Going green is great for the environment, but that is not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings.
Green building is a great place to start, as buildings consume 14% of potable water, 40% of raw materials, and 39% of energy in the United States alone (according to the US Green Building Council). That is 15 trillion gallons of water and 3 billion tons of raw materials each year! If that is not enough to convince you, here are some other reasons to go green.
Make the world a better place! Implementing green practices into your home can help reduce waste, conserve natural resources, improve both air and water quality, and protect ecosystems and biodiversity.
Make your dollar go further! Green systems and materials reduce energy consumption, which in turn reduce your energy bills. They also increase value and profits and decrease marketing time; making your dollar go further for longer.
Make your life healthier! Green building is not just good for the environment; it is also good for you and me. Sustainable design and technology enhance our overall quality of life by improving air and water quality and reducing noise pollution.
Here are some areas where going Green can lead to significant savings:
Solar panels: The upfront cost is big, but the long-term savings are huge. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are very low, and a typical system could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can even sell your surplus electricity.
Wood furnace: Wood-burning furnaces are relatively inexpensive, and though the yearly savings are not as dramatic (about 10% on heating bills), it adds up over the long run.
Insulation: There is a good chance your insulation is not very efficient, especially in older homes. Look into installing floor, cavity, wall, and loft insulation to reduce your heating bills.
Water-saving toilets & showers: Water-saving plumbing systems will save you hundreds of dollars on an annual basis.
Green alternatives: CFL’s, LED’s, and energy-saving door and window fixtures, use less energy, and by replacing traditional bulbs, you can save energy and money.
Full-load washing cycles: Running your washing machine and dishwasher with full loads can reduce significant amounts of water and power use during each cycle.
Energy Star Appliances: Purchasing Energy Star appliances will consistently save you hundreds in utility bills on an annual basis.
Rain barrels: Rain barrels are extremely inexpensive, and provide gallons of free water to use when you wash your car or water your garden.
Geothermal system: OK, so the price tag is scary at first. A geothermal system uses the earth’s temperature to heat and cool your home, but can cost $30,000 to install. But tax credits allow you to get a lot of that money back, and the energy savings average about $1,900 per year. If you plan to be in your home for a decade or two, it’s a great investment.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: In particular, recycling can help conserve valuable resources. The average American throws away 7.5 pounds of garbage daily.