The term “Going Green” has many meanings as it is used for businesses and consumers alike. When some hear the term “Going Green”, they imagine many dollar signs coming out of their wallets to put in a new system on their home or business. When they try to imagine the dollars coming back in it is a little more difficult. Does this sound familiar?
Let’s explore some small ways to “green” your life.
On a recent trip to Solar Fest in Vermont I found many ways to change your lifestyle, that ranged from solar, wind and geo thermal systems for homes and businesses to some very simple things like changing your lights in your yard, to recycling auto parts, cans and bottles, and even making soap from the glycerin that is produced by making bio diesel!
People that make their own bio diesel have plenty of glycerin and it is another way to get a product that is considered waste by them and use it, if you like, to make soap.
There is another “green” to be saved and that is the kind in your wallet for the long and short term. You probably do some already.
Some of the very small steps that you can take start in your home and with the products that you purchase. You can use recyclable bags at the stores instead of getting new plastic bags each time you go. You just have to train yourself to bring them in from the car with you. This is a small step but with big results when you think of how much isn’t going into the landfills. Some stores also take a small amount off when they don’t have to provide the bag.
Reuse the containers that you get at the store for putting food in your freezer or anything else you need instead of buying new when and where you can. Check out websites and books on this.
When you go through your home or business and find items that you no longer need and do not want to sell them, http://www.Freecycle.org/ is a wonderful site that allows you to offer your items to others who need them. You may get some items that you need and it is all for free. It is nice when you can provide something that someone else needs and I have received some great items from this site. Check out the one near your area.
I am going to just touch on the bigger systems for a minute. We know that the systems for buildings are expensive up front. Those systems are big and they replace most or all of the electricity that you use currently. If you have an electric bill that is $ 100 per month and you purchased a system at $ 3500 per month it would pay for itself in less than 3 years. It will be less than that if you count government and state incentives. Assuming a life cycle of 25 years you would be able to have 23 years of not paying an electric bill the savings would be 23 years times 12 months times $ 100. By my calculations this comes out to $ 27, 600. The figures would have to be adjusted for your wind and sun levels.
The bottom line is that just start by doing something. If you have lights in your yard consider replacing them with solar lights. These don’t require digging wires in most cases, which will save time and with no bill coming in mail, money as well.
When you have taken the small steps then work up to the bigger ones, keep steadily improving your green habits and your bottom line. Saving money and resources is good for everyone!