% of the energy used to heat and cool homes goes right out the window. These curtains will help you save $4-$8 per window per year
-Wrap your water heater with an insulation blanket (about $40) and save about $100/ year on energy costs.
Vinegar makes a great non-toxic environmentally friendly cleaning product. It disinfects and leaves a nice shine. Use it on everything from glass to silk plants. Add a few drops of essential oils if you are not keen on the smell.
5. Make a few simple changes around the home:
-Energy efficient light bulbs. (will save you about $35/year over 5 years)
-Reduce your thermostat by 2 degrees in the winter and increase it 2 degrees in the summer
-Replace shower heads with slightly lower flow versions
-Buy a pack of rags for cleaning rather than using disposable wipes
-Clean the vents for appliances (refrigerator, microwave, dryer, HVAC) things will run more efficiently saving money and energy.
What are your tips for going green and saving money?