Today’s guest post comes to us from Tina Jacobs, who shares 4 tips for a more eco-friendly and energy-efficient kitchen…
Following the 2009 recession, most home owners had to tighten their budgets. Microeconomics teaches that short-falls in budgets must be addressed by either increasing income or decreasing monthly expenditures. Short of giving up cable and learning to make your own candles, several small investments can reduce monthly bills and save hundreds of dollars or more each year!
Keeping it cozy inside
Instead of letting the HVAC unit fight the battle for a comfortable indoors environment alone, a couple of low-cost changes make significant savings possible. Every window in the home needs a curtain of some type for cold weather. In the coldest climates, thick drapes will reduce heat loss. During the summer, shades or cloth curtains on sun-exposed windows in the kitchen will reduce incoming heat and still allow light penetration.
Get organic and recycle
Every spring brings gardeners to the store in search of fertilizer. With a good fertilizer, vegetable plants and fruit trees bear a more predictable harvest, which will cut down on the grocery bills. Healthy shade trees are less likely to break in storms and can reduce home heating and cooling costs.
Instead of throwing away kitchen scraps, they can easily become the richest and safest fertilizer to use on the lawn and garden! Whether you start a compost pile or a worm bin, you’ll be reducing solid waste, helping the environment and making your own high-quality fertilizer at home.
Switch to soft water and save in the long run
Hard water exists in varying degrees throughout most of the country. It contains calcium and other minerals. Over time, mineral deposits build up in any water-based appliance, which often leads to premature failure and more frequent repairs. A water filtration device for the home can soften water and reduce the wear and tear on appliances, keeping them running at peak efficiency and using less energy while doing so. It can also help to protect your home’s plumbing!
Clean the Eco-friendly way
In the store, eco-friendly cleaning products appear to be the most expensive. This fails to account for externalized costs. Industrial-strength cleaners and synthetic chemicals are cheap at the checkout, but they carry the risk of health problems. Accidental exposure, through inhalation, ingestion or even skin contact, may require a visit to the emergency room. Even minimal, long-term exposure to these chemicals can damage the health of children and pets.
If eco-friendly cleaners are available but don’t fit into the household budget, the switch to eco-friendly cleaning products can still save you money since they are easy and inexpensive to make at home! With little more than citrus peels, a jug of distilled vinegar, box of Borax, baking soda and liquid Castile soap, you can make everything from personal care products to oven cleaners. On top of the savings, these products are environmentally safe and perfect for grey water recycling.
Make sure your appliances are working efficiently
For every appliance in your home, there are more energy-efficient models available. The Energy Star label is given to appliances that allow consumers to recoup the cost difference with energy savings in a reasonable period of time. The products with this label use water, gas and electricity much more efficiently. Some consumers may also recoup some of the costs of these products through federal and state tax credits.
Finding ways to increase income in hard times is difficult, but there are always options to reduce expenses. The above tips benefit many people every day. Get creative with ideas for saving money around the house, and don’t forget to share your results!
About The Author: Tina is a registered nurse and DIY home improvement maven who has written and blogger for DIY Mother as well as numerous print and online publications ranging in topics from education to health and from home renovations to interior decorating.Pin It