It’s that time of year again. Mark your calendars (and bookmark this post as a reminder). Most states will be turning their clocks back for Daylight Saving Time on November 5, 2017.
Daylight Saving Time may have started out as a joke proposed by Benjamin Franklin, but we’ve taken it and run with it. In the fall, you get the gift of an extra hour returned to you. You could sleep in, balance your bank account, or clean your spare room.
Or you could give something back when you “fall back” this year.
Got an extra hour? Maybe you could spare a few minutes to find out how much house you prequalify for using our fast and free LoanFly app.
These simple truths might convince you to start recycling more
There’s something really distinct about our new generation. Millennials, and those surrounding that age bracket, are more likely to put their money where their mouth is. When it comes to energy conservation, this can be a great thing. A 2015 Nielsen study confirmed that — while times, they are a-changing — many people are still willing to pay for sustainable goods in light of our difficult economic climate. Almost three out of four millennials from ages 15 to 20 may pay more for goods coming from companies with a positive social and environmental impact.
What does this have to do with your household recycling? The big theme we’re getting at here is that today, we care. We care a lot. We care about how our money is spent, and we care about how our day-to-day choices impact others and the environment. Again, this is a great thing.
So you’re finally ready to buy a house. What’s next? Consult our Loan Checklist to make sure all your bases are covered.
As if we needed any further proof (because, remember, we care a lot), Recycle Across America points out that there’s one thing we can do as a society to improve our environment and economy at the same time. You might have guessed it’s recycling. Recycling “without exception,” says Recycle Across America, is the biggest collective move we can make in our nation to promote sustainable manufacturing and reduce environmental and ocean waste.
It may sound trite, but it makes a whole lot of sense when you look at the bigger picture. You’re getting an hour back in most states this fall thanks to Daylight Saving Time. We suggest using this extra hour to make small changes around your house that can benefit the environment and cut down on your household energy costs. If you don’t have a recycling and conservation plan in place, now’s the time to do it.
12 ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle — and give Mother Nature a break
The whole process of starting to reduce, reuse, and recycle around the house that we learned back in grade school is still straightforward and easy. Implementing a few small changes at home may be enough to reduce your carbon footprint and condense your household energy bills. Recycle Across America puts it in perspective: Americans throw out 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. Recycling 1 ton of plastic bottles saves the energy equivalent of what a two-person household uses in one year.
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Yes, every little bit counts. Here’s where to begin:
- Use a bike instead of a car on your next trip to work, the park, or the store.
- Take full advantage of the sun whenever possible. Lauren Haynes, home maintenance expert at Star Domestic Cleaners, recommends, “During the cold months, the sunlight can benefit your indoor heat. Just open the curtains, let the sun shine in, and take the most of the sun’s rays — they are free. At night, shut the curtains and blinds to add an additional layer of insulation.”
- Give a little to get a lot back by changing out your air filter. “Most people don’t realize that they have the best possible air cleaner built right into their furnace and air conditioner,” Tyler Dishman, president and co-founder of DiscountFilters.com, explains. He recommends that homeowners start with a simple air filter upgrade to the MERV 11 or MERV 13 models. This switcheroo can help to remove most of the dust and particulate from the air in a home (and save money while doing it). “Keeping your air filter clean allows your furnace or air conditioner to run less frequently because the air flow is less restricted, which also saves money,” Dishman says.
- Unplug appliances to cut down on “phantom power loss” when not in use. Or use a larger power strip to turn off appliances at the source.
- Refill plastic water bottles and reuse paper or plastic disposable bags. Dishman says, “This will save tons of money and not create the bottle waste. For those concerned about the rather high cost of replacement refrigerator water filters, there are low-cost alternatives available.” DiscountFilters.com manufactures refrigerator water filters right here in the U.S. and sells them for a lower price than what you’ll pay for the name brands like GE, Whirlpool, and 3M.
- Rinse a slightly-used dish out in the sink and reuse it. Most importantly, Doyle James, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing, says, be mindful of how often you’re using the dishwasher. “Use it less frequently and always be sure it’s completely full before running.” James suggests, “If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, look an efficient ENERGY STAR qualified unit, and as a bonus, you’ll save on your electric bill too!”
- Pull out those old candles collecting dust in your cabinets. Haynes says candles are relatively cheap and can be a perfect addition to a home heating system in the winter. “They will not only provide heat and light, but with the big variety of shapes and aromas — they will definitely add a romantic mood and ambiance to your property,” she explains.
- Repurpose sturdy salsa and peanut butter jars as food-storage containers. Wash, rinse, and save for later; recycle the jars when they’re ready to be replaced.
- Check out your local recycling plan. It’s so simple that most of us forget to do it. But researching your community’s local recycling guidelines can ensure you aren’t throwing too much out — or too much in. You can find more information on your local recycling program here.
- Don’t toss out outdated devices. Best Buy offers free recycling for old electronics, one of the fastest-growing forms of waste.
- Put trash and recyclables in the right place. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it falls under the umbrella of recycling 101. “Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket,” James cautions. “Every time you flush a facial tissue or other small bits of trash, five to seven gallons of water are wasted.”
- Buy recycled goods. Remember what we said about our modern generation being concerned about how we spend our money? The EPA recommends “closing the loop” when making consumer purchases, which simply means researching the products that you buy and looking for the recycled symbol on product packaging. Products with the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled content are ideal.
You’re conserving, you’re saving, and you’re reducing your carbon footprint. If you’re a homeowner, then the next step is condensing your mortgage. We’re talking about a home loan refinance, and you might be eligible for some big savings. Contact one of our loan officers today to find out how a refinance could reduce your monthly mortgage payment.
For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.