If you’re looking to fully embrace green living, there are a lot of inexpensive, DIY things you can do to lower your carbon footprint and help the environment right now. But if you really want to make a lasting impact, another solid option is to invest in eco-friendly home appliances. The initial cost of choosing this option is higher VS traditional home appliances, but the long term impact is more than significant. So, before calling in the Whirlpool repair guy to have your 30 year old family heirloom repaired, read on!
When you go green on your next home appliance purchase, don’t think of it as just a purchase, but a long term investment for the planet and your wallet. Let’s say a traditional 20 cubic foot refrigerator and freezer combo costs around $800 and has an estimated yearly electrical use of 500++ kWh. Compare that to a “green” 20 cubic foot refrigerator that runs for about $1,100 and has an estimated yearly electrical use of 350++ kWh.
The estimated yearly savings is about $39, give or take. So the newer model would pay for the difference in a couple of years. Look at it this way, when you decide to invest in green technology, the initial cost is (sometimes) a little higher, but it’s a onetime payment and you’ll pay less for power everyday afterwards. With traditional appliances, you pay more every day until the service life of the appliance is over (usually 10-20 years), which really sucks for the long haul.
Are Green Homes really saving people money?
In 2008, the U.S Department of Energy reported that Americans saved over $19 billion by investing in green appliances and turning their homes into self sustaining, energy-efficient eco-homes that employed energy saving measures like solar panels, recycling water for toilets and gardening, rainwater collection, proper insulation and proper use of natural lighting and LED lighting.
So, the answer is as clear as collected rainwater. $19 billion pumped back into the economy or saved and invested is a hell of a lot of money for thinking forward and helping heal the planet. I particularly love the idea of collecting rainwater and recycling used “greywater” for flushing toilets and gardening. Water is a resource that is continually dwindling, and with the surge in global population, a water shortage may be imminent.
Start Saving Now
You can start now by doing an audit in your home. Make a list of all your electric appliances and gizmos. Include everything, from your TV’s, mobile phones, computers, etc. If you don’t have info on what the energy consumption of each one is, go online and check. The reason I added computers and other small gizmos is that charging these gadgets also consume power. They may not consume as much power as a refrigerator, but if you really want to help the planet (and save a little money) it helps if you know, because all the little things add up.
Now that you have your list, cross out redundant items and things you barely use. Do you really need two phones, a laptop, a desktop an android tablet and an iPad Air? Simplify your electronic life by getting rid of some non-essentials. If you have a phablet, keep that, your laptop and ditch the rest. I’m talking from a standpoint of a former tech hoarder. I know how it is! Trust me; all you need is a phone that can double as a tablet (or vice versa), and one computer for the heavier work.
Check the list again for appliances that are old and consume the most power. If your household budget can handle it, now is the time to invest in a replacement. Remember, a small initial investment now equals more savings in the future.
I really believe in investing in our future, now. If everyone can pitch in and do the little things, like unplugging unused appliances, changing incandescent light bulbs to LED’s, collecting rainwater and using solar panels to run the lights at night, our future will be brighter. Yes, eco-friendly appliances are a bit more expensive, but when you factor in the savings and lower carbon footprint, its well worth the price tag.