I typically get very random emails throughout the day. I really have no idea where they come from or how they got my email address. However, every once in a while one comes along that has some good blogging material in it. Today I received an email from Humana (a health insurance company) about 10 ways to go green and save more than $500 per year. Ironically, only one of the tips have anything to do with health insurance. In order to save you some clicking, I will list the 10 ways here.
1. Clean Up Your Indoor Air
This is another health savings tip, because indoor air pollution can affect you physically. Learn about where that pollution comes from and how to treat it, including mold, natural gas, and pesticides that you can track into the house.
2. Change Heating and Cooling Filters When You Pay Your Electric Bill
It may sound pretty extreme, but if you have it makes sense. It also saves money – your heating and air units will act more efficiently, and you can save more money by buying filters in bulk. Changing your furnace filters on a monthly basis can save as much as 5 percent on your heating bills – as much as $100 a year.
Our apartment complex automatically changes our filter every 3 months or so. I have seen the old one after a change and believe me, you might want to change yours too!
3. Switch the Light Off
Many people use light during the day. Many times, it’s needed. But instead of leaving the light on when you’re not in the room, just switch it off. Even better, use a energy-saving bulbs: for every five you change, you can save an average of $27 a year. Common sense can go a long way and pay off over time.
We are working on changing all of our light bulbs to compact florescent. We are kind of bad about switching off lights though!
4. Drive More Efficiently
Take simple and safe precautions . Make sure your tires are inflated properly. Take off your roof rack to cut down on drag. Boost mileage by getting regular tune-ups . Try walking or biking for short trips to help the environment – and yourself.
I have always been very cautious about the way I drive. That means I use my brakes infrequently and start slow. It’s hard to keep up with these habits in Maryland with all of the bad drivers! One way to make sure you drive better is join a program like Progressive’s MyRate. It tracks your driving in order to help reduce your rates (or increase them if you drive bad). It keeps me in line in the car knowing that it’s there!
5. Reuse What You Can
Get reusable water bottles instead of buying bottled water: if you consumed the suggested daily amount of water – eight 8-ounce glasses – the cost would be 5 cents per day. The annual cost would be only $18.25. With the cost of a 12-ounce bottle of water at $1, the daily cost would be $5.33 and the annual cost would total $1945.45. While this number is extreme, it’s easy to spend more than $500 annually on bottled drinks including water, juice, tea, and soda.
This is a hard one for me to break. I am completely addicted to soda and I buy a 20oz bottle every few days. I know it’s bad for me and the environment but I just cannot break the habit! Anyone have some tips?
6. Wash Clothes Only When You Have a Full Load
Two socks or a full load require the same amount of energy to wash. ‘Youll save money on your water bill when you wash clothes less often. Front-loading washers also can save you money: anywhere between $28 and $137 annually. To be safe, we’ll say you save $50.
I have talked about this before in my post on saving money and energy on your laundry.
7. Use Cold Water Whenever Possible
Home laundering can account for as much as 36 percent of your total household hot water use. You can save 90 percent of the energy you use to wash clothes when you switch to a cold wash. A switch to a cold-water detergent may cost a little more per load, but it evens out with larger loads. Also, reduce your water heater temperature to 120° F. It makes no sense to cool water that’s too hot to use. To put in perspective, washing your clothes in hot instead of cold for a year, uses more electricity than leaving the refrigerator door open for a year.
Personally, we wash all of our laundry in cold water expect for whites where we use warm water.
8. Bundle Up
In cold conditions, evaporation can quickly suck away warmth, especially if you’ve been active and then are stationary, leaving your skin exposed. Make sure to wrap yourself in insulating layers. Wear dark colors to absorb outside light and heat energy.
9. Strip Down
Heat-loss through evaporation is needed to regulate your body temperature in hot weather. Wear more clothes in fabrics like cotton and linen that allow your body to release evaporation. Wear white or light colors to reflect light and heat energy.
10. Camp Out Inside
You can dramatically decrease heating costs when you turn down your thermostat at night in the winter. Some people even turn off the thermostat, because they’ve learned how to sleep with several blankets and wear a cap. Even if you don’t go to those extremes, you can save $45 a year by adjusting your thermostat two degrees down in the winter and two degrees up during the summer.
We turn our heat down about 10 degrees each night. When my fiancee gets up in the morning, she turns up the heat. It’s an easy habit to learn and it will save you a bunch of money.