The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Experts offer tips for saving money on common household expenses while saving world’s environment

By Edna Horton/reporter

Going green does not mean going broke. Here are some simple ways to reduce greenhouse gases and stretch a buck.

Watch electricity usage.

According to the Energy Star Web site, lighting accounts for 20 percent of an average home’s energy bill. Changing from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lights can reduce up to 75 percent of your energy usage.  CFLs last 10 times longer, saving you the hassle of buying new bulbs and reducing your energy costs. After the bulbs burn out, you can recycle them. You can find information for recycling at most retailers or by visiting www.epa.gov/bulbrecycling or www.earth911.org.

Electronic devices take up another 20 percent of your home electric usage. Computers, TVs and even cell phone chargers still emit electric charges when not in use. A simple solution to this problem — unplug appliances when not using them. Not only will you save energy, you will also save even more money on your electric bill.

Pay attention to your car.

If you keep things in the trunk of your car, stop. Extra pounds in your car along with low tire pressure reduce fuel efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends keeping tires properly inflated to increase fuel efficiency by 3 percent.

It also recommends carpooling, which saves fuel usage and reduces carbon dioxide emissions and traffic congestion. You can also use it as an excuse to spend more time with your friends before class.

Use natural deodorizers. 

Essential oils can make your house or apartment smell clean and fresh. They are expensive ranging from $5-10 a bottle, but last a long time. One drop on a cool energy-efficient light bulb can scent an entire room once the bulb warms up. The fragrance usually lasts up to one month.

Baking soda can absorb odors everywhere in the house not just the fridge. Put one open box near areas prone to bad smells, where the garbage is kept, where the cat box resides, next to pet beds and in the bathroom to absorb odors.

Mix your own cleaners. 

Instead of buying several different cleaning products, make just one on your own. Annie B. Bonds, author of Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living, offers a simple cleaning formula that is only 9 cents for 32 ounces compared to $2 for the commercial version. It makes two cups and works on most types of dirt.

Mix 2 teaspoons of Borax (found in the laundry aisle of most grocery stores) with ½ a teaspoon of liquid dish soap and two cups of hot water into a plastic sprayer. Shake to blend, and you are ready to clean. Spray directly on the area you are cleaning and wipe off.

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