There are two Calls-To-Action in that title, and I know which one you value more. We all want to help the planet but on a daily basis the health of our bank account trumps just about all else. Well I’m here to tell you how you can boost your bottom line to the tune of hundreds of dollars a year and earn the right to boast your “green” habits to all your Facebook friends at the same time. One simple application to your home can reduce your household carbon emissions by *5 tons per year AND save you up to 40% on your power bill each month. Let’s look at the fun part first. Go get your power bill. For round numbers sake, take 50% of your bill and mark that up to heating and cooling your house. Take that number and divide it by 2. If your power bill is $200 a month, you should come up with $50. That’s how much you could be saving each month. Now if your home is older and makes creaky noises when you move and you can feel the wind indoors, then forget dividing by 2 and just count on cutting your bill by a lot more. If you’ve read enough and want to know what the heck this miracle application is, skip the next paragraph, which is just about saving the world.
On saving the world, if everyone with a roof over their head reduced their carbon emissions by 5 tons per year, that comes out to about 660,000,000 tons of carbon emissions saved per year in the USA.** That equals roughly 1/8 or 12.5% of US carbon emissions related to energy consumption per year. You could join this incredible movement and do nothing else considered “green” or “tree huggy” or “environmentally helpful”. You could live quite comfortably in your cozy well sealed and well insulated home, saving your $50 a month, and never recycle, never install those energy efficient lightbulbs, leave all your electronics plugged in year round, never change your air filters, drive your gas guzzler, never purchase organic, eat nothing but meat, never compost, and still remain enviromentally guilt free at the next dinner party when you trump the latest Prius purchase with your story about your brand new shiny Spray Foam Insulation.
Spray Foam. Yep. That’s it. The same stuff that makes your beach cooler work. The same stuff that makes your office chair cushy. The same stuff in your fancy mattress that costs twice as much as this insulation that could pay you back and lower your carbon footprint. (By the way, using this stuff also helps with allergies, protection from damage caused by wind driven rain -aka hurricanes, soundproofing, bugs, critters, dust and mold… really, all that stuff). You could actually completely ignore changing your lifestyle and just pay directly to offset your carbon emissions. Many conservation websites have calculators for figuring your “un-green” level, to which they assign a donation amount so you can wipe away your environmental sins with a swipe of your credit card. Don’t get me wrong, donations are great, but why not do some real good, increase the value of your home, and get paid back every month?
*based on carbon emissions calculator found on The Nature Conservancy website
**based on 2011 US Census that there are 132 million occupied housing units in the US.