Sustainable Ways to Save Energy and Water

By Jane Sandwood

Whether you have a cabin in the woods or simply want to reduce your utility bills, saving energy and water can be done relatively cheaply, it just takes some creative thinking and a little work. Many of us have the desire to live totally off grid, or are already living the life of being energy efficient and farming but either way here are some steps you can take to push your sustainability further, help the planet and save some money while you do it.

Solar and wind energy

Two of the most popular sustainable ways of saving energy include using solar and wind power equipment, both of which can be made from scratch, or, if you have the money, can install more high tech alternatives. Solar powered versions can charge anything from a laptop to a refrigerator. Generating your electricity through a wind turbine might not appeal to everyone due to the space that's needed, but if it's a possibility on your land the initial investment will save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Reducing our impact, suggests Eco Peanut, doesn't have to be drastic but rather small steps go a long way to living a more comfortable, guilt free life. 

Collect your rainwater

Collecting rainwater is the perfect way for irrigation for your garden or small farm, particularly if you're living in an area with a high rainfall. Depending on the size of your outdoor space, you can have anything from a single barrel to large tank which can be situated above or below the ground from a collection system from the roof gutters and, because the rain water won't have chlorine or minerals, it makes it ideal for watering your plants. You could even take it one step further and use the excess as gray water from storage in a cistern to be used for taking a shower, washing machines, flushing toilets and, if it's appropriately filtered, for drinking.

Composting toilets

Composting toilets are much easier than you might think. Whether you choose to make a simple one yourself with or buy a commercial toilet, just one person can save more than 6,600 gallons of water per year. If you make your own, ensure that you use carbon rich materials such as shredded leaves, wood ash or sawdust so that it decomposes naturally.

Whatever methods you use to conserve energy, the opportunities to live harmoniously with nature are in abundance - it just requires some resourcefulness and flexibility.