Living green does not involve spending plenty of money to transform your home into a more eco-friendly abode. In fact, it takes little time, effort and money to improve energy efficiency that, in turn, will lessen both your energy expenditures and carbon footprints. These 10 do-it-yourself budget-conscious projects should start you on the right path towards an environmentally-conscious home. Don’t forget the secret tips about vinegar!

1. Reduce Water Waste – There are many ways to lessen water consumption in the home without sacrificing material comforts. First, take more showers instead of tub baths, which will also save on heating costs. Second, add a 2-liter water-filled bottle into an old toilet’s water tank to lessen quantity of water used with every flush. Third, use a glass for brushing your teeth. Every little drops of water helps!

2. Replace Incandescent Bulbs – Fluorescent bulbs do the job of lighting up your home just as well as incandescent bulbs, so replace the latter today. Plus, you will enjoy the benefits of 75 percent less energy consumption with 10 times longer life with fluorescent bulbs.

3. Install Programmable Thermostat - You will be able to save on energy costs simply because you can program said thermostat to reflect your immediate needs for heating and cooling energy. Plus, its energy-saving feature adds up in the long run.

4. Install Eco-Friendly Faucets and Showerheads – Low-flow faucets and showerheads will save on water and, hence, your utility bill. Showerheads are easier to install but replacing your old faucets for a cost will pay for itself.

5. Become a Gardener – Not only will you be able to grow your own organic food but you will also be able to lessen your carbon footprints. Plus, it does look nice having a small garden to look forward to at the end of the day for exercise and stress relief.

6. Look Into Eco-Friendly Insulation – You can either apply organic insulation such as recycled denim, recycled cellulose fiber and even soy materials or revamp windows using double panes or embrace weather stripping. All of these options will lessen energy costs while ensuring that you are comfortable in your home.

7. Opt for Low-VOC Products – When undertaking a DIY project involving paint, stains and other chemical substances, opt for the low-VOC products. Ask the salesperson for assistance, do your research and just take the time to read labels.

8. Make Your Own Organic Home Products – In the same vein as growing your own food to some extent, you can also lessen your consumption of the Earth’s resources and lessen your grocery bill by making your own products for the home. For example, look into homemade oral hygiene and home cleaning products using common ingredients like baking soda and vinegar.

9. Composting - You will only need a vacant portion of the backyard to make your own compost. It will definitely do wonders for your garden, not to mention lessen our dependence on synthetic fertilizers.

10. Solar Power – You can always build solar panels for use in water and house heating. Don’t worry about costs as you can always avail of tax rebates and financial assistance. Or you can follow the example of Ma Yanjun, a Chinese farmer, who used interconnected beer bottles to harness solar power.

With a little ingenuity and plenty of concern for the environment, not to mention an eye on your energy expenditure, you can live as green as possible.