The Low Down On Green Living
March 31st, 2009
You’ve probably heard the economic downturn’s good news for the environment because people aren’t buying unnecessary things. But the economic downturn can actually mean people ARE buying things — energy-efficient things, that is.
The Shelton Group just released a study (PDF) showing that consumers are willing to buy green even in this down economy — if their purchases save green. And the most attractive green purchases are those that start saving green immediately. For example, of the people who responded to the survey:
- 44% say they’ll likely buy a programmable thermostat — and 32% already have.
- 43% say they’ll likely insulate their homes; 26% already have.
- 42% say they’ll install a higher-efficiency water heater; 26% already have.
Most Low Impact Living readers have probably incorporated all three of those eco-friendly things into their homes already. But if you haven’t, it’s not too late to stay ahead of the eco curve — and save money at it too!
Programmable thermostats: Start by browsing our selection of recommended programmable thermostats, ranging from $50 to $130. Since these gadgets can cut your energy bills by $100 or more a year, you’ll make your money back pretty quickly. And installing a programmable thermostat’s easy! Just follow our simple instructions and watch the savings add up.
Browse our list of green and eco-friendly insulation to find one that fits your lifestyle, then follow our home sealing tips for winter. As LIL co-founder Jason Pelletier’s pointed out, “The insulation investment will pay for itself in less than five years. And your local utility company very likely offers substantial rebates, so be sure to check with them for incentives.”
Water heater and insulation: Get the low down on tankless hot water heaters, which can give you instantaneous hot water, thus saving you money on both your water AND your heating bills. Or if you live in a sunny area, consider a solar hot water heater — for which you can currently get a 30% federal tax credit!
Can’t afford a new heater? Then start by getting water heater insulation to make the heater you already have more efficient.
If you have limited funds and don’t quite know how you can get the most eco-bang for your buck, try using the Low Impact Living Impact Calculator. For each green project, you’ll be able to find out how much money you’ll need to put in up front, how much money you’ll save, and what your carbon footprint reduction will be.
Remember — however — that you’ll still need to use energy wisely with energy-efficient products. If you start washing more clothes more often because you’re psyched out about your tankless water heater, you won’t see the savings add up so quickly….
Popularity: 2% [?]