The following is a guest post by Megan Mostyn-Brown, a writer for the home improvement helper, The site allows users to search for contractors, service providers and companies for your home improvement needs. They also happen to have a very informative blog that you can check out here.

Being environmentally conscious has become a daily part of modern life. From eating organic to recycling, there are myriad of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint — or the negative impact your daily activities have on the environment.  

One of the biggest ways to shrink your carbon shoe size — and save money — is to reduce the amount of energy you use at home. This doesn’t mean installing solar panels or opting for a wood-burning stove. Nobody expects you to live like a pioneer.

Instead, there are several easy, cost-effective adjustments that make a surprisingly big impact on the environment.

1. Switch Your Light Bulbs. Everyone knows that shutting off the lights is a big energy saver. But what’s a homeowner to do when the lights are on? Trading standard light bulbs for energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs or LED lights not only saves you money on your electricity bill, but helps reduce the amount of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere.

2. Insulate. Heat loss is a huge contributor to the size of your home’s carbon footprint. Do-it-yourself or contact a contractor to insulate the attic and basement to keep from heating the great outdoors. Seal up any holes or cracks in your walls and make sure your windows close tightly.

3. Unplug. Your home is filled with vampires. Not the sparkly, blood-sucking kind you see in movies, but the kind that secretly siphons energy. This includes appliances, laptops and phone and computer chargers. Even when not in use, these items draw out energy. Unplug them and the problem is solved.

4. Switch to Vacation Mode. If you’re heading out on vacation, give your home a break as well. Close all of the windows, unplug everything and switch big energy producing items like your water heater to “vacation” mode. This mode makes the water heater pump out warm water instead of the piping hot kind.

5. Change Filters. Old filters make items like air conditioners and furnaces work twice as hard. Switch the filters regularly and you’ll get better quality air at half the price.

6. Get an Energy Audit. After an energy audit, your home will receive an energy efficiency rating and areas of improvement will be identified. It’s a great way to pinpoint exactly how much energy your home consumes and you could get a financial leg up on making improvements (be sure to check with your Federal and Municipal governments for rebates).

Implementing these changes to your home routine may take a little getting used to. However, your lower energy bill and a healthier environment make it all worth it.

For more blogs and articles on home improvement, renovation and décor visit Image of Philips lightbulb courtesy of Home Depot.

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