10 Ways to Start Living Green

August 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Living Tips

With rising energy costs and increasing concerns about what affect we are having on our environment, it’s no surprise that more and more people are jumping on the green movement. The costs associated with going green is also falling, so more and more homeowners are finding that incorporating green energy into their home is becoming a smart and cost-effective solution. Here are some ways you can consider going green in your life.

1. Put up a solar panel array. Solar panel costs have dropped to the point where the average homeowner can find it affordable to install panels on their roof to either help decrease their dependence on the grid, or remove themselves from the grid entirely. Even if the up front cost deters you initially, you can consider leasing you array rather than buying it so you can start seeing savings immediately.

2. Generate wind energy. If you have the resources (land and money), you can consider putting up wind turbines on your property. If land is an issue, there are smaller wind turbines available that can be installed on your roof. Either way, you can expect to see great savings on your electric usage.

3. Use water to generate electricity. If you have running water on your property, investigating hydroelectric options might be prudent. All it takes is a small river or stream and you can harness that power to help cut your dependence on the grid.

4. Store the excess energy –and even sell it back. Once you’ve generated enough power to cover your needs, and your generation means are still pumping out energy, what do you do with the excess? There is a large range of options for battery storage, available in a range of prices. Once your batteries are full, you can even see if you can sell your excess energy back to the grid. The availability of programs that allow you to sell back your energy isn’t widespread yet, so check in your area.

5. Remove outdoor lighting from your electricity usage. Outdoor lighting that use small solar panels can be found at most hardware stores these days, and come in a vast array of styles to fit any decor motif. If you’re on a budget, the cheaper ones might not provide as much light as your electricity-based ones, but with the savings you can buy more lights to make up for it.

6. Charge your small electronics with solar. All of your small electronics that need charging –like your cell phone– now have solar charging options. You can find solar chargers easily on the Internet, and can expect to see them become more and more available in major retail chains at time progresses.

7. Use more fans at home and run them on solar power. Most people know that you can help cut your energy usage by using electric fans at home, but did you know that these can be powered by solar means, saving you even more money? There are even solar fans available for your car so you can run your air conditioner less in temperate environments.

8. Switch out all of your bulbs to energy-saving bulbs. This is likely the first step most consumers take to save on their electric bill. The technology has improved, so if you’ve put off replacing a few bulbs in your home because you like to dim your lights, there are now energy-saving bulbs that are damnable. They are also offered in a variety of shades now, so if the harsh white light was putting you off, maybe it’s time to check into the shaded varieties.

9. Consider using a solar cooker. You can get expensive high-tech versions of a solar cooker, or you can go low-tech and inexpensive. They concentrate sunlight to cook food, thus, they are outdoor devices. This makes them great for camping or summer outdoor parties and activities. Cutting back on the use of your oven can net you substantial savings, especially in the summer when your air conditioning has to fight your oven to cool your home.

10. Always make sure you are compliant with local regulations. When you’re going green, you need to check with your local authorities to ensure that you are within regulations.

Using green energy is one of the smartest things a consumer can do these days. Even if you have to start small and work your way up to going greener, you are helping the environment and saving money.

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