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Six Ways to Go Green
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I don’t have a lot of money to invest in converting my current rental into a tried and true green-friendly home. But I honestly believe that conserving energy and being careful with our world doesn’t have to start with total home renovations. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or be time consuming and difficult!

There are a lot of simple, frugal ways that you can add some green to your life. Here are six that you can start implementing in your home—most of them right away!

Six Frugal Ways

—Turn your heat down and your A/C up. Turn your heat down a little in the winter time and give yourself an excuse to find a cozy sweater and some cute socks. And you’ll be amazed at how much cooler good ceiling fan can make a room feel on those hot summer days once you get used to it! Statistics say that movement of about one mph can make it feel up to four degrees cooler.

— Cook in bulk. Get the most out of the time and energy it took to heat your oven or stove by planning ahead and cooking and baking in larger quantities. If you have room for it, you may want to try batch freezer cooking, or even cooking for a month’s worth of meals!

— Get a clothesline. I love hanging laundry up to dry. The extra time it takes to stand out there in the open air, feeling the breeze on your face and hearing the birds sing is more than trade enough. If you are creative, and don’t live in very humid places, you may even be able to dry clothes year round. Besides, can anything beat the smell of line dried laundry?

— Exchange your light bulbs to more energy efficient brands as they go out. It has been said that if you change just one of your bulbs to a CFL light bulb, it will save you $28.23 every year! While I haven’t done the math, and obviously the price of electricity varies region to region, the fact is, CFL bulbs use a lot less energy that the regular ones. Plus, in our experience they last a lot longer too!

— Lower the temperature on your water heater. Set the thermostat in your hot water heater down a few degrees and you might not even notice it! If you reduce the temperature by 10 degrees you’ll cut the energy cost an average of 3%–5%, and running at 120ºF can have other benefits, such as slowing down mineral deposit build ups and corrosion, helping your heater to live a longer life.

— Time your showers. Long showers are luxurious, but it is easy to take more time in the shower than is really necessary on a regular basis. Setting a timer can help to remind you to think about how much water is being used and find ways to reuse or to just use less of it.

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By Chantel Brankshire. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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