Last updated January 9th, 2020.8 minute read
Here at TFF, I have for a long while had a mission of creating more content focused on a very specific mission: helping readers save money while also being more environmentally conscious.
I did so in my five ways to be frugal post and I wanted to expand on that concept here.
Regardless of your political beliefs (and that is something I generally avoid here), I feel just about anyone can get on board with this. Because even if preserving our natural resources is of no interest to you whatsoever, the fact is that everyone likes to save money.
Still, you might not even know how best to direct your efforts. Making changes is great, but how do you prioritize? A great place to start is this quiz from CNN. It’s very high-level, but again, a great place to start.
Spoiler alert: the #1 climate solution is, as the quiz says, possibly not one you’d expect: removing harmful chemicals from refrigerators. And while newer refrigerators probably don’t have them, that doesn’t mean you should buy a new refrigerator. Nor should you remove them yourself.
That being said, this list isn’t going to address the #1 solution. It will, however, address several of the other items mentioned in the aforementioned quiz.
So, what are these energy saving products? Let’s find out.
1. Dimmable LED Edison Light Bulbs
LED lightbulbs may not be the absolute most impactful thing you can buy, but they are certainly on the list. These particular bulbs, Dimmable LED Edison bulbs from Hudson use only 6 watts of power.
Despite having such a small power footprint, they produce light equivalent to traditional 60W bulbs. In other words, they only use 10% as much.
And you can see them in action in some of the customer reviews – these things get bright!
Have you ever noticed how older incandescent bulbs get hot to the touch after they’ve been on for a while? Well, all that extra heat isn’t just making your house a fraction of a degree warmer – it’s also wasted energy.
So if you’re still using old-school lightbulbs – or even if you just need more LED bulbs – I’d recommend picking up some of these.
2. Google Nest Smart Thermostat
There’s no denying it – the Nest doesn’t just look and feel nice – it’s also an important part of making your home more energy efficient.
Have you ever left home and forgotten to set your thermostat to a more eco-friendly setting? If you have a Nest, there are multiple ways to remedy that situation.
For example, if you have the Nest app on your phone, you can remotely control your Nest from anywhere in the world! Or, better yet – the Nest has a setting that will automatically set it to “eco mode” when you leave the house.
And, as you’ll see on the product page, they also support Alexa commands, if that sort of thing is your jam.
All in all, the Nest makes your home more energy efficient and more convenient in a sleek-looking package.
3. GEOBIN Compost Bin
If you’ve never considered composting, you definitely should. Needless to say, composting allows us to cut back on food waste (one of the actions we can take, in addition to composting). Not only that but typically only more natural foods can be composted – thus giving us a reason to eat a more natural diet.
If you’re looking for a great compost bin that isn’t too expensive, I would recommend this compost bin from GEOBIN.
“But wait, how is composting energy efficient?” you ask. Well, actually, there are a variety of ways in which it is. For example, you’ll not only avoid chopping it up in a garbage disposal, but you’ll also make your community more energy efficient as a whole.
Of course, if you really want to go the cheap route, you could just use a simple plastic waste bin and cut holes in the lid for ventilation. But you may not have one of those lying around; plus, the ventilation probably won’t be as good as you will get from a real compost bin.
As you can see above, the compost bin from GEOBIN has great ventilation, which will allow your food scraps to break down faster by giving them more oxygen.
Whatever you choose, a compost bin is a great way to cut back on food waste and make both your home – and your community – more energy efficient.
4. Renogy Solar Panels
Okay, so you probably won’t (and probably shouldn’t) buy solar panels from Amazon on a whim because you’re gonna green-ify your roof, gosh darn it!
Typically, solar panel installations are done by a professional, which is probably what you should stick to if you don’t know how to install them yourself. Still, I thought I would include these Renogy 100 watt solar panels to help you get a feel for the product.
Installing green roofs, while not the most important climate change action to take, is still on the list.
Of course, generating your energy directly from the sun is much more environmentally friendly than relying on fossil fuels. But it’s more than that: generating energy directly at your home means that energy doesn’t have to be transported to you, which makes the whole process much less impactful in general.
Adding solar panels can be expensive upfront and a big undertaking, but if it’s realistic for you, it’s certainly worth considering.
5. TOSOT 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
Cooling your home is basically a necessity if you live anywhere close to where I do. The biggest struggle is that not all air conditioners are created equal. Some can be very inefficient which leaves you with a dilemma in terms of wanting to be cool without running up your energy bill.
The TOSOT 8,000 BTU window air conditioner certainly help. This is an 8,000 BTU unit meant to cool small spaces (up to 350 sqft.), so basically a bedroom. Nevertheless, this unit is Energy Star certified and has smart temperature control.
Of course, you don’t have to use a window unit, necessarily. If you have central air, for example, you should have an HVAC tech inspect your system to be sure it is up to speed with the latest regulations.
6. ECOTOUCH Tankless Water Heater
When you realize a device like this is possible, it kind of makes those huge water tanks just seem…cumbersome. Not only is it energy efficient but it takes up very little space; thus, you could say it’s space efficient as well.
This water heater is an amazing 98% efficient, whereas the typical “high efficiency” water heater is only about 70% efficient. Plus, when using a traditional tank system, those heaters will run throughout the day.
With this tankless water heater, it only runs when you actually need water. Despite not staying on all the time, it instantly heats your water. Only being on while in use will cut down on your energy bill while also being more environmentally friendly.
7. CSOFT 100% Blackout Linen Curtains
These CSOFT blackout linen curtains serve multiple purposes. As their name suggests, they will totally darken a room, which is great if you sleep late or work an irregular sleep schedule, such as third shift.
They are also energy saving, particularly during the hot summer months. They have UV protection, which can help prevent your house from becoming a greenhouse during the summer. This, of course, in addition to their blackout capability, which also naturally cools a room during the day.
Even though you already have your energy efficient air conditioner, there’s no reason to run it more often than you have to! These curtains also do not attract dust but are nevertheless machine-washable, making them easy to clean.
They’re a great product overall that’s inexpensive and can save money in the long run.
Conclusion on Energy Saving Products
We don’t always think of energy saving products also saving us money, but the truth is that they are more closely connected than you think. The truth is that a lot of products have been designed in a way that makes us consume more than we need to, thus being costlier.
But that’s not the only downside, is it? If we’re consuming more, we also tend to have a greater impact on the environment. Think V8 engines on cars in the 1950s. Sure, they may have been sexy, but they used a lot of gas. Not so great for the environment.
By using energy saving products, we not only save money, but we reduce our environmental impact, too. If what you have is “good enough,” you may not need to buy new items. But the next time something breaks, you should definitely consider the more efficient, eco-friendly alternative.
The planet, and your wallet, will thank you.