Green living for free

Home Builder with Sunset Home Repair



Aside from spending money to save money and the earth, there are a ton of things you can do in everyday life. Below are some things you already know and some you may not. The most important thing to remember is keeping a green mind set. If you throw one aluminum can in the garbage it's not going to send the earth flying off its axis but it will start to take you out of your green mind set. First it's only one can then two then soon your not recycling cans at all.

Try to incorporate these habits into your life and save money and the earth.


  • Turn water off while your brushing your teeth.
  • Don't turn your water on full blast if you don't have to. Even in the shower you can turn the pressure down and still be fine. This will save water and energy. It will also make your hot water last longer if alot of people have to take showers or if you just like taking long hot showers.
  • Dry your hair as much as possible with a towel before using the hair dryer.
  • Put a large rock or something else that will displace water in your toilet tank.

Recycle or reuse

  • Have a seperate trash can for recyclables and if you have the room seperate the aluminum so you can recycle it your self for cash.
  • Make sure you know what your county accepts in the recycling bin. In Hampton Roads, VA where I live we can even recycle paper and cardboard.
  • Re-use your ziplock bags if you can.
  • Always think if you can use a recyclable for another use, for instance- egg cartons can be used to store small arts and crafts things, peanut butter jars work great for storing nuts and bolts.


  • Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, outside during the day and in the house when your gone.
  • Turn the thermostat down on your water heater down so it does not take so long to heat the water over and over during the day.
  • Unplug chargers when not in use.
  • If you still have a VCR for those old tapes and you only use it once in a while unplug it when not in use.


  • Take everything you need for cooking out of the fridge the first time you open it.
  • Don't keep your fridge on the absolute coldest setting.
  • Keep your fridge stocked, once the food gets cold it helps to keep the air in the fridge cold.
  • Buy the select a size paper towels to cut down on paper towel use.
  • Take frozen foods and left overs out of the fridge a couple of hours before coofing to save on the energy it takes to heat or defrost.
  • Wash dishes buy hand if you have time.
  • Cut and mix food by hand if you can.

Heat and A/C

  • Keep furniture clear from heating and A/C vents.
  • Keep your A/C filter clean to save electricity.
  • If you have ceiling fans - use them when you are in the room only.
  • Turn your thermostat down at night and use a thicker blanket.
  • Turn you thermostat down if you are gone during the day or out of town or better yet, purchase a programmable thermostat.
  • Keep your thermostat down a couple of degrees all the time and wear thicker clothes in the house .
  • Take your vents out and spray WD-40 on the moving parts to get them working easily, this way you can close the vent and open it when you want. Close the vent in the kitchen when you are going to be doing alot of cooking or in the bathroom when alot of hot showers are going to be taken.

Laundry Room

  • Make full loads of laundry to save water (some washers have a load size selecter switch, this will save you water also).
  • Don't wash clothes that are not dirty ( it may sound silly but often we will put on a shirt for an hour then change it for some reason and without thinking throw it in the hamper).
  • Keep the lint screen in your dryer clean to save electricity.
  • Hang your clothes out to dry if you can.


  • Open your windows on mild days.
  • If you have storm windows make sure they are closed when heat and A/C are on.
  • Open your curtains on sunny winter days and let the natural heat and light in.


  • Let the trees and bushes around your house grow tall to shade your house in the summer.
  • If evergree trees are shading your house in the winter trim them back to let the sun heat your house.
  • Use hand operated trimmers instead of electric when you can.
  • If you have evergree trees on the north side of your house leave them and let them grow because they block the north wind.
  • Motion sensor lights can be adjusted for sensitivety and length it is on to fit your needs. In the driveway you may need it on for 5 minutes to get the kids out and unload the car but in other areas you may only need them to come on for 5 seconds.
  • Solar motion sensor lights cannot store alot of power so adjust them to stay on for a short time to get the most use out of the batteries .


  • In the summer go in your attic and make sure none of the vents (soffit vents, gable vents roof vents) are blocked to keep your attic as cool as possible.
  • In the winter go in your attic and block the vents to keep your attic as warm as possible.
  • Instead of throwing old blankets away lay them out in your attic for extra insulation- don't lay them over anything electrical.
  • Inspect the insulation in your attic and make sure none of it as been displaced and, if so, spread it back out like it should be.

Alot of these things take time that you may or may not have but if you think about what you spend your time on you might find better uses for that time. For instance - instead of watching TV, turn on the radio and take some time to perform some of these money saving activities. If you exercise daily maybe you can cut that out and just do these things at a high rate of speed. Silly you say, maybe, but once again mind set is everything, If you say it's only a dollar, soon you will say it's only ten dollars then it's only a hundred dollars and I don't beleive the words "only" and "a hundred dollars" should be in the same sentance ever.

Dan -



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