Buy Green Products and Save Money
The right stuff, in the right place at the right time. Here are 8 eco friendly products and ideas to help you trim your water and energy usage, do your part to protect the planet, and save money.
1. Appliances: Look for the Yellow Label
Energy saving Appliances are able to help you save on your energy bills by efficiently using the energy you input in the appliance. Look for an ENERGY STAR label. These environmentally conscious certified products tend to outperform models that do not bear this label.
2. Lighting: LEDs Now!
Throughout your house, you have lights that can be replaced with more energy efficient bulbs. This energy consumption hack should be a no-brainer. If you’re still burning incandescent bulbs in your home, for example, you may be able to reduce your electrical costs by as much as 50% simply by switching to LEDS.
It is important, however, to know that the energy saving bulbs are not compatible with all electrical dimmers. Even if you buy a “dimmable” LED bulb, it typically won’t dim properly unless you also replace the dimmer controlled light switch.
3. Hot Water: Go Tankless or Hybrid Heat Pump
Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient and cost-effective than the familiar cylindrical electric tanks found in most homes. They use about one fifth of the energy as these traditional models. The challenge with tankless models, however, is that most run on natural gas or propane, not electricity (although electric models are coming). We need to phase out the use of fossil fuels such as these in our homes.
An all-electric option for water heating is hybrid heat pump technology, such as Rheem’s “ProTerra.” Their smaller, 40-gallon unit, for example, runs all year for only about $107 worth of electricity, given current utility costs. That’s about one fourth the cost of a similar sized electric resistance tank.
4. Flooring: Bet on Bamboo
Purchasing bamboo flooring will help you save money and be more environmentally friendly because of the high quality of life it provides. Bamboo flooring is 100% renewable, sustainable, and biodegradable. It is durable and can withstand up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The flooring is also an excellent investment both in terms of quality and its cost performance ratio.
5. Furniture: Play Nice with Organic Materials
Do you really want synthetics, unknown chemicals and fire hazards in your home? You will want to purchase furnishings that are made without harmful or toxic chemicals, and contain only organic materials like bamboo, rattan, soy, and hemp. These types of items, available from companies such as Lee Industries, will help you save money and be more environmentally friendly.
The majority of dishwashers are not energy efficient. It is best to purchase a dishwasher that has a low water usage rating, low power consumption and a “quick wash” option, such as this stainless steel Whirlpool model, that accelerates the time required to run a load. Keep in mind that when you run full loads, you actually use less energy and fewer gallons per day of water than washing the same number of dishes by hand.
7. Dryers: Multi-Point Strategy
Dryers are not the most environmentally friendly item in the house, due to their large size and heavy use. You should purchase an ENERGY STAR rated model, as a baseline. Even better, opt for a smaller capacity dryer, which tends to require less energy.
The way you wash clothes also has an impact. Some washers have a mode that wrings clothes extra dry, leaving less work for a dryer to do. And of course, drying clothes on an outdoor line is a time-tested way to reduce your eco-burden, especially for towels, sheets and other large items.
8. Showers: Frugal but Functional
New showerhead technology makes it possible for you to vastly reduce water waste in the shower, yet not feel like you’re bunking down with a middle east military unit. Most showerheads already reduce flow to about 2.5 gallons per minute, but you can find models that go as low as .625 gallons per minute.
Do the math. You can take a 10 minute shower with the former showerhead and use 25 gallons of water, or the same shower with a super head and use only 6 gallons. Before you go “all the way,” you could try out a 1.5 gpm model from a company such as Moen,, even a rainshower version, and see how little you notice the difference from your old water guzzler.
For more energy-saving tips and tricks, check out this website: greenbuildermedia.com