How to save money while going green at home
Finding the motivation to change established habits can be challenging, but reaping financial benefits from these changes may help us stay the course. Take greener living at home as an example. While we know that practicing greener habits can help with the long-term preservation of the environment, it’s hard to stay on track with such a distant goal in sight. However, the money you save with environmentally friendly habits is a benefit you can see right away.
5 environmentally friendly ways to save money
It may not be possible to cut your bills in half, but with small changes to a few of your habits at home, you can go green(er) while leaving a little extra in your bank account every month. A good starting point might be an energy audit of your home to determine if you qualify for government grants to help improve the energy efficiency of your home and save you money. We have compiled a list of five environmentally friendly ideas you can adopt at home to save $930 to $1,320 each year.
1. Let technology control the temperature
Heating and cooling account for approximately 64% of the average household’s total energy costs. For reference, the average Canadian household energy costs ranged from $1,796 to $3,201 in 2019. Smart thermostats, systems that automatically control the temperature in your home based on your habits, can save at least 8% of those heating and cooling costs. The cost of a smart thermometer will undoubtedly create a dent in those savings, but rebate programs may be available from your local power supplier. The long-term financial savings and environmental impact make smart thermostats an idea worthy of consideration, even with the initial outlay of money.
2. Stop air leaks around windows and doors
Replacing or repairing the seals around doors and windows is an important home maintenance task that you should certainly consider doing for your own comfort. But you can also save 5% to 10% of your home heating costs without a lot of effort by taking the time to do it.
3. Eliminate overnight power drains
At night, the electronic devices we use by day can quietly contribute to 5% to 10% of your household energy bills with their small but steady energy drain. But running around unplugging devices isn’t how many of us would choose to spend our time before bed. Instead, consider plugging most devices into a power bar with a switch that you can simply turn on and off as needed.
4. Dry clothes outside on a line or use an indoor drying rack
Even an energy-efficient household clothes dryer can account for a significant portion of your household’s energy bill. By drying clothes outside on a line when the weather is fair, and using an indoor drying rack on days when it’s not, you’re reducing household energy use and cutting your electricity bill. At about 43 cents per load, the savings may seem small, but when you consider that the average Canadian household does seven loads of laundry per week, it adds up!
5. Cut food waste to save on grocery bills
According to the most recent Statistics Canada report (2017) on food expenditures, the average Canadian household spent nearly $6,000 per year on food purchased from stores. Alarmingly, a significant portion of those food costs – $1,100 per year – is lost to food waste. If you can cut food waste in half with best practices like making a meal plan and shopping from a list, you’ll save money along with the environmental impact of getting that food from the farm or factory to your table. Read a recent blog post from Oaken Financial for eight more tips to save money on your groceries.
Embrace greener living one habit at a time
As we learned in our new year series, it’s easier and more effective to change habits in small, measurable increments. By adopting more environmentally sound practices at home, you’re contributing to a more sustainable environment while protecting your financial future.
Home Trust is a proud supporter of initiatives that reduce our environmental impact. Visit our website and read the 2019 Public Accountability Statement to learn more about the measures we’re taking to help us all achieve a brighter future.
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