This article, Ways to Go Green, is sponsored by SoCalGas.
My husband and I sat down a few weeks ago and talked about ways to go green at home. After all, helping the environment AND saving money are a win-win. We brain stormed a few ideas and made a list of things we could already check off like, 1) new windows and furnace, 2) unplugging electronics when not in use, and 3) replacing our lightbulbs. We agreed to do some research and re-evaluate our options once we had more information. Here are some more ways of making your home and garden more energy efficient.
In my green living research, I found that water plays a very important role. I realized two things, 1) we need to grow an environmentally friendly garden and 2) we need to consider solar water heating.
Growing an Environmentally Friendly Garden
An environmentally friendly garden is organic and uses less water. Grow organic veggies; they are healthier for you. Also, think twice before using fertilizers and pesticides; as chemicals run off they harm aquatic life and contaminate the food chain. An environmentally friendly garden uses less water. More efficient water use can be achieved by dividing plants into zones, so plants that need less water are not mixed with plants that need more water. Here are some watering tips.
- Water early, before 10am. This is when temperatures are cooler, reduces evaporation, and allows the leaves to dry out during the day.
- Soaker hoses and drip watering systems reduce evaporation by directing water to the soil and not to the leaves.
- A thick layer of mulch (woodchips) over the soil in your garden reduces water evaporation, controls erosion, and helps prevent weeds.
If you live in California like we do, try planting native plants to California. They are often interesting, drought resistant, and may provide food for local wildlife.
Solar Water Heating Boosts Efficiency and Lowers Utility Bills
Californians should also consider solar water heating through SoCalGas. Without having to replace your existing water heater, a solar water heating system is a reliable way to have hot water all the time, but significantly uses less energy. It simply collects energy from the sun, and transfers it to your water. Not only will it reduce your utility costs, it will also help increase your property value and give you special tax incentives and rebates. The rebate can be as much as $10,238. The amount of the rebate is based on how much energy your system is expected to displace annually. Find out the right system for your home.
If you are a fellow SoCal DIY’er, you can register for a free one-day self-installer workshop through SoCalGas. During this training session, they will provide an overview of current solar water heating technologies, the program details, the participation requirements and the application process. Go to SoCalGas to get more information on the benefits of solar water heating systems and rebate offers.
What are some eco-friendly ways you save money? Do you have any other suggestions for my family to consider?