Personal Finance

Go Green, Save Green at the Same Time

Making Your Home Energy Efficient

Everyone wants to be environmentally friendly, right? Problem is, it can be tough to go green without spending too much of your green. But to kick off NBC Universal’s Green Week, Carmen showed how, with a little bit of effort, you can “green your routine” at home and actually save money doing it.

Joining her was Danny Seo, environmentalist and author of theSimply Green book series. Seo explained that your refrigerator is usually the biggest energy user in your home – sucking up a quarter of all your electricity – so that’s the place you should go first to make sure it’s running efficiently. Seo recommended sticking a dollar bill in the door – if it stays, your fridge is not leaking air. But if it falls out, the fridge not properly sealed and is wasting both energy and money.

You can also consider a “home energy audit.” For a fee, someone will come to your home and analyze where you can save energy and thus save money. It might involve installing programmable thermostats, plugging up leaks or caulking windows, but what it costs to do these things will be outweighed by the money you’ll save, Seo said.

Finally, you can go tankless with your water heater. A tankless system heats up your water only when you need it. Seo called it the “future of home water heating.”

Keep an eye out for recycling boxes for old cell phones and rechargeable batteries this holiday season as well. They will be in over 50,000 stories and let you easily dispose of environmentally harmful lithium ion products (and give you an excuse to finally empty out that drawer full of old phones and batteries).