Get More Shift Your Habit

Small easy shifts in your home habits can add up to big savings for you. These five simple changes will leave you more than $450 richer, with a healthier home, family and planet.

Throw in the towel: Save $150
Buy a reusable cleaning cloth instead of using rolls (and rolls) of paper towels. You could save up to $150 per year, based on a household that uses two rolls per week, and conserve up to 30 pounds or more of tissue-grade paper, which is made from trees, manufactured using hundreds of gallons of water, and treated with harsh chemicals and bleach. You'll also keep this paper waste from entering the landfill.

Here's the dish
Buy dishwashing liquid with plant-based cleansers instead of standard dish soap made with petroleum-based surfactants. Plant-based solvents break down naturally in the environment and don't harm wildlife or disrupt ecosystems. They're also gentler on your skin. If you switch, you'll also save about three cups of petroleum per year — that's how much is in your dish soap!


Full load: Save $20
Run full loads in your dryer. If you have a small washer, dry two loads at once. You'll save up to $20 in energy costs per year by eliminating just one dryer load per week, and conserve about 165 kilowatt-hours of energy per year — enough to cold-water wash and dry about 45 loads of laundry per year.

Go fluorescent: Save $100
Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) will save you an average of $100 per year in energy costs for every 10 bulbs you change. Because CFLs last 10 times longer than incandescents, you’ll also save about 10 minutes per year of time you would have otherwise spent buying and replacing burned-out bulbs.

If we all made this shift, the energy we’d save would reduce global CO2 emissions by 30 million tons per year — equal to taking 5.2 million cars off the road.

Low with the flow: Save $180
Install a low-flow showerhead. Today’s models use aeration to increase water pressure so that you have an equally satisfying shower while using less water.

Replacing an old 5-gallon-per-minute showerhead with an ultra low-flower (which uses only 1.6 gallons per minute) can save the average household of four close to 44,000 gallons of water per year and an estimated $180 per year in water and water-heating costs.

This article comes courtesy of and is reprinted here with permission.

MNN homepage photo: Gerenme/iStockphoto

5 ways to save more than $450 around the house
Green guru Elizabeth Rogers offers five easy tips for saving money by changing simple habits.