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Minor changes will help save money, environment



It is now more important than ever to think about sustainable living. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that sustainability is expensive or time consuming. You can make many small lifestyle changes to help both the environment and your pocketbook.

One of the easiest ways is to adjust your home thermostat temperature settings. In the fall, turn off the air, open the windows and enjoy the cool autumn breezes. Studies show that you can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs by simply setting your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees F lower for eight hours a day. Come wintertime, you can easily save energy by adjusting the thermostat to 68 degrees F while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or gone from home.

Lighting accounts for approximately 15 percent of an average home’s electricity bill. By using LED lighting, the average household can save about $225 a year. Look for the ENERGY STAR bulbs to maximize your savings on lighting.

Try reusing products such as appliances, clothes and home furnishings in lieu of new ones. Before buying new, consider repurposing products you already own or buy secondhand. Purchasing furniture and clothes from thrift stores, for example, is both budget — and environment — friendly.

From meal planning to reusable packaging, think about ways to reduce household waste. Choose reusable containers. straws and silverware over disposable ones. Make your own coffee at home or refill a reusable water bottle to cut costs and reduce trash. Plan your meals around items already in your pantry, fridge and freezer. This will reduce both food and money waste.

For more ways to save money and support the environment, contact Letcher County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

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