Put Money in your pocket! Go green!
October 5th, 2009
Put Money in your pocket! Go Green!
By Jacob David
“A penny saved is a penny earned!” – someone said that, and NO, it is no cliché. Why would you give your hard earned money to the Utility companies? Here are some ways to go green without investing more.
- Set your A/C thermostat to 75 degrees and run ceiling fans to help all rooms in your house cool faster. Fans may take about 10c per kilowatt hour. (For example: If you use a 100 watt bulb for 1 hour you have used 100 watt hours, source: ehow.com, Henry Amon)
- Switch off your A/C in the fall season, use fans only.
- Approaching winter, you can turn off fans and use the heater sparingly. Wear woolen clothes with socks to warm your feet. If the temperature is set to fall drastically during the night, (watch your weather channel or the Internet) use the heater, you don’t want to catch Pneumonia. The Japanese in a study found that cold affects your toes first, so keep them cozy and warm during winter.
- Drink sodas at room temperature in the winter. You do not have to chill them in the fridge. Use a few ice cubes to get them chill. Microwave a cup of instant coffee for 2 minutes, with milk, no water for an early morning coffee. Nescafe is my favorite instant coffee.
- Use the sink to wash your dishes as needed. Collect the dish water in a large stock pot to water your garden plants. It also helps you get outside and breathe natural air.
- Wash your laundry with cold water and detergent. Be conscious of your load and set the load level accordingly. Buy laundry detergent once a month, based on your family needs.
- Europe and the third world dry their clothes in the natural summer breeze, try that on a beautiful sunny day.
- Make sure you don’t crowd your refrigerator. Space between dishes allows your food to cool evenly. Rotate your fruits, veggies in the shelf so they get a longer shelf life. Manage food inventory, use first things first so that you don’t waste produce, fruits and dessert.
- Buy only produce and supplies that you need. If you notice your children are not fond of a particular food item, but only you and your husband like that, buy in reduced quantity the next time you shop.
- Shop on your way back from work and time your shopping (set a 20 minute limit) so you don’t get undisciplined and purchase all the sale items there is to purchase. Clip coupons that are absolutely essential, nothing more. Purchase only what is needed for that week, don’t bulk purchase as you tend to waste a lot and use up electricity to keep that food refrigerated. Also, food tends to lose their freshness and get freezer burn if you stock it long enough.
- Look for bargains on paper towels, napkins, and toilet paper. Buy them in bulk. Don’t be ashamed to visit the $1 store. They have good deals for your family. But always compare your $1 store to Wal-mart to see the best deal out there.
- Get your birthday cards from a $1 store – they cost only 50 cents each. It is the thought that counts – not the cost, although your selection is lesser at a $1 store. Alternately, send an e-card – they allow you to send it in advance only to be opened by the recipient on their birthday.
- Fill empty gallon water bottles; don’t buy them pre-filled at the store. Don’t buy the smaller bottles. Leave a smaller carbon foot print for the world. A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air to produce, pack, ship and bring to the consumer. Shipping smaller bottles is unhealthy for the environment and causes landfill pollution. Also smaller bottles of water sit in warehouses for days on end in really hot temperatures. What you get in the store is the product cooled after several days of travel in hot trucks and large humid warehouses.
- Look for deals per gallon of water – compare at different store locations. You can save as much as $0.05 per gallon if you are observant.
- Watch for on-sale items, and sell-by dates at stores. The stores tend to mark them down a week before the actual sell-by date. This helps you get a better deal on an actual product you intend to buy.
- Drive your car wisely, planning your trips well in advance. Make sure your tire pressure is right. Unload all the junk in your car as they will eat up your mileage and car performance.
- If you are a realtor, advise your customers / clients to car pool with you or them, if you know them well, or once a trust relationship is built with them. Keep your safety as your primary concern always.
These and other tips will help buyers of new and existing homes save money. Teach your kids and family members’ ways to save electricity, water and not to waste food. Always Measure your results and show them to your family – how using water and power, not wasting food, traveling wisely, actually helped you save on your monthly utility, gas and grocery bills. This is a constant monthly exercise that all members of the family must practice and participate, not just the kids, wife or the husband.
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Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Houston Association of REALTORS®