The consumer with a commitment to saving energy by going green has many options depending on his or her budget and the simplicity of the methods he or she wishes to follow.
Simple ways of saving energy and the environment also save money. These range from turning off lights when leaving a room to always making sure water is not running when it is not necessary. As light bulbs burn out, many people replace traditional incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs, which generally come with long-life ratings suggesting they last many hours or years longer than typical light bulbs, so although the price tag is higher in the store, these bulbs save the homeowner more money over the life of the bulb because the person does not need to buy as many of them. Also, make sure to use a light bulb rated no higher in energy consumption than what the lamp manufacturer recommends to keep both the lamp and bulb safe from burning out too quickly.
Another great way to save energy around the house is by installing Energy Star rated appliances as the old ones stop working. Anything from a computer to a hot water heater or dishwasher, stove, microwave, or washer and dryer can now be found with the ratings to make these choices easier. These ratings, awarded by the government to products meeting certain standards, let the consumer know how much energy the appliance or device will use, in the case of a computer, even when it is idle, so the buyer can look for the Energy Star rating to determine the product that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help save our planet.
People with bigger budgets add on other means of saving energy and the planet now with an eye toward saving money in the long run. Those who are not required to follow rules of home renovation or have obtained special permission from the local government sometimes opt to install solar or wind powered generators to make their own electricity. This saves the strain on the local power grid by relieving it of one patron who then uses renewable resources rather than the coal or natural gas generally used to power and heat the other nearby homes and businesses.
Many people also replace traditional batteries with rechargeable ones in their electronic devices. For a slightly higher initial cost than regular batteries, the rechargeable ones tend to have a longer life span and do not need to be thrown into a landfill, but instead into a special machine for charging, when the power drains from them. A similar idea is in use in some cars and lawn care equipment, where the vehicle is either often plugged in overnight and then the electric part of the engine creates a spark to create combustion in the gas chamber of hybrid cars, or in the case of smaller cars and the lawn tools, electricity runs the instrument so there is no pollution from a gasoline engine.