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How to Make Your Home Green in 2017

Happy New Year! In addition to all the parties and holiday cheer, it’s the time of year where you start thinking of all the goals you want to accomplish.

You could go with the usual goals of exercising more and eating healthier, but no – you want to do something more. You want to make a real and substantial change in your life and the world around you. You want to live a more environmentally conscious life and it wouldn’t hurt to save a little money at the same time.

You’re probably thinking, “Wait, I want to do what now?” While these are lofty goals, they’re actually easier to accomplish than the traditional New Year’s goals of exercising more and eating healthier.

With exercising and eating healthier, you have to go to the gym day after day and resist eating that second serving of that dessert time after time. With living a greener life and keeping a little green in your wallet, you just have to make a few one-time changes and you’re good for the rest of the year.

What do you need to do in 2017 to be financially and environmentally savvy? The best place to start is in your home. Here are 4 easy ways you can make your home more environmentally friendly and help your piggy bank to grow.

  1. Adjust the Temperature of Your Hot Water Heater

The first way to live a greener life takes less than a minute and costs you absolutely nothing – turn down the temperature on your hot water heater. By turning down the temperature, you avoid scalding yourself in the shower and save energy.

For example, most hot water heaters are set to 140°F. However, the Department of Energy recommends that you reduce the temperature to 120°F. According to The Simple Dollar, you reduce your energy costs by about 10% if you follow this recommendation. While this isn’t a huge decrease, you’ll still save around $20 every year with this one easy trick.

  1. Replace Your Lightbulbs

The next few items on our list require a trip to the hardware store, but will save you significantly more than $20.

Let’s start with replacing your lightbulbs, particularly with replacing all of your old incandescent lightbulbs with light emitting diode (LED) lights. According to Energy.gov, LED lights use 75-80% less energy than traditional lightbulbs while still producing the same amount of light. Additionally, they last 25 times longer than incandescent lights.

So, what are the drawbacks? Well, LED lights tend to cost more initially. Incandescent lightbulbs cost about 1 dollar each while LED lightbulbs cost between 5-8 dollars. However, they actually save you money in the long run because they use less energy and have a long lifespan.

For example, the lifespan of an LED lightbulb is 25,000 hours. At $0.12 per kWh, you would spend $30 on energy costs during the lifespan of an LED light. In contrast, an incandescent lightbulb only lasts around 1,000 hours. Aside from the cost of replacing that lightbulb 25 times, you would spend $180 on energy costs for an incandescent light. In other words, using an LED light saves you $150 on energy costs in the long run.

  1. Swap out Your Shower Head

Next, swap out your shower head for a low-flow shower head. A low-flow shower head reduces that amount of water you use per minute. For example, most shower heads use 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm). By using a shower head that uses .5 gallons less, you can save 2,900 gallons of water. While that’s only $25 a year, you’re significantly increasing your water conservation by switching to a low-flow shower head.

Nowadays, most hardware stores carry 2.0 gpm shower heads, but these eco shower heads tend to cost more. However, you can find eco-friendly shower heads online that range from 0.5-2.0 gpm and only cost between $10-30. By making this small investment now, you could save $625 over the next 25 years.

  1. Change Your Sheets

The final way you can live an eco-friendly lifestyle this New Year is by changing your sheets, specifically changing to organic bamboo sheets. By investing in these luxuriously soft sheets, you support an industry that strives to protect the environment, not destroy it.

For example, bamboo never needs to be treated with pesticides because it is naturally resistant to disease and most insects. In contrast, cotton (the traditional material for bedding) is extremely pesticide intensive. It is treated with 16-25% more pesticides than any other crop in the world.

Additionally, Cozy Earth bamboo is never treated with harsh dyes or chemicals, further reducing pollution and protecting the earth. By choosing high-quality bamboo bedding like Cozy Earth’s organic sheets, you are reducing your carbon footprint and making the world a greener place to live.

As with most of our tips above, there is some upfront cost to making this eco-conscious switch. However, a set of premium bamboo sheets can last up to 15 years if cared for properly. In comparison, cheap cotton sheets only last a year or two at most. That means you need to replace them over and over again, essentially throwing your money away year after year.

By following the tips above, you conserve energy and water. Additionally, you reduce your overall carbon footprint while sleeping in luxury. Meanwhile, you’re saving money and watching your wallet grow. So, are you ready to make the switch to a greener lifestyle and leave more green in your wallet this New Year?