House and path covered in grass showing environmentally friendly living.As green living, environmental conservation, and global warming issues dominate the media, more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of conserving our natural resources. Suddenly, being green is in. This trend is not only becoming obvious in the major industries but in everyday living as well.

Implementing green practices at home does not only help the environment, it also helps the family save money.  It doesn’t have to be complicated like installing solar panels or other major energy-saving devices. Even small acts of energy conservation like turning off lights when nobody is using them can minimize energy consumption and earn you some green points .

So how do we go green? There are things you can do just once — one-time investments you can implement in the house, and there are several ways of being green that you can do every day. You don’t have to do everything, but being aware and doing what you can to cut down your energy use would mean a lot for the environment.

Here are 5 steps you can take to make your house more nature-friendly and energy-efficient:

1. Throw away old and outdated appliances. Modern appliances right now are designed to be energy-efficient. If you have the budget, buy newer models because it will save your energy consumption and money for the bills in the long run. Also, newer models are safer and easier to use. Older appliances are prone to damage and breaking down which makes them dangerous to use.

Also, learn how to use your appliances wisely and efficiently. Remove them from the socket when not being used. Do not use defective appliances. Read the manuals thoroughly. Needless to say, switch off the lights when nobody’s in the house, operate your washing machine and dishwasher with full loads of clothes and dishes, and make sure your refrigerator’s door is tightly shut.

2. Insulate your house and windows. Adding insulation to your doors,windows, attics and other parts of the house will make sure that the heat from the heater or cold from the air conditioner will stay inside the house, saving you money on your energy bills. Make sure that windows and doors are sealed shut so the heated or cooled air stays inside. Replace old, worn and aluminium frames and  tint your windows.

3. Use fluorescent lamps instead of incandescent because they last longer. And fluorescent bulbs are more energy efficient. If your family replaces your incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, you can save around $100 every year and help minimize greenhouse gas emissions  by one trillion pounds!

4.  Plant a tree. A tree in your yard will offer shade, so in times of hot weather (like during summer), you don’t have to turn your air conditioning unit on.  It is also good for the environment because of the carbon dioxide it absorbs and the oxygen that it gives off.

5. Open your windows and let the air in. Opening your windows will not only save energy from your air conditioner, but from your lights as well. Open windows will provide ventilation and will let the cool air and light from outside in.  This is a very small act, but you’ll learn that you can save a lot from doing this.

No matter what you do, always think of ways to make your home energy-efficient. It doesn’t have to be that big, even small and simple decisions can have a huge positive impact on the environment, and your wallet as well.