Making your home more energy efficient reduces the use of the Earth’s non-renewable resources, helps curb pollution, allows us to breath cleaner air, and offers thousands of dollars in savings. Here are 8 ways to reduce global warming by increasing your energy efficiency.
8 Ways to Reduce Global Warming by Increasing Your Energy Efficiency:
Your home is like a block of swiss cheese, and the goal of insulating your home is to plug as many holes (in your home’s envelope) up as possible.
There are many places that these holes exist. Start with easy and cheap insulation fixes, like electrical outlets.
2. Air Filters:
Regularly replace the filters on your furnaces and air conditioners. It requires more energy to suck air through dirty air filters because particles prevent the air from easily flowing through the filters.
Turn your thermostat down at night and when you leave the house. Wear a jacket and socks indoors to save money on your heating bill.
4. Tankless Water Heaters:
Install an on-demand (or tankless) hot water heater. These types of hot water heaters only heat water when you need it.Click here to read an article that will show you how to find rebates on appliance and energy efficiency updates to your home.
The search is based on your zip code and the rebates will be tailored to the specific area that you live in.
You can save $128 per 100 watt light bulb equivalent over the life of the LED light by making the switch.
That’s 40 lights x $128= $5,120 saved!
This photo, provided by USA Today, shows the amount you will save per light bulb for each a 60-watt bulb that you replace.
6. Low Flow Water Conservation Kit:
Install a water conservation kit. The water conservation kit is very inexpensive and includes low flow shower showerheads and faucet converters. This kit can save you up to 12,000 gallons of water per year (household of 4).
The Duck Brand is a winner in the do-it-yourself insulation industry. The kit allows you to cover five 3′ x 5′ windows.
How does it work? You adhere a clear film to your window and simply use a hair dryer to shrink-wrap it to the glass’ surface.
Don’t worry, the film is completely see-through. This film helps prevent drafts and heat loss which provides a drastic increase in your home’s energy efficiency and can reduce your utility bill by hundreds of dollars per year.
For additional energy efficiency, you can apply the film twice which will create an airtight lining over your window.
The film is crystal clear so you can see outside, even with two layers.
The kit contains a 62″ x 210″ crystal clear film and a 1/2-inch by 84-feet (1080″) roll of double-sided tape.
If you are not into the DIY scene, you can always go the easy route and grab theseBlackout Insulation Curtains that are specifically manufactured to insulate your home.
These curtains block out sunlight to keep the heat out during the summer. They are thick and made from 100% polyester (Faux silk), which provides thermal insulation during the winter.
Moreover, these curtains block out light (better sleep benefits) protect your furniture from color fading, and provide privacy.
They are waterproofand you can either dry clean or machine washthem.
Each package comes with 1 panel, and the dimensions are 42″ W x 63″ L.
8. Use a Fan Instead of the A/C:
Use a fan to circulate air in your home on hot days. Fans are much more energy efficient than air conditioners.
Navigating the federal, state, and local government renewable energy tax breaks (credits, deductions, and incentive) can be quite confusing. Not to mention, the added utility company’s rebates and programs. As a result, I decided to put together a roadmap, to help you navigate this rather complicated process.
The Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credit:
You better act quickly if you are interested in taking advantage of the biggest renewable energy tax credit. At the end of next year (2019), it will slowly start decreasing and until 2022.
In other words, Congress could decide to extend the Renewable Energy tax credit… But, there is no guarantee that they will.
The federal renewable energy tax credit allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar or wind turbine system from your federal taxes.
As you can see, in the photo below provided by Energysage.com, the tax credit will slowly start decreasing over time and eventually disappear. However, the exception is that there will be a permanent 10% tax credit for commercial use of renewable energy systems.
As of the date of this writing, you only have around 1 year to get your butt in gear If you want to take advantage of these serious savings.
Meanwhile, if a $15,000 solar system installation sounds like its way over your budget… You aren’t alone.
The DIY solar panel system is a step-by-step video instruction guide that will teach you how to build your own solar energy system for around 25% of the cost that you would have paid a professional installer.
In other words, that’s nearly a 75% savings!
Surprisingly, you can actually build a solar energy system in your spare time for a very reasonable price. This guide will help you build each solar panel in approximately 1 hour and for around $100!
State Tax Credits:
Most statesand some city governments have tax breaks (incentives, deductions, or credits) that can be used in addition to the federal tax credit for renewable energy or energy efficiency updates to your home!
First, take a look at the U.S. Department of Energy’s website called DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy).
It is a super handy tool for understanding federal, state, and local tax incentives. The site also includes utility company incentives for each state.
Just visit the web page and click the state that you live in 🙂
There are two solutions to the current energy dilemma:
According to EnergyStar.gov, the average home has approximately 40 lightbulbs.
You can save $128 per 100-watt light bulb equivalent over the life of the LED light by making the switch.
That’s 40 lights x $128= $5,120 saved!
In short, I would highly recommend switching to LEDs over CFL lights. Unfortunately, CFL lights are made with mercury, which can become hazardous to the environment if they are not disposed of properly.
2. Programmable thermostats
Some utility companies offer rebates or incentives if you install a programmable thermostat.
It seems like the topic of climate change and resource depletion is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, but no one really knows what to do about it. I have compiled the UN’s most important blueprint actions for achieving a happier and healthier world while adding a few of my own tips to create the Ultimate Guide to Prevent Global Warming.
By implementing these simple actions we can manifest a change for a better future. The UN has created a campaign called the “Be the Change Initiative” that provides an opportunity for all of us to better “walk the talk”.
I have created a “Sustainability Shop” and have done the work of reading the labels and reviews to offer you the best sustainable products on the market.
This collection of sustainable living products have been amassed in one place for your convenience. The shop includes energy efficiency and water conservation conversion kits, solar products, zero-waste, and minimally packaged home goods.
I want to encourage you to reuse your current belongings until they are either broken or no longer useful (and you need to replace them).
The exception to this is if what you are currently using produces lots of one-time use waste or is harmful to your health.
If you use a dishwasher, stop rinsing your plates before you run the machine. Yes, you should still scrape all of the food off before putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Dishwashers today use high heat to take off any food residue left on dishes.
Reuse your holiday decorations. Unfortunately, the holidays are the most wasteful time of the year. Just think of all the one-time-use cups, plates, utensils, decorations, gift wrapping, etc. Look for ways to plan eco-friendly parties and events.
I love the holidays and the idea of spending time with friends and family just as much as you do. Let’s be responsible about how we plan our events so that Mother Nature can have a happy holiday too!
Tile Floors in High Traffic Areas:
This flooring option has many benefits.
First, tile floors basically last forever (unless you drop a sledgehammer on it and crack the tile itself).
Second (real estate investment tip), due to its durability tile is great for rental properties.
Third, you won’t need to keep replacing the flooring like you would with carpet. This will save you money in the long run and reduces the amount of trash going to our landfills.
Fourth, tile is great for easy cleanup. Liquids can be easily mopped up and won’t stain the floor.
Fifth, tile keeps your home cool in the summer. Add rugs in the winter for a cozy warmer feel. Carpets in the bedroom and rugs in the living areas keep your home warm, your thermostat low, and will save you a chunk of change.
Step 2: Your Daily Routine
Request that vendors stop sending paper statements. Pay your bills online or via mobile. Remember, every sheet of paper leads to more forest destruction.
Use cardboard matches. Unlike plastic gas-filled lighters, they don’t require any petroleum.
Recycling paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum keeps landfills from growing.
Buy minimally packaged goods, goods that are packaged in eco-friendly materials, and packaging and products made from recycled materials.
Many of the products found in the Sustainability Shop are packaged in cardboard, recycled paper, or do not have packaging at all.
Bike, walk or take public transportation. Save the car trips for when you can carpool or need to go long distances.
Moreover, the conversion kits pay for themselves and take 2 minutes to install. Its small actions like these that make the biggest differences.
Let your hair and clothes dry naturally instead of running a machine.
If you do wash your clothes, make sure the load is full.
When you finish drinking a cup of cold water/juice, water a plant with your leftover ice cubes. 🙂
Here are a few surprising facts about water by The Infographics Show that I bet you didn’t know.
Did you know that a leaky faucet can waste up to 11,000 liters of water per year?
Fixing leaky faucets can save water, energy to filter/transport the water to your home, chemicals to remediate the water after it has been used, and reduce your utility bill 🙂
Lastly, remember to turn off the tap water while brushing your teeth.
Step 4: The Kitchen
Shopping for food locally supports neighborhood businesses and keeps people employed. Moreover, it helps prevent trucks from driving far distances to transport food.
Food that is sourced locally tastes better because it is fresher and was able to ripen on the vine (instead of a gas chamber).
Shop Smart, plan meals, and use shopping lists to avoid impulse buys.
Don’t succumb to marketing tricks that lead you to buy more food than you need. Although you may save money by purchasing perishable items in bulk, it does you no good if you end up not eating them because they have over ripened or grown mold.
Buy Funny Fruit 🙂 Many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or color are not “right”. Buying these perfectly good funny fruit, at the farmer’s market or elsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste.
Remember, it takes water, transportation, fertilizer, and labor to grow these funny fruits. They need love too!
You can find bento lunchboxes, reusable glass containers, biodegradable lunch bags, and reusable silicon bags for food storage in the Sustainability Shop.
Don’t forget to freeze fresh produce and leftovers, if you don’t have the chance to eat them before they go bad.
Eat less meat, poultry, and fish. More resources are used to produce meat than plants. You can learn more about the Reducetarian Diet and how the meat industry produces more carbon than the transportation industry in the library section of the Sustainability Shop.
Step 5: Grow Your Own Food and Compost
Composting food scraps can reduce waste that would otherwise need to be transported to a landfill.
Another benefit is that composting recycles nutrients, which can be used to start your own organic vegetable garden.
Nutrients from a compost pile is healthier for you and cheaper than purchasing chemical fertilizers.
The 10,000 Foot Overview:
Save money today by becoming a Sustainability Hero.
Remember, it is our own lives and futures at stake.
UN scientists have released a warning stating that the world has less than 15 years to reduce the carbon output to nearly 0 or else face serious climate change consequences.
This means that we need to drastically cut back on our carbon output and even start carbon sequestering campaigns to meet this goal.
Take action today, and remember to visit the sustainability shop to start using zero-waste, plastic alternative, and biodegradable products today.
Reduce your single-use waste output and take the Sustainability Pledge.
Becoming a Sustainability Hero has health, environment, and budget benefits
If global warming, climate change, and resource depletion are important to you, then pre-enroll for a free mini-course to learn about other money-saving sustainability swaps and actions that you can take to save the world!
Start by changing simple habits and using products that are sustainable/reusable.