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As gas prices rise, more people are choosing to switch to environmentally friendly vehicles. Driving a hybrid or electric car will reduce your carbon footprint and can also save you money on fuel costs.

Why Should I Invest in a Green Vehicle?

Perhaps the most popular green vehicle is the hybrid car. These run using a combination of gas and electricity, which reduces your car’s emissions and your weekly gasoline costs. There are several different technologies that hybrids use to improve efficiency. For example, most hybrids are able to convert energy that is normally wasted during braking back into usable electricity. Many also have an automatic shutoff feature to avoid wasting energy while idle. Hybrid cars are optimized to save the most fuel during stop-and-go city driving.

Why Should I Invest in a Green Vehicle?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 90 percent of the top 20 most fuel-efficient cars are either hybrid models or fully electric. All-electric vehicles run on electricity only and use no gasoline. They have to be charged in order to run, but are eco-friendly and energy efficient. An electric vehicle is able to turn 59 to 62 percent of its electrical energy into power. This is impressive considering that a gasoline vehicle only uses 17 to 21 percent of the energy stored in fuel.

Why Should I Invest in a Green Vehicle?

Across America there are almost 9000 electric vehicle charging stations and the number is growing steadily. It is becoming easier to drive an electric or hybrid car, and the technology is only getting better. Investing in a green vehicle will help you to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and save money on fuel costs.

Purchasing a new appliance can be a daunting task. There are so many different models to choose from, and many of them claim to be eco-friendly and energy efficient. How can you tell which one will save you the most on your electricity bill?

Appliances can last for over ten years, so purchasing a new dishwasher or refrigerator is a fairly long-term investment. The most energy efficient appliances on the market are often the most expensive, but don’t let the price tag put you off. Your efficient new fridge will end up paying for itself through lower utility bills.

There are certain energy efficiency standards set by the U.S. government that all modern appliances have to meet. While pretty much any new appliance you buy will be energy efficient, some products use even less power than the minimum standard.

Investing in an Energy Efficient Appliance

The Energy Star label shows that an appliance exceeds the government standards for energy efficiency. The Energy Star program was started by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help homes and businesses save money and protect the environment with energy efficient products. Energy Star appliances can use 10 to 50 percent less energy than other standard products.

Most new appliances, regardless of whether they are an Energy Star product, must have a bright yellow EnergyGuide label. This shows you estimates for yearly operating costs of the appliance as well as its estimated yearly electricity usage. The EnergyGuide label allows you to compare similar models quickly and easily.

Investing in an Energy Efficient Appliance

No matter how energy efficient an appliance is, a model that is too big for you can waste electricity and money. If your refrigerator is too large to fill, the empty space will take extra energy to cool. An oversized water heater wastes energy heating more water than you will use. Any appliance that you use should be just large enough to meet your needs.

Investing in an Energy Efficient Appliance

For appliances that use water, such as washing machines, efficient water usage is also something to consider. You want to save on as many utility bills as possible when you invest in a new appliance. With a washing machine, front-loading models are typically the most efficient at using water. Appliances that have the Energy Star label are built to minimize water usage as well as to be energy efficient.

Ovens and stovetops don’t have Energy Star labels, so it can be a little more difficult to choose an energy efficient model. Whenever possible it is best to use an appliance that runs on natural gas instead of electricity. Burning gas in your own home is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than relying on energy delivered from a power plant. Using natural gas is also less expensive than using electricity.

Investing in an Energy Efficient Appliance

If your old fridge or washing machine is guzzling up too much energy, it may be time to invest in a new model. Modern technology is making appliances more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than ever, and upgrading your kitchen will help to reduce your carbon footprint while slashing your utility bills.

Owning a home can be expensive, and it’s nice to save money anywhere that you can. Investing in eco-friendly fixtures for your house can not only help the environment, but also save you money on your utility bills. Replacing your outdated refrigerators and showerheads with energy efficient models is one of the fastest ways to save money on water and electricity.

Eco-Friendly Fixtures That Every Homeowner Should Invest In

Lighting

Electricity is an expensive commodity, but it’s hard to live without. Many homeowners have switched to alternative sources of energy such as wind or solar power to save money. Solar power can be installed in any house by using solar panels. Going solar is becoming more affordable every year, and already there is enough solar capacity to power over 3.5 million homes in America.

Eco-Friendly Fixtures That Every Homeowner Should Invest In

It’s not always possible to switch to a renewable power source like solar, but luckily there are other ways to use less electricity. About 5 percent of an average household’s energy budget goes towards lighting, which means that switching to a more efficient bulb is a quick way to save on your electric bill.

Compact fluorescent lamp bulbs, or CFL bulbs, are energy efficient lights that work with many fixtures that take traditional incandescent bulbs. If a CFL bulb is Energy Star certified, that means it meets certain government standards for energy efficiency. An Energy Star bulb uses about 75 percent less energy than a regular bulb and lasts up to 10 times longer.

LEDs (light emitting diodes) are another eco-friendly lighting option to invest in. LED bulbs use even less energy than CFL bulbs and also give off less heat, which can indirectly help you save on your air conditioning bill in the summer. Energy Star LEDs use only about a quarter of the energy that an incandescent bulb uses, and can last up to 25 times longer. Energy efficient bulbs may be a little more expensive, but they save energy and money in the long term.

Appliances

Your kitchen is home to appliances that can guzzle up a huge amount of your water and energy. Investing in eco-friendly, energy efficient devices will help to reduce almost all of your utility bills. Like light bulbs, you can also find Energy Star certified appliances that are guaranteed to exceed governmental standards for energy efficiency.

Refrigerators are one of the biggest energy drains in your home. Many older freezers and fridges are wasteful and costly. Appliances like refrigerators last for years, so replacing your old fridge with an energy efficient model can end up saving you money. Energy Star certified fridges are about 10 percent more efficient than the federal standard and using one can save you up to $300 over its lifetime.

Washing and drying clothing is also a huge drain on energy and uses a substantial amount of water. Buying an eco-friendly washer and dryer will help you cut costs on both your water and electric bills. An Energy Star certified washer uses about 20 percent less energy and 35 percent less water than a regular washing machine. Instead of submerging your clothes in water, most of these units combine spinning and spraying to minimize water usage.

Eco-Friendly Fixtures That Every Homeowner Should Invest In

Energy Star dryers use 20 percent less energy than conventional dryers. Many energy efficient drying units have sensors to detect how wet the clothes inside are, and automatically shut off when everything is dry to conserve energy and avoid wasting water.

Eco-Friendly Fixtures That Every Homeowner Should Invest In

An energy efficient appliance can also be a smart device, which uses computer technology to work cheaper and more efficiently. A smart appliance is able to change how and when it uses the most energy to work at its maximum efficiency. For example, a washing machine might only run high-energy wash cycles during off peak hours to reduce electricity costs. This also reduces stress on the power grid and prevents it from overloading.

As smart appliances become more popular, they are also becoming more advanced. Many devices are now able to access the Internet, which allows for a quick diagnosis if there’s a problem. You can save time and money by avoiding inconvenient and expensive service calls.

Eco-Friendly Fixtures That Every Homeowner Should Invest In

Showers and Toilets

Installing low-flow fixtures can help you to conserve water and save money. The average American family of four uses around 400 gallons of water a day, with the toilet alone taking up 30 per cent of indoor water used. The shower is also a water-wasting culprit and can use up to 2.5 gallons a minute. All of that running water adds up fast.

Toilet efficiency can be measured in gallons per flush, or gpf. A standard low-flow toilet has a gpf of 1.6, as opposed to an older toilet with a gpf ranging from 3.5 to 7. There are toilets with even lower gpf values, such as WaterSense labeled toilets. WaterSense is a program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designed to help families and businesses reduce their water usage by using low-flow products. WaterSense toilets use only1.28 gallons per flush or less.

There are also WaterSense showerheads, which can help save your family up to 2,900 gallons of water annually. While old water efficient showerheads are notorious for providing just a weak trickle of water, modern showerheads are able to maintain pressure while using fewer gallons of water. Using an aerator will also help you to achieve better pressure without having to increase the showerhead’s water output.

Low-flow fixtures can be expensive, but in the long run they will help you to avoid wasting water. Investing in a new toilet or shower can help you to save money on water bills every single day.

Why Should I Install Eco-Friendly Fixtures?

By using eco-friendly fixtures, you help to conserve the environment. Using less energy puts less demand on power plants, which means less overall pollution. You can feel good knowing that you are reducing your carbon footprint while saving on your utility bills. Green technology is beneficial to both our homes and the world that we live in.

With growing concern over the effects of greenhouse gases and global warming, more and more people are switching to alternative forms of energy. Homes and businesses alike are turning to solar power, biofuels and other eco-friendly technologies for a cleaner and cheaper source of energy. Green power will continue to be a fast growing market in the energy sector for the foreseeable future.

Solar

Solar power is one of the fastest growing green energy technologies available. Large solar panels made up of individual solar cells capture and concentrate light from the sun, and then turn that into energy that we can use.

Solar panels can be found out in the desert on large commercial solar farms, or attached to your neighbor’s roof. Solar power is a cheap, versatile and essentially endless form of energy that can be used on different scales. In 2014 it accounted for over 36 percent of all new electric capacity in the United States.

Private corporations have been investing in solar energy as it has grown over the years. Companies like Google and Apple are heavily involved in solar projects, and many businesses power their offices with solar energy to reduce operational costs.

The energy sector has also seen a dramatic growth in job production thanks to solar power. The solar industry has seen around a 20 percent annual increase in job growth, providing millions with not only electricity, but also work.

Thanks to its increasing popularity and decreasing costs, solar power will continue to provide an eco-friendly energy alternative to homes and businesses alike. The constantly growing demand for solar power will ensure that the industry continues to expand and thrive, making solar projects a low risk, high yield investment.

Wind

Wind power uses large structures called turbines to convert wind energy into electrical power. Each turbine has two or three blades places around a central rotor.

As the wind turns the blades the rotor spins, providing the energy a generator will use to produce electricity.

Like solar power, wind power is clean and cost effective. After the initial installation of a turbine, the maintenance costs are minimal. Unlike solar panels though, turbines tend to be large and unsightly. Most people don’t want to place a windmill in their back yard. The majority of turbines can be found on large wind farms that supply power to nearby towns and cities. As more of these wind farms are built, more citizens and businesses will have access to wind power.

There are thousands of wind farms scattered across the globe, and the number is growing. Currently over 46,000 wind turbines are operating in the U.S. alone, which is enough to power 15.5 million homes. As more people switch over to renewable and eco-friendly forms of energy production, the electric capacity of wind power is predicted to nearly double in five years, making it a good time to invest in wind projects.

Five Green Energy Sectors You Should Invest In

Biofuels

Biofuels are made, as the name suggests, from living organisms or their byproducts. Many commonly found biofuels such as corn-based ethanol are produced from materials that we already grow for food. Almost all gasoline sold in the U.S. contains about 10% corn ethanol to reduce emissions.

Five Green Energy Sectors You Should Invest In

The fact that biofuels are made from common foods such as corn, grain and soy is convenient, but can also limit production. We cannot use all of the corn we grow to make biofuels, since some needs to be kept for our own consumption.

Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel that is produced from inedible plants. Woods and grasses are good candidates for cellulosic ethanol production. The plants used to make this type of biofuel are readily available and require less water and fertilizer than edible crops.

Commercial scale production of cellulosic ethanol is still in its beginning stages, with just three facilities under development in the U.S., but the industry is growing fast. According to a study by Sandia National Laboratories, cellulosic biofuel could replace almost a third of gasoline usage by 2030. As more research goes into biofuels, the industry will continue to grow rapidly and offer ample investment opportunities.

Hydroelectric

Hydroelectric power is energy created by the movement of running water. Similar to wind power, the water spins turbines that connect to a rotor to produce energy. Dams are a very simple and ancient technology that provides a cheap and reliable source of power.

Hydroelectricity is one of the most widely used sources of renewable energy in the world, and provides electricity to all fifty states. There are still plenty of untapped sources of hydroelectricity throughout the U.S., as well as in other nations such as the Balkans and Turkey. The energy capacity of hydropower has been predicted to grow by two thirds from 2010 to 2035, making hydroelectric projects a low risk and eco-friendly investment to consider.

Geothermal

Geothermal power is an emerging green technology that shows a lot of promise. It takes advantage of the Earth’s natural heat, which is a resource that we will never run out of. Steam captured either from deep underground or from geothermal water reservoirs turns a turbine that connects to a power generator.

Geothermal power is reliable and cheap, and has been growing at a steady rate of 4 to 5 percent annually. There are projects and initiatives across the globe to increase the use of geothermal power. The Philippines plans to expand its geothermal output by 75 percent in the next 15 years. In the U.S., over half of the geothermal resources in states like California and Nevada are untapped. This would allow for as much as a 50 percent increase in capacity over the next 20 years. Geothermal power production is still in its infancy and though it poses a slightly higher investment risk, it also promises higher yields.

Why Should I Invest in Green Energy?

As people become more aware of global warming and the effects of greenhouse gases, alternative forms of eco-friendly energy are becoming more popular. Businesses and civilians alike are looking towards green technology as the way of the future, and these technologies are becoming cheaper and more advanced every day.

Heating your home can get expensive, especially during those chilly winter months. Instead of using costly electricity to keep your family warm, there are efficient and eco-friendly alternatives that can save you money.

Investing in Eco-Friendly Heating for Your Home

Many houses have a hot water heater that is either wired to an electric circuit or runs on gas. While gas is cheaper than electricity, both can be expensive and will pollute the environment. A cheap and eco-friendly alternative is to install a solar water heater.

Investing in Eco-Friendly Heating for Your Home

Solar water heaters are able to efficiently heat up water for your home using solar panels and the sun’s energy. With no power source other than sunlight, a solar water heater can save you around 50 to 80 percent on your heating bills.

Investing in Eco-Friendly Heating for Your Home

Another eco-friendly way to keep your home warm is a geothermal heat pump. These are installed deep in the ground and use the earth’s constant temperature to heat and cool your house. This system is a much more efficient and cost-effective method than wasting electricity or gas to produce heat.

A geothermal heat pump is expensive to install, since the system has to be placed deep underground. If you want to invest in a geothermal pump, don’t let the price put you off. Over time you will save more than enough money on your heating bills to cover the installation costs.

Heating your home can take a toll on your wallet as well as the environment. Every time that you crank up the thermostat, you can save money and help the environment by using energy efficient heating systems in your home.