This Earth Day offers many ideas and opportunities for North Carolinians to help improve their environment. However, did you know that going green at home can also save you money, too? Read on to learn all about some of the best ways to go green at home so you can help the environment and your wallet!
Use Reusable Shopping Bags, Containers and Bottles
Not only are disposable shopping bags bad for the environment, they can create a whole lot of useless clutter in your home as well. Did you know that according to the Environmental Protection Agency, 380 billion plastic bags and wraps are used annually in the United States? Using your own bags can also help save you some cash at the register. Some stores even offer incentives for bringing your own bag. Check with your local grocery and see what perks you might be missing out on. You can also impact the environment by switching from disposable food bags to reusable containers and save a pretty penny when you’re not throwing away snack bags (and cash) on the daily. While you’re at it, make it a point to avoid single-use water bottles and instead use reusable bottles. Did you know that the average American spends about $226 per year on disposable water bottles? In a lifetime, using a reusable bottle instead can save you $17,290! What a great reason to switch to the eco-friendly alternative.
Watch Your Electricity
Reducing your use of electricity is one of the best—and easiest—ways to go green at home. Watching your electricity use works wonders for the environment by reducing pollution and greenhouse gases that are used to create electricity. With a reduced demand for energy, fewer resources are used to make it. And saving energy doesn’t always mean investing in high-cost ideas like smart thermostats and Energy Star appliances. You can use less energy by taking simple steps like:
- Turn off lights when you are not using them
- Unplug chargers and appliances from outlets when they are not in use
- Switch to energy-saving light bulbs
- Seal up windows and doors properly to make sure you are getting your money’s worth out of your air conditioning and heat
With just a few of these simple steps, you could start seeing a decrease in your monthly energy bill!
Don’t Waste Water
Saving water in your home isn’t just financially smart, it’s a great way to be a good steward of one of our environment’s most important resources. According to Harvard University, by 2071, nearly half of the fresh water basins in the United States may not be able to meet the monthly water demand, impacting not just water for home use, but also for agriculture. A big step in protecting this vital resource is conservation. Aside from committing to shorter showers, you can save water by only running your dishwasher when it is full, and the same goes for your laundry machine. You can also invest in a rain barrel for your lawn care needs, to capitalize on the free rainwater that comes all year long and make a dent in your water bill. On average, homeowners can save about $35 per month on their water bill while using a rain barrel for landscaping.
Going green at home isn’t just a great way to celebrate Earth Day—it’s also a great way to help make home ownership more affordable. With savings on your water, electricity and grocery bills, you will have more money freed up to put toward your current mortgage or to save up for a new home. The NC Housing Finance Agency can also help make home ownership happen with affordable mortgage products including the NC Home Advantage Mortgage™ with down payment assistance. Learn more about all the ways the NC Housing Finance Agency can help you achieve your dreams of home ownership at HousingBuildsNC.com.