Staying green at home doesn't need to be limited to turning the lights out or recycling. While these practices do save resources and can even save money, there are a number of things you can do in your home ranging from the long-term to the everyday. Some of these tips require a bit of investment, but each one is worth the savings overall.

Solar Panels

Unless you live somewhere that's always raining, solar panels can easily pay for themselves in a relatively short period of time. Those living in the south can even run the ins and outs of a home using solar energy. With the tax incentives currently offered by the government, you could receive up to 50% off of the total installation cost. If you live somewhere sunny like California, you might spend $20,000 initially and have the system paid for within five years. During that time, you could be saving 80% on your energy bills each month, easily recouping start-up costs.


Using only a fraction of the energy to give off the same amount of visible light, compact fluorescent lighting is an excellent way to save money over time. While these bulbs are more expensive than traditional incandescent lighting, they last considerably longer, saving in upwards of five times the energy costs alone over the course of a lamp's lifetime. If you can't afford to replace all of your lighting, just replace a few bulbs in places you need them most.

Home Repair

That leaky faucet isn't just annoying; a single dripping faucet can waste three gallons of water a day. Given the relative ease of replacing a faucet these days, pouring money down the drain doesn't make a drop of sense. Leaky fixtures can also accumulate mold, which is dangerous to the health of you and your loved ones not to mention the integrity of your home.

Stay Cool

Place tower fans in rooms with heavy traffic, and install ceiling fans in your living room and bedroom to help keep A/C costs down over the summer. Most homes are pre-wired, and installation won't run as high as the temperatures. Fans will help circulate cool air in your home to reduce your reliance on the air conditioning unit. In the winter, you can reverse the air flow to help circulate warm air, reducing the need for the heater or the fireplace.

Pull the Plug

Even leaving an appliance plugged in can draw a small amount of energy through the evening. Unplug appliances when not in use, and use batteries when possible. Many batteries produced these days last a year or more even while under heavy use, and for those really striving to stay green at home, there are rechargeable batteries. With rechargeable batteries, you can also purchase one or two different types for your charger and use the same batteries for appliances you use less often around the home.

Regardless of how you choose to go green at home, every decision you make has an impact. Reduce your carbon footprint; look for ways you can save energy in your home, and you'll reap the rewards in your cash flow as well.