The Low Down On Green Living
October 13th, 2008
Need to tighten your belt in these tough economic times? Usually, we think green makeovers cost a lot upfront — only yielding savings later on. But going green doesn’t necessarily mean a slow return on investment! ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, names five steps for greening your kitchen in its Nov. 2008 issue — and here are the 3 of those steps, revamped to show how they can save you money ASAP:
1. Install a faucet aerator. A simple $3 - $11 aerator can save you much more in water bills, as ShopSmart points out. You can, of course, go the whole nine yards and order snazzy-looking faucets with aerators — and if you do so, make sure you get a lifetime warranty that goes with it — but the EPA doesn’t have any criteria for low-flow kitchen faucets yet, and in any case, we’re talking about saving money NOW, not spending it. Find sink aerators here.
2. Switch to CFL bulbs. Regular incandescent bulbs create two eco-problems. First, they’re inefficient and take a lot of energy to light up. Second, they produce a lot of heat — prompting you to turn on the AC to use up even more energy! So swap out those bulbs to CFLs. Since the quality of CFLs vary, ShopSmart recommends making sure you can return your purchases so you’re never stuck with sub-par lighting.
We here at Low Impact Living also recommend you investigate LED lighting– LED lights are more than 1-2 times more efficient than CFLs! And they now come in a wider array of shapes and styles. Check out LED lighting here.
3. Go pre-loved. Not only will hunting through Craigslist, swapmeets, and second-hand stores turn up vintage treasures, your efforts will likely save you a lot of money! Besides, a lot of new furniture offgasses all manner of toxic chemicals, so buying used will keep you healthier as well. You can also find slightly used Energy Star appliances, which will save you money on your power and water bills.
Click here to learn more ideas on how to Green Your Kitchen. And if you’ve got other tips on saving money while greening your kitchen, please share them with the rest of us in the comments!
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