Running a home is expensive. After mortgage and transports costs, household expenditure is one of the biggest financial hits we take on a regular basis. All the little things it takes to run a household smoothly can add up to one large figure, so it’s good to know we can take steps to reduce the dollars we spend in this area.
Saving money is good, there’s no argument there. However, saving money ‘sustainably‘ is what all responsible homeowners should be aiming to do. There are ways of lessening our environmental impact on the world, whilst saving money into the bargain. It’s a win-win situation, and here are some tips to get started:
Use less energy
It sounds so obvious, for some reason many people overlook this strategy. Keep heating costs down by insulating all doors and windows thoroughly. The added insulation afforded by solid shutters is a great way of reducing energy use. During cold weather they retain heat and in summer with their useful controllable louvers, they help reduce air conditioning costs.
Select household appliances for their energy efficiency ratings, they may cost more at point of purchase but that is recouped in lower energy bills quickly. Don’t habitually throw wet laundry into the tumble drier – if the sun is shining hang it outside to line dry. Tumble driers are terrible energy wasters and if mother nature is offering to do it for free, take her up on it. Switch over to low energy light bulbs throughout the house, this pulls less power from the grid and savings stack up over time.
This precious natural resource is something to be cherished. Using less water lowers bills and is good for the planet, so there are really no excuses not to make the effort. Again, choose appliances such as dishwashers that function on a minimum water/maximum efficiency basis. Fit shower heads and faucets with aerating heads to lessen water consumption. Take a shower instead of a bath whenever possible, don’t run the faucet during teeth cleaning, fit lavatories with economic cisterns and fix any leaks or drips in faucets and pipes.
Landscaping choices influence water usage. A lawn requires irrigation in summer so consider switching to a graveled garden with drought resistant plants. Vegetable growers should compost all vegetable matter from household waste; this gives free food to nourish the plants and creates less trash for disposal. Plant deciduous trees to provide shade to the house in summer, and allow sun in during winter – this effects heating/cooling costs positively.
Change consumer habits
Saving money at home is often more about changing our habits and remembering to stick with them. Invest in re-chargeable batteries, these pay for themselves in no time and there will be no harmful landfill refuse to deal with. Try and recycle and re-use as many things as possible. Fix broken items rather than condemning them to landfill and consider giving space to used goods rather than buying modern new equivalents – these are frequently cheaper, better made and more charming.
With a little thought and effort saving money can start at home. Take these ideas as inspiration and see household bills shrink in line with the carbon footprint.