If there’s one thing many people don’t understand it’s the value of water. We absolutely take it for granted. There are some areas in this world that walk for miles to get one bucket full of water and we simply turn the faucet on and watch liquid life flow freely for our unlimited us. It’s absolutely incredible when you think about it, and if you’ve ever witnessed a culture that struggled for a few drops of water, suddenly your whole outlook on life changes. Think about where we would all be at if we had water shortages more frequently. There are a lot of ways to conserve water which ultimately will save you money.
I enjoy a long shower from time to time, but is it really necessary? Back when water was a little harder to come by, people used to take baths and use the same water for the whole family. That might make you crinkle your nose in disgust, but it just goes to show how wasteful we are today. At the very least, reduce your shower time from 10 minutes down to 6 or 7 minutes. I have my shower down to about 5 minutes if not less. If your shower is where you wake up in the morning (which is why you’re in there so long), then perhaps you need to have a coffee first and then take a shower second.
Another way to save on that shower water is by installing a low flow shower head. The pressure on most low-flows is still quite good; they just shoot out more fine streams of water than a regular shower head. If you simply cannot bring your shower down from 10 minutes to 8 minutes, then a low-flow shower head is your ticket to saving water.
If you really want to save water though, you’ll turn off that continuous stream of water coming out of the shower head and you’ll take a bath instead. After a long day at work, sometimes a bath is quite relaxing actually. Try it and see how you like it. You’ll still get clean, you’ll save water, and you’ll save money too!
Just like the shower head, you could invest in a more efficient toilet. Sure, it’s not all that eloquent to talk about, but this is the reality of it: old toilets are inefficient and use up quite a lot of water. The newer models can do just as good of a job with half the water.
Some of us shave with a continuous flow of water from the faucet. This is an absolute waste of water. Why not just fill the sink with hot water and keep dipping your shaver in there when you need it cleaned off? It’s incredibly simple and will most definitely save on water.
Have Plants that Don’t Need Constant Watering
If you live in an open area and constantly get beat by the sun, do not grow plants that are more hardy in the shade. They will need constant watering just to stay alive. Instead, plant drought tolerant plants that can handle much more sun and will need far less watering.
Where in the past most folks paid a flat fee for water, many jurisdictions are now charging for water consumption not unlike the pay for use electric bills people have received for years. One easy to adopt option is to conserve natural resources to save money for your future – financially and for the habitat we share.
As part of the green revolution, more and more companies are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, and rightfully so. The effects of the emissions of harmful chemicals being released into the atmosphere have become increasingly clear. Many corporations that opt to use renewable resources to fuel their facilities and services out of concern for their environmental impact. An added bonus to these efforts is a marked reduction in operating costs. Here are a few energy efficient devices that can be added to any energy conservation plan to enhance its effectiveness and lower overhead costs in the meantime.
Solar-Powered Gadget Charger
It’s extremely common for smartphone and tablet owners to leave their gadget chargers plugged into the wall as a constant place for them to stay. This creates convenience for the user by eliminating the need to crawl under desks and search for an outlet each time they need to charge something.
The downside of this setup is the “vampire power” that the cords pull when they’re plugged while they aren’t in use. Combat this entire scenario by equipping your office staff with solar-powered gadget chargers. They can leave these new chargers near a window to charge and end the vampire effect.
Even though boot-up times have decreased exponentially, it’s still a common practice to leave computers running overnight, partially because many users believe the machines require a substantial amount of energy to boot up. Modern innovation has changed all that, and it’s not necessary to leave any electric devices turned on overnight.
Today, computers do use a fair amount of power, but turning them off overnight will minimize that. The computer will also likely last longer, as the components will be exposed to less stress.
One of the biggest arguments made by people who leave their computer running constantly is the convenience of always having it ready to go. Work with this by encouraging your employees set their computer to a power save mode when they step away. This can be made extremely easy with the Ecobutton. It’s a USB device that allows you to quickly set your computer to the most economical and efficient power mode possible. This is similar to a shut down, but a quick press of any key wakes it right up again, and they will find themselves right where they left off.
Energy Star Rated Appliances
Sure they’re not exactly devices, but you might be surprised how much energy you can save by replacing that outdated refrigerator in your employee break room. Generally speaking refrigerators should be replaced within 10 years. Chances are the unit that’s hissing away next to the water cooler is in dire need of an upgrade.
Older models of microwaves and other appliances also use more energy than newer models. Not only do they pull more energy in the first place, but they tend to be less effective as well. Look into replacing these units and watch the savings pile up. An energy provider like the ones found at www.electric.com may also be able to shine some light on this.
The window socket is one alternative to the solar powered gadget charger. It will come in handy for employees who have run out of outlets, or whose workstations aren’t near an available outlet.
This is one of the most innovative ways of conserving energy to emerge recently. The Window Socket is a solar powered outlet that uses a suction cup to adhere to any window surface. Its mini-solar panel collects energy to power devices on the go or at home. Simply stick it to an exterior window and let it charge for six hours. Once charging is complete, you can bring it anywhere and charge devices on the go, or use it in areas of the office that are away from traditional outlets.
Energy Efficient Printer
A staple in any office, your company printers may be gobbling up more energy than you realize. As with kitchen appliances, printers usually need to be replaced periodically. Look for Energy Star rated models, and upgrade your printers to these new, energy efficient ones. Don’t hesitate to switch to 100 percent recycled paper either.
Give these energy efficient devices a try and see what it does for your energy bills over the course of the next year or so. Added to an existing energy-saving plan, these products will surely give you just the nudge you need toward operating at a more affordable cost level, and easing the burden on the environment in the process. Feel free to share any personal experiences you have as far as energy savings and reducing operating costs.
One of the great things about living more sustainably is that you can also save money by adopting greener habits. One way to improve your ability to live sustainably, and to save money, is to adopt a few of the principles of minimalism.
What is Minimalism?
There are many different definitions of minimalism, but, for the most part, the main point of minimalism is to reduce the clutter in your life. This includes the material clutter of things, as well as the clutter in other areas of your life, such as continuous activities that make you seem “busy,” even though might really be accomplishing very little.
You don’t have to get rid of everything you own to follow minimalist principles. Two of the main principles of minimalism include:
- Get rid of what you don’t need/want: Are you willing to get rid of the things you don’t need in life? Think about what’s really important to you, and get rid of the things and activities in your life that don’t meet your priorities.
- Stop committing to things that don’t matter: Cluttering your life and your home with obligations that don’t matter to you can leave you feeling bogged down. Part of minimalism is changing the way you spend your resources so that you are no longer committing to the things that don’t matter to you.
Following these two principles can help you save money, as well as live more sustainably.
How Minimalism Can Help Your Pocketbook and the Environment
Just adopting some measure of minimalism in your life can make a difference in your financial situation and to the environment. First of all, when you get rid of what you don’t need or want, you clear up your living space. My husband used to think we need to buy a bigger house. But once we cleared out the unimportant clutter, the house seemed bigger, and now he’s happy with the size of home we have. Money saved — and a larger carbon footprint averted.
Additionally, the items we got rid of went as a donation to the local thrift store. We got a hefty tax deduction for the donation (in the United States), and the items were passed on in a way that prevented some folks from the need to buy new, thereby preserving resources.
The environment also benefits when you practice minimalist principles. Not only do you save money when you stop buying so much stuff, but you are also reducing the need for packaging, and the use of resources to create new products. When you aren’t always driving from here to there, frantically trying to fulfil commitments, you save gas money as well as reduce the pollution in the air.
Simple tastes in food can also help. You don’t have to go vegetarianism to adopt a more minimalist diet. Just choosing foods that are less processed (including meat) and more natural can help you enjoy better health (and save money on those costs) as well as help the environment. Natural choices in your food are generally easier on the environment, and choosing local food sources can also help.
You might be surprised at how much you can save, and how much more eco-friendly your existence can be, if you adopt a few principles of minimalism in your life.
If you’re like most people, you can’t function without your computer. It’s a necessity for doing your work, for downloading movies for entertainment, for socializing with friends across social media sites, and for searching the web. Don’t forget that most kids also need Internet and computer access for homework and for typing up papers.
However, if you’re concerned about the environment and reducing your energy consumption, you may wonder if you should buy a laptop or a desktop.
Is a Laptop More Efficient Than a Desktop?
If you’re only concerned about energy consumption, the answer is easy. Buy a laptop. A laptop uses about 1/4 to 1/5 the energy that a desktop uses. However, beyond energy efficiency, a laptop is often preferred because it can travel with you anywhere in your house (assuming you have wireless) or outside your home.
Other Ways to Cut Computer Energy Consumption
Just buying a laptop will go a long way to using less energy, but there are other things you can do to reduce your computer’s energy consumption.
First, if you can, buy an Energy Star computer. These models let you know that they are the most energy efficient computers available. Products marked as Energy Star generally use much less energy than government required standards.
Second, turn your computer off when you’re done using it. You may worry that turning it on and off will wear out your computer, but the simple truth is that it will take years and years to wear out simply from powering it on and off. You’ll likely buy a new computer because of improvements in technology before wearing out your current computer.
Another benefit of turning it off is that the cooling system does not have to work so hard. When you leave your laptop on overnight, the cooling system must continue to work all night long.
Third, if you’re taking at least a 20 minute break from using the computer and you’re using a desktop computer, turn off the monitor to save energy.
Fourth, use a power strip to plug in your computer so you can turn off the power strip at night and save a significant amount of energy. Even if you’re diligent about turning off your computer every night, the appliance still uses energy unless you turn off the power strip.
If you’re concerned about the environment and using less energy, you need to examine each facet of your life to determine where you could conserve. When you look at computer usage, the first step is to consider buying a laptop rather than a desktop. After that, consider some of the other steps you can take to reduce your computer’s energy consumption.