We can’t simply carry on with business as usual or even ignore the very real threat of climate change. While the major chunk of responsibility does fall on world leaders to put in policies that bring forth a positive change, individuals need to take steps on a personal scale.
It doesn’t have to be extreme measures that require massive adjustments to lifestyle or eating preferences – small practices and steps that make a difference and are easy to implement.
Most of these changes can be done within your home! Every small action that you do has a huge impact on the environment and on your wallet too. It’s up to you to decide whether the impact will be a positive one or a negative one. Start by noticing all the actions that you perform from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep at night and you’ll see an opportunity for you to perform those actions, but in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner.
Modern technology has enabled us to make these changes and do our part in saving the environment by using electric appliances in a thoughtful and sustainable manner.
Tips & Techniques for Going Electric and Living More Efficiently
- Did you know that lowering your thermostat by just 10-15 degrees while you’re at work will not only reduce your utility bill but also conserve a lot of energy? If you think you’re too forgetful to do so on a daily basis, you could install a smart thermostat with an Eco-Mode that does the job for you.
- Replacing paper towels with rags is another small but simple step to not only cut down on costs but also reduce your carbon footprint. Using old clothes as rags or even buying new ones and washing them when needed is a smart way of saving a quick buck while living in a sustainable manner.
- A simple upgrade in your home can go a long way. Installing WiFi compatible devices or systems can help you in your daily life. Left for work in a hurry and forgot to turn off the lights? Access it through your phone and the job is done. Your one-time investment can result in a lifetime of easy accessibility, environmental consciousness, and an added safety precaution.
- Adding a smart dimmer to your lights can save you a ton of energy as lights don’t need to operate at 100% brightness for maximum efficiency.
- Leaks and crevices in your walls, doorways or windows are a common undetectable source of energy wastage. These create unwanted drafts which up the cost of cooling or heating your home. Insulating or sealing these cracks is a worthwhile investment as it not only strengthens your house but also decreases the energy consumption, these are long-term repair costs that one should consider making.
- Installing a solar panel on your home is another long-term investment that pays itself off by reducing your monthly energy bills. Depending on where you live, there are lots of incentive programs to make it worth it – for instance, the US Federal government offers a tax credit of 30% of the cost of a qualifying solar PV installation.
- Water usage plays a huge role in an average American’s life. It’s estimated that a single person uses around 80-100 gallons of water per day. Some easy to implement ideas would include: taking short showers, using used water for various purposes, using cold water to wash clothes, etc.
- If you have a backyard or a garden, investing in a smart irrigation hose can help you reduce your water usage by monitoring the weather conditions and adjust the water level accordingly.
- A simple addition of a smart shower head that changes the watercolor to red if you’ve used too much of it is a great provoking indicator and can help you conserve water usage without burning a hole in your wallet.
Rebates and Incentives
These efforts are further facilitated by the State and Federal Government. There’s a federal tax credit that offers $300 tax credit for switching to a biomass stove. Are you thinking about purchasing a new car? Consider buying an electric vehicle, the federal government will offer you a tax credit of up to $7,500! These measures are brought into place to encourage citizens to make the switch to a more sustainable way of life.
Some local governments, such as the one in Takoma Park, Maryland offers $100 just to get an Energy Audit done. An energy audit is a great way to understand your energy consumption and take the first step to make sustainable changes. A simple change of installing windows and skylights which exceed EnergyStar requirements can get you a tax credit of up to $500 on your cost.
Such rebates and incentives make it easier for the common man to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle.
If you’re one of the 76% of Americans who drive to work every day, there’s plenty of options for you to drive down the energy-efficient route. One of the biggest sustainable options is to switch to an electric car. Many factors such as tax credits, elimination of cost on gas, low cost of operation, free charging stations, etc make it more desirable and much more obtainable than you might think to purchase an electric vehicle.
However, if you can’t make the switch there are several steps you can take to ensure that you are using your vehicle in an energy-efficient manner. Small actions such as not driving aggressively, removing extra weight from the vehicle, regular maintenance, and even filling gas the right way can make a ton of difference.
The key to switching to a sustainable lifestyle is that you find out what works best for you and what doesn’t. One of the key factors of which is financial benefits. There is a lot of direct, indirect, short-term and long-term return on investments that you gain after making such changes to your home and car.
These changes, no matter how small, have a huge, positive impact on the environment and at the same time on your wallet.
Everyone has the power to make a difference in the world with small and simple changes in their day-to-day life. The financial benefit and environmental stability that comes from these actions can play an important role in altering the course of climate change.
We’re at a tipping point in human history, the fate of which lies on chain reactions caused by small scale changes made by individuals on a large scale for a long period of time. This helps you maintain a desirable standard of living while making a positive impact on the environment and also setting a precedent amongst your peers.
Hopefully, this article offers you a simple set of techniques to move your day-to-day needs to renewable sources. Ultimately, you don’t need to make drastic changes overnight to their homes or standard of living – it just takes small but meaningful steps, one foot at a time.