With energy prices going crazy, we are all looking to save. Here are some simple, environmentally-friendly ways:
Turn off the light every time you leave a room. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, which last 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs, but use 75 percent less energy.
Use appliances wisely.
Wait till you have a full load to run dishwashers, washers and dryers. Clean out the lint trap in the dryer before each use. Purchasing new appliances? Look for the “Energy Star” label. Turn off TVs, stereos and computers when not in use.
Adjust your thermostat.
Program your heating system to 68 degrees F when it’s cold out. Lower your thermostat even further at night and when no one is home. Keep your air conditioner at 78 degrees during hot seasons (higher in an empty house). You can save up to 20 percent in heating and cooling costs.
Clean the filters in your AC and heating systems monthly. Turn the water heater thermostat down to 120 degrees F. Reduce water flow from your shower by installing a shower head that is rated no higher than 2.5 gallons per minute.
Line your ceiling and attic with fire retardant insulation to cut heat loss. Seal up all areas of your home where air is escaping but shouldn’t be. Insulate water pipes and put weather strips around windows and door frames. Local utility companies often provide weatherization auditors at no charge.
Use the same thinking when you leave the house. Save on gas and ride your bike to work. Each four-mile commute by bike instead of car prevents pollution; the production of 15 pounds of toxic tailpipe emissions, to be exact.
Every little thing adds up to more green for your wallet—and for the planet. Feels good, doesn’t it?