Green technologies have a reputation for being expensive, available only to the very wealthy. However, there are ways that you can improve your carbon footprint without breaking your wallet. Many small changes will cost you nothing at all, while others will save you money in the long run.
The first and easiest step to take is to begin to recycle. It may seem like a hassle, but once you know what you can recycle, its simply a matter of what bin you put each item in. Search for your town or city's recycling policies online. In most regions, you can recycle paper, all glass, aluminum (including cans and foil), and the most common kinds of plastics. The most complicated items are plastics because you will have to learn which plastics are recyclable and which are not. After a week or two, however, you wont think twice about it.
Another easy way to make your home greener is to switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. These bulbs will be more expensive than the ones you currently buy, but over time they will pay for themselves. Energy-efficient bulbs will save you money, both by reducing your electricity bill and by lasting many times the life of a regular light bulb.
Another money saving option is to dry your clothes on a line. Whether you have your own dryer or use coin laundry, drying your clothes can really add up in cost. If you have the space, put up a clothes line and hang up your clothes to dry instead. This will save the large amounts of electricity that are needed to run the dryer. For some people, a clothes line is simply not an option. If this is the case, consider purchasing a drying rack. Drying racks can be bought pretty cheaply at stores like Target or Kmart, or purchase used from Craigslist. They fold up for easy storage and can dry clothes in a very minimal amount of space.
Sometimes its even possible to get paid to go green. Check with your local utility companies about the incentives they give for using green technologies. Sometimes the price cuts they will give you are big enough that they will make possible changes that might have been outside of your price range otherwise. Also, don't count out any green changes based on cost without looking ahead to the money they will save in the future. For example, installing solar panels, insulating your windows and doors, or switching to energy or water saving appliances may seem expensive at first. However, when you consider the money these changes will save you on your utility bills every month, they seem much more reasonable.
Taking these simple steps to make your home greener will make a big difference for the planet in the long run, and will make you feel good that you are doing your part. It doesn't cost a lot of money to reduce the amount of energy we use and waste we produce. Keep these tips in mind and you will help leave a greener planet for future generations.