Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Go Green Tip for the Day: Car Pooling!

Hey everyone and welcome back to the Going Green & the Benefits You Receive Blog!  I am here today to present a great tip for everyone to use that is cost friendly, eco-friendly and can actually help build relationships! That tip is - Car Pooling! 
I know that we have all talked and thought about doing this with our friends and family, but how many actually do it?  These situations are perfect for strengthening the relationships with our loved ones, saving money on gas and we lower our emissions to the environment!

How to set up a car pooling activity:
Contact your friends that you go to school with.  This is great for high school and college students.  I actually car pooled with my friend for an entire semester - he drove one week, I drove the next.  There are 15 weeks in the semester so he ended up driving 8 weeks and me 7.  The normal commute (both ways) was 21 miles or about $2.50 each day.  Multiply that by 4 = $10 each week.  Instead of me spending $150+  for driving to class, I spent only $70 (good estimate), Saving me over half of the cost of driving that semester.  pretty good huh?

How about this for a better example, that I wish I could have done:
Find 3 people, instead of 2, that have similar class schedules.  Therefore you drive only 5 weeks per person.  Normal, by yourself = $150/Semester putting (21x4x15) 1,260 miles on your car OR with 3 people = $50/Semester putting (21x4x5) 420 miles on your car.  Not only will you save gas money, but you are actually lowering your next date with the oil change service and new tires!

Now this can work in extremely situations with your work/office commute, picking up children from school, grocery shopping etc.

Do the earth and yourself a favor by setting up a carpool activity, go green and experience the amazing benefits you can receive!  Thanks for reading!  Anyone have similar real-life examples as mine above?  Please share!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Federal Tax Credits for Being Energy Efficient #1

Hey Everyone!  I wanted to update everyone on recent Federal Tax Credits that are currently in Place.  This will be the first blog of a series to help describe the benefits of going green, the costs you can save and the tax breaks you receive come busy season!  Enjoy!

This quote is taken from the Department of energy

Consumers who purchase and install specific products, such as energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment in existing homes can receive a tax credit for 30% of the cost, up to $1,500, for improvements "placed in service" starting January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2010. See EnergyStar.gov's Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency for a complete summary of energy efficiency tax credits available to consumers."

Thursday, March 4, 2010


This may sound crazy, but recycling is a great way not only to go green, but to save money.  How in the world can you save money if you recycle things, such as paper, cardboard, plastics etc?  Quite easy actually.

How much do you usually pay your garbage pickup?  I know you have the number in your head.  How much could you save if you downsized your trash can that is being used?  Oh really?  That Much?  Pretty good over a years time I'd Say.

Recycling can save you money, by taking things to a recycle center or a public place that has a recycle container for those type of goods (universities, most schools, etc., online has a vast amount of information!) and then reducing/trading in your current trash container for one of the smaller ones!

There you go!  I think our neighborhood has an unlimited price for around $20 per month or it can be 2 bags for around $8.  If you recycle, that is so much garbage you can eliminate that you would not need an unlimited service.  Recycle, throw less away, clean the Earth more and put more in your pocket!  Enjoy!

-Lanny B.

There are actually sites that pay you to recycle!  Here it is: Recycling Sites that Pay!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ways to Save Water & Money

Hey Everyone!  There are so many ways to save money by saving on your water usage.  There are simple ways where you don't have to necessarily do anything different, but then there are also ways where you have to adjust your consumption to save on water, which I will begin with those first.

Save Water & Money by Reducing Consumption of:
   -Shower Time
   -Laundry Load/Frequency
   -Shaving/Washing Hand Time; Turn off faucet during shaving when not in use (or use a cup)
   -Washing Dishes - Use less Water by filling a bucket w/ hot water; Limit usage of washer/Dryer
   -Flush Less - You know how the saying goes "Yellow let it mellow, Brown Flush it Down"

Save Water & Money by Installing these (very cheap as well!)
   -The Toilet Tank Bank

The Toilet Tank Bank helps reduce the gallons per flush by around 0.8 gallons.  You can see/purchase one here if you desire: Toilet Tank Bank 

   -Kitchen Sink Aerator
With this Aerator, it lowers the maximum gallon/minute flow rate to 1.5 and it helps to make washing the dishes more efficient.  You can purchase this by going here: Kitchen Aerator

Now these aren't, by far, the only things that you can do to reduce water usage.  As a starter, these help tremendously and I have implemented all of these in our household.  You can easily tell the different when your water bill comes and the gallons and cost are significantly reduced.  Thank you for reading and enjoy : )  Any other tips to reduce water usage? Please post below!

-Lanny B

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Power of Unplugging Appliances

Hey there Going Green members and welcome back to another post on how to receive for going green!  Today's topic is: Unplugging Appliances

This is HUGE!  How many of us have a Plasma TV, Toaster Ovens, Video Game Consoles, Computers and other large appliances?  Everyone's hands just about up? Okay, well for my next question: How many of us use those all at the same?  Oh no, the hands fell down.  Exactly

Everyday, I make it a priority to go around and unplug all unused appliances and ensure if I do use them for a brief moment, that I turn off and unplug as soon as I am finished.  These are what I call the "sleeping-energy-drainers".  And that is honestly what they do.  All day when you are not home and all night when you are asleep, these appliances that are unnecessarily plugged in are sleeping energy drainers.

Therefore, I would ask if you do yourself and the earth a favor and spend approximately one minute/day to walk around and unplug the appliances that aren't being used and that CAN be unplugged, I am not talking about unplugging the dishwasher or the refrigerator!  Simple appliances that can be unplugged that usually remain plugged are: Cell phone chargers, laptop chargers, printers (turn them off at least!), TVs, toaster ovens, microwaves, can-openers and gaming devices.  If you unplug this, you will notice a HUGE difference in your energy bill.  You can take notice from the figures I posted in my first blog.

Thanks again for reading and I will bring a new topic shortly!  Go Green and Experience the Benefits that you Receive!

-Lanny B.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Water Heater Tips to Save on Electric & Water Bill

Your water heater, surprisingly, usually counts for 25% - 33% of your energy bill.  So if your bill is $100, your water tank is the reason of $25 -$33 of that!  Pretty heft if you ask me.  Since it is an integral part of your bill, are there ways to reduce this substantial cost?  Answer: Yes, of Course!  Below you will find tips to lower your water heating bill substantially:

1.) Lower the Thermostat on the Hot Water Tank.  By Adjusting/Lowering the temperature just a few degrees will save you money every month.  And lets face it, who turns it all the way to the hottest it can be anyways!

2.) Insulate. Insulate. INSULATE!  Insulate your hot water tank, but make sure you don't cover the thermostat on it and you follow the guidelines/recommendations on the package of the insulation and the water tank.  Also, you can insulate hot water pipes etc. To purchase one, visit Here

3.) Wash ONLY FULL loads of laundry!  This is a given.  The more often you wash the loads, the more water you will be using, thus the more you will be spending.  Be efficient and wash only full loads!

4.) Decrease your shower time!  Also a given, the shorter your shower, the less water that is used.

5.) Install an energy efficient shower-head, faucets, aerators.  Most energy-efficient shower-heads are 2.5 gpm

Hope These Tips help!  Not only will you save on your energy bill, but you will save on your water bill AND have extra dinero in your pocket!!  Enjoy!

Changing to CFL Light Bulbs

EASIEST Way to go green and save money is to switch all your incandescent light bulbs to CFL (Compact Florescent Light) Bulbs.  They Can range anywhere from $1 - $20 depending on the type, size and skills (dimmable etc).  Switching Out those 40watt lightbulbs for low level such as 9-10 Watt CFL light bulbs will save a great deal.  They recommend switching out 60watt bulbs for 13 watts, etc (the box will usually describe it).  There are many sites online that sell them, usually at a very low price!  What is nice is you usually save more than your cost of the bulbs in the first month, so they pay for themselves after just days of usage.  I personally have done this in my house, along with a few other tweaks and have brought our energy bill, no joke here is the payment history:

09/12/2008 -$200.81
09/22/2009 -$40.77 (this with my updates)

As you can see that is a 79.7% Decrease!!!!  That was the best month we had when compared to the prior year month.  Here is what an average one looks like:

10/15/2008 -$247.90
10/20/2009 -$63.88

Whoops!  Did I say average, this is a 74.2% decrease!!  So, the one month wasn't just a fluke! These are real figures, and is mostly comprised of just switching bulbs!!  So do yourself and the earth a favor, buy CFL Light Bulbs and put more money in your pocket : )

For Other ways to create income and put more in your pocket check out my Income Blog!