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It’s Easy to be Green: The Best New Year’s Resolution

It’s December 30.  A week ago,  I was frantically finishing up buying and wrapping gifts.  Now I am just looking outside at the dreary day and thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.  I just joined a gym, so that is a start.  The cookies leftover from Christmas are almost gone; if I finish them by New Year’s, I can resolve not to eat any more after, right?  I re-arranged my closet and will vow to keep that neat as well.  What other kinds of resolutions might you have?  When you watch the ball drop tomorrow night, what is your goal for 2012?  How about saving money and leaving less of a footprint on the Earth?

For most people, the New Year’s Resolution fizzles out by Groundhog’s Day.  Snowy days leave us sitting inside instead of exercising and family birthdays provide us with that chocolate cake we didn’t (or really did) want to eat.  However, saving some money while going green can be kept.  Here’s how:

Energy Kits

If you are a Michigan customer of Consumer’s Energy or SEMCO, you are eligible for a free energy efficiency kit that includes: one low-flow showerhead, one kitchen and one bathroom low-flow faucet aerator, and two lengths of pipe insulation.  These items will save you money and energy.  They are free, and the best part is you do not even have to do the work.  If you contact FLAME, FLAME will install all of these items for you and tell you more ways to save money.  How could you fail with this resolution, all you have to do is make a phone call.  I wish I could get somebody else to diet for me in 2012.

Thermostats

What’s the easiest way to save money on your heating bills?  Turn the heat down.  If you have a small child at home or if you are like me and get cold easily, that may not always be feasible.  Therefore, what you can do is turn the heat down in your home at key points during the day.  For example, if everyone in your house is gone during the day at school or work, turn it down then.  Or, if you are all ok with sleeping with an extra blanket, turn it down a few degrees at night.  If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to automatically do that for you.  If you do not have one, do not fear, you can buy one or simply turn the heat down manually.  Make sure never to go down too far, though, or else your pipes will freeze.

Water Heater

A friend of mine has recently begun to take only cold showers after researching that the effects of cold water actually make the body stronger.  It also lowers his heating costs.  Though I suppose if you could convince your whole family to take only cold showers, that would be great, I am sure there will be a least one naysayer.  What you could do is turn the temperature of your water heater down.  Often the temperature is set higher than what you need it to be.  Typically water heaters are set at about 140 degrees F, but you could most likely turn it down to 120.  Another thing to consider would be a tankless water heater.

So there you have it, possibly the easiest resolution you will ever make.  Hopefully, by December 30, 2012, there will be snow on the ground as you look out the window, and you will have the feeling of contentment of saving money and the Earth over the past year.  If you would like to read more about saving money in your home in the Winter, read this article:  “The Daily Green:  19 Easy Home Winterization Projects” by The Daily Green Staff, where I found my information about water heaters.

Also, feel free to contact FLAME about tankless water heaters, energy kits, or programmable thermostats.  Happy New Year! 

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