This summer season has been one of the hottest recorded throughout many areas around the globe. The average global temperatures for this year may exceed those of 1998. If that is case, it would result in two of the hottest years on record in the last 13.
The National Academy of Sciences recently released data involving 1,400 climate researchers around the globe. Roughly 97% make the claim that humans are the cause of global warming.
If you are concerned about the future of the environment, here are ten environmentally friendly tips you can take that also have a return on investment — they can help sustain the earth as well as your monthly global cash flow.
1. Fix your home's energy leaks. Over a fifth of energy consumption in the U.S. occurs within people's homes, says the Department of Energy. That's an average expenditure of $2,400 a year. Half of that figure goes to home heating and cooling, much of which results in waste. To prevent energy leaks, insulate ceilings and walls, and seal cracks and gaps. The simplest Cuyahoga County home remodeling fixes can make a tremendous impact. "Often people have so many small leaks around the home that it's the equivalent of having a three-foot by three-foot window wide open," says president of the Washington-based nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy.
2. Swap out your home's light bulbs. The common home has up to 46 throughout the house, says the Department of Energy. However only five of them are energy-efficient. These can slash lighting energy bills by 75%. Not a fan of CFs? Matt Patsky, the CEO of Trillium Asset Management, says new LEDs are much better. They can slash power consumption by 95% and emit a better light than traditional bulbs. They cost more, however prices are dropping rather quickly.
3. Turn the heat off in an empty house or a house when everyone is sleeping. Look into a programmable thermostat for residential heating.
"They typically pay for themselves in three months," says ASE's Ms. Callahan. They can drop your home heating and cooling bills by 10%, she says.
4. Evaluate your home's appliances. Replace any old ones with new, energy-efficient models. Today's more efficient models have an EnergyStar seal from the Department of Energy. They typically use around 30% less energy than older models that lack the seal, experts say. With respect to your TV: The larger the screen, the more power it is sucking up. The same idea applies to PCs. Take into consideration the number of refurbished computers you have around the home as well as how long they remain on and idle throughout the day (if not week).
5. Similar to the tip above: stop leaving your used PCs and home entertainment systems on standby overnight. Although the screen is black, they still use power. Power strips make it more convenient to switch everything off at one time.
6. Get the most from taxpayer green incentives. For instance, the government is currently offering to pay up to $1,500 of your costs on items like insulation other Medina County home remodeling investments that save energy. Your state government may be offering additional incentives. Look for deals like these at DSIRE, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
7. Get a hold on your hot water heater. It is by far one of the biggest energy users as well as easiest approaches to evaluate your home's energy financial risk management. Turn down the thermostat and wrap insulation around the heater and the pipes. Typically, they are set at around 140 degrees. According to The Energy Department, that is way too high. They suggest dropping it down to 115 to 120 degrees.
8. Invest in a more-efficient vehicle. Highly-efficient hybrids can be costly, but director of pricing and analysis at car experts Edmunds, Jessica Caldwell, claims there are numerous deals available at the moment that can bring the price down. You don't need to go hybrid or buy tickets to all of the upcoming green trade show exhibits. Caldwell says the Versa by Nissan gets around 29 miles to the gallon and has a price tag of $16,000. If a new vehicle is not an option, consider ideas like energy saving truck bed accessories. Extang, an affiliate of BedRug - maker of truck bed liners and truck bed carpet, claims that by purchasing an Extang truck tonneau, you save up to 10% in gas mileage.
9. Get an energy audit of your home's power consumption. By investing a few hundred dollars, experts using high-tech gadgets will analyze your home and offer insights as to what you can do to make your home more efficient. Getting a home audit can help you rethink your home heating and air conditioning, as well as identify potential sources of renewable energy, from geothermal heat pumps to solar water heating solutions.
10. Invest in an e-book reader. If you enjoy reading and read often, these little devices are very green. Books and magazines are not: they do a lot of damage to the environment, from cutting trees to manufacturing and distribution. The senior research analyst at the CleanTech Group, an environmental consulting firm, has calculated the figures. In essence, a gadget like the Kindle has about the same influence on the environment as about 23 books, or 280 newspapers, or 177 magazines.
Going green exhibits a change that is both healthy for the earth and the wallet. Take these tips to heart as well as the home, and start living a more environmentally friendly way of life.