These 5 green products can help you be more eco-friendly & lower your carbon footprint.
It’s easy to talk about being green and becoming an environmentally conscious person but taking action is a little harder for some. Here we will review 5 simple green products that anyone can use to reduce their carbon footprint, become more energy efficient or just clean up the air around you. It doesn’t take thousands of dollars or hours a day to make a huge difference; sustainable living can be accomplished one step at a time.
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs: This is number one on our list for a reason; energy efficient light bulbs can make a noticeable difference immediately. There are currently two popular types of energy efficient light bulbs, the Compact Fluorescent or CFL and LED bulbs. CFL bulbs are the most prevalent averaging up to $68 in savings over their lifetime and putting out 75% less heat than traditional bulbs. According to Energy Star’s website if every American replaced a single bulb with energy efficient ones, we would save enough energy to light 3,000,000 homes for a year.
Power Strips for phantom loads: Cable boxes, DVD players, computers and your handy T.V. rarely are unplugged after you finish using them, why even worry about it? Did you know that most electric devices whether on or off draw electricity as long as they are plugged in? This is called a phantom load, meaning the electricity load that you are using and never see. In my family room I have a simple power strip where all of my entertainment electronics are plugged in, when done we flip one switch. Phantom loads are estimated to consume 6% of our residential energy consumption each year.
Programmable Thermostat: Saving 10% per year on heating and cooling bills sure sounds like reason enough to install a programmable thermostat. By adjusting the times that you utilize heating or cooling systems you reduce waste. Energy Savers from the Department of Energy has a great resource for setting up your thermostat for operation. Before you run out and buy one of these, call your power company. Many, such as TECO energy, will come out and perform an energy audit and provide you with a free programmable thermostat.
Reusable Shopping Bags: 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States each year, a true waste of our resources for a minimal amount of convenience. I have been unable to locate any advantage of using single use plastic bags vs. reusable shopping bags. Reusable bags can last years and cost around $1 in your local grocery store, sometimes free with a coupon. This is one of those no brainer choices that can help you say “I’m going green.”
Houseplants: The air inside your home is usually more polluted than outside air, a nasty fact when you consider our home is our safe haven. Carcinogenic (cancer causing) fumes can come from paint, carpet, furniture and other household items. Houseplants can filter the air and produce clean oxygen around you, it is recommended to have two green leafy plants for each 175 square feet.
Small steps add up to significant change, all of these green products can be purchased for less than $50 and will lower your carbon footprint. Sustainability is achievable for everyone, pass it on.
Image: Evgeni Dinev