Upgrade Your Appliances
Appliances account for a whopping 20 percent of home energy use! Any time an old appliance gives out, make sure to replace it with an energy-efficient model.
Purchasing Energy Star appliances is not only better for the environment, but will be better for your pocketbook, too.
According to the EPA, efficient appliances use 10-50% less energy and water than standard models. Even installing ceiling fans and tank-less water heaters can reduce your energy consumption. Let’s take a look at how you can save with some of your biggest home appliances:
Refrigerators: In most homes, refrigerators are the most energy-consuming appliances, accounting for about one-third of the electric bill in the average household. This is especially true for all refrigerators purchased prior to 1993, which were designed very inefficiently. If you own a refrigerator was purchased before then, replace it as soon as you can with a new fridge marked with the Energy Star logo—it should be up to 50 percent more efficient than a pre-1993 fridge, saving you over $70 a year on energy costs.
Washing Machines: An efficient washer expends 50% less energy than a standard washer, and uses 15 to 22 fewer gallons of water per load. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recommends replacing washing machines older than ten years with Energy Star models. Making this switch will save you about $100 per year!
When you upgrade, be a conscious consumer--don’t just dump your old appliances “away” in the trash. Recycle them. Remember, there’s no such place as “away”. According to earth911.com, electronic waste accounts for 70 percent of the overall toxic waste currently found in landfills. To recycle your old appliances, visit www.Earth911.org for an appliance recycler in your neighborhood.
Lastly, the U.S. government is also offering tax break incentives to many residential consumers who follow energy-efficient measures in their home. Visit www.epa.gov for more details.
To see tangible examples of how you can create a “green upgrade” in your home, watch Conscious Living TV’s "Energy-Efficient Home" episode, or sign up for our free monthly newsletter.
Remember, reducing your personal carbon footprint by just 2% each year can help minimize global warming by the year 2050.
If overhauling your entire life to “go green” still feels a little overwhelming, be willing to ask yourself powerful questions and take the time to find out what level of “green” on the continuum works best for your lifestyle, then commit to making a conscious change for the better.
Incorporating just one of these tips on an ongoing basis can actually make a world of difference, so experiment and have fun making your conscious lifestyle work for you!
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