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3 simple ways to save a little green

save a little green Programmable thermostats save a little green each time you use them. Image courtesy of Panpote /

Programmable thermostats save a little green each time you use them. Image courtesy of Panpote /

How can you save a little green, and be very green at the same time? With these 3 home green home improvements that actually pay off. They're cheap and easy, and worth doing now!

1. Get a programmable thermostat

This is probably one of the best things you can do to conserve energy. Programmable thermostats let you program a series of time when your heating/cooling systems kick in and kick off. For a low investment of about $60, you can save hundreds of dollars a year on heating and cooling your house. And they're pretty easy to install yourself, so it's one change you can make this weekend.

2. Get an ultra-low flush toilet

Here in Northern Virginia, our water bills can run pretty high. An ultra-low flush toilet will help you conserve precious water and keep your water bill down. How? Simple. These toilets use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush, as opposed to 3.5 gallons standard toilets use. It doesn't take too many trips to the bathroom to save a lot of water! You can find them for as low as $350, and if you know plumbing at all, you can install it yourself.

3. Upgrade your insulation

Upgrading insulation is right up there with getting a new roof in terms of fun home renovation projects. But it's one that will pay off in just a couple of years. New insulation not only helps lower your energy bills, it provides better sound control and better indoor air quality (as new insulations are mold resistant). It will run you about $1,500, but it will be worth it as you keep more cool air inside during the summer and outside during the winter!

What are some other things you've done to save a little green?

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Waterfront like along a lake