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Saving Money Through Conservation

-- 2011-12-01 7:00 am --

Times are hard for everyone, and people are looking for ways to save money. Many techniques involve doing things yourself or doing without, but there are many things that a home owner can be done that will not feel to be a sacrifice and will result in a noticeable savings, not just now but for years to come.

Increasing the shade around your house will keep the house cooler in the summer and decrease power use for both the homeowner and the rest of the community. Plant shade trees in the spring in locations where they will eventually provide shade to south facing windows will reduce the amount spent by the homeowner on electricity. To further increase savings, the homeowner should make one or more rain barrels. Fifty-five gallon barrels can be purchased used for a minimal amount of money anywhere and after cutting a hole in the top and attaching a spigot at the base can be placed under drain spouts to catch the water falling off of the roof. One inch of rain will fill a barrel this size and then can be later used to water the trees planted for shade.

Another way to save money by lowering electrical bills is to install a hot water timer. By turning off the power to the hot water heater for up to 18 hours a day, a timer will reduce the electrical use of the most power hungry appliance by 75 percent or more without affecting the service provided by the heater. A timer can be installed using just a screwdriver and pliers and takes less than an hour to complete.

In many parts of the country, governments are tasking people to reduce waste, even going so far as to charge for trash collection by the amount of trash picked up. Recycling is a common way to reduce the amount of trash processed and sent to landfills, but an additional task to consider is composting. Almost 50 percent of all household trash is compostable; plant matter, vegetable matter, fruit, paper towels, toilet paper rolls, dryer lint, and egg shells are all very good compost material although any other animal product, meat, fats, bones, should be avoided as should any bodily waste from any animal that eats meat. The compost bin can be as simple as a basic pile or as complex as a rotating drum, but the end result will be the same: rich organic material ready to add to gardens and plants that will eliminate the need for potting soil and commercial fertilizers.

As the need to cut costs and stretch the household dollar becomes more critical, much can be done that involves changes in attitudes and practices and that have the added benefit of helping the environment. Regardless of why a homeowner makes these changes, they become a win-win scenario for the homeowner, the community, and the environment.