Live and Save Green in Winter with These 3 Helpful Tips

By John Rose, January 23, 2015, Energy Efficiency, Green

Live and Save Green in Winter with These 3 Helpful TipsWhile it’s true that I grew up in the Northeast, I’m not exactly one for the cold. For the first 3 years that we lived in Texas, I was happy to endure those 105º days as it meant a relatively mild winter. However, it is inevitable that some cold weather will eventually descend upon us in the Lone Star State.

Since I tend to follow a green trend, these lower temperatures become a problem when it comes to living the good life under my own roof, say around mid-January. My intolerance to the cold could be costly, but compromises must be made for the sake of a better world. So, let me share a few simple steps I take in order to live green when winter winds begin to blow.

1) Dress for the Season

My typical t-shirt and shorts ethos simply doesn’t work this time of year – which means I can’t crank up the heat just so I can stay in that attire. Instead, I have a few pairs of really comfy sweats for relaxing around the house, and when it comes to TV time, I like to snuggle under a blanket with my wife. The same goes for nighttime: I layer several blankets on the bed so that we can lower the thermostat and still remain comfortable and warm.

Live and Save Green in Winter with These 3 Helpful Tips2) Use Appropriate Lighting

Winter also brings shorter days and longer night. Akin to my my predilection for summer clothes, I love lots of light. This can bring a heavy cost when it comes to paying the electric bill unless you switch to LED bulbs. LED bulbs are amazingly efficient (up to 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs), and they have an amazing lifespan. While the price point of LED bulbs may have been a deterrent in the past, several brands are now popping up with bulbs that are about $10 a piece. Now, ample winter lighting can be guilt-free and eco-conscious at the same time!

3) Take Care of  Heat Loss

By addressing inefficiencies around the home with respect to heating, you can save some green (both kinds, actually). Windows are a major source of heat loss in older homes, but what you may not realize is that so are your plugs and light switches. For example, in our old house, the walls are thicker, but the windows might as well be made of paper. We combat this by placing clear plastic sealant over windows, caulking up any cracks, putting weather stripping on doors, and placing foam insulation backing for behind wall plates.

Let’s face it, we all would love to crank up the heat on cold winter days and create a tropical paradise within our own four walls, but that probably isn’t the right thing for Mother Earth. By taking these few simple steps, you can keep your energy costs in check and still live as green as possible.

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