The Cheapskate’s Guide To A Greener Home

Photography by: Dominick Guillemot
The Cheapskate’s Guide To A Greener Home
15.Opt for clean, renewable energy. It may cost you more up front, but request low-impact sources of energy—like solar, wind and hydroelectric power—from your provider. It’ll help reduce our dependence on coal-burning power plants, which pays off big when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
16.Lobby for clean, renewable energy. If you don’t have renewable energy options, send an e-mail to your state senator and representative requesting stricter requirements for renewable energy in your city and state. And tell your friends and neighbors to do the same!
17.Set your thermostat so you’re not totally comfy. That means keeping it cooler than you might be used to in the winter and warmer than you’d like in the summer. “You’ll likely be surprised by what this simple change in behavior will inspire you to do,” says Short. “You can cuddle up with the dog, your date or a cup of tea in the winter—or spend more time outdoors after the sun sets in the summer.”
18.Caulk your windows and doors. “Simply using a caulk gun to seal these spots can have a bigger impact than new windows or a new hot water heater,” says Watt. And don’t forget to check all the areas in your house where air is likely to penetrate (like dryer vents and the furnace flue).
19.Stop using conventional dryer sheets. Why do they smell so great? Because they’re loaded with chemicals, which rub off on your clothes and stay on your skin. Opt instead for natural options which use a blend of essential oils and are free of toxic chemicals.
20.Throw a greener party. Paper plates and plastic utensils may be easy, but they use up a lot of resources to be used only once. Eco-friendlier (and far classier-looking!) options: Eco-Products’ Plantware High-Heat Utensils, which are compostable ($63 for 1,000; ecoproductsstore.com); and VerTerra dinnerware, which are made using fallen palm leaves ($6 to $9; amazon.com).
21.Keep your car parked. “In addition to causing excess gas consumption and emissions, driving a car isolates you from your surroundings,” says Short, “which contributes to one of the worst errors of thinking in modern civilization—that we exist apart from nature.” So, pull out your walking shoes, grab your bike or carpool with neighbors.