24 Simple Things You Can Do To Conserve Energy AND Save Money...Starting TODAY
Here is a list of 14 things you can do TODAY to start saving and conserving!
- Use Power Strips - You'll be able to shut down several items with little effort!
- Lower The Water Heater - Make sure it's set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Manufacturers default setting is usually 140 degrees, which can cause sever burns and corrode pipes.
- Turn Off The Lights - We heard it a million times, but admit it, we get lazy. Shut off the lights when you leave a room.
- Adjust Your Thermostat - You can save 2-3% of the energy used by a furnace for every degree you lower the temperature. In the summer, you will save 3-5% in energy costs for every degree you raise the A/C temperature. One or two degrees will have very little impact on your comfort level.
- Maintain Your Air Conditioner - It's that time of year again, the hot weather is approaching. Have your A/C tuned up annually to ensure it runs efficiently and it will also save you money on future repairs.
- Unplug! - Leaving electrical items plugged in when not in use still uses energy, often referred to as 'phantom' energy. Unplugging items when not in use or items that you don't use often will save a significant amount of energy.
- Reduce Shower Time - Ugg, I hear ya. I like my showers and asking me to reduce my shower time is like asking me to drink only a 1/2 cup of coffee - no thanks! HOWEVER, If you linger in the shower for 20 minutes a day you are using an extra 10,000 gallons of water a year. Cutting down on shower time is an easy way to conserve water.
- Close The Fire Place Damper- A lot of heated and cooled air is lost this way. Go close it for heavens sakes!
- Wash Clothes In Cold - Most detergents work just as well in hot or cold. If you do 3-4 loads of wash per week in cold you will see the difference in your utility bill, and you'll be conserving energy. Win -win.
- Clean The Lint Filter - This seems so obvious, but apparently many of us are not cleaning the dryer lint filter after each use...so start...now! Not cleaning the filter forces your dryer to work harder, and come on, you don't like to work any harder than you have too, so don't make your dryer either!
- Run Full Loads - This goes for clothes washers and dish washers. Maximizing each load saves energy, water and money.
- Wash Clothes By Weight - Washing clothes by weight instead of by colors will save dry time. Lighter closes dry faster.
- Program The Thermostat - If you don't have a programmable thermostat go get one. Seriously. It's time to step into the new decade. Programmable thermostats save a lot of wasted energy and money by lowering or raising (depending on the season) the temperature while you are away during the day and while you sleep. As mentioned above, adjusting the temperature by as little as a couple degrees has a big impact with little impact to comfort levels.
- Turn Down The Computer - Many of use just walk away from our computers when we are done using them allowing our computers to go into sleep mode on their own. Guilty. If you are going to be away for more than 20 minutes, manually put your computer in sleep mode. If you are going to be away for more than 2 hours, turn if off.
10 Things You Need To Start Doing
- Change Your Lights - If every house hold in the US replace 1 regular light bulb with an LED, the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing 1 million cars from the road! Bonus: For every light bulb you switch to an LED you will save $10 per bulb per year on your utility bills. That can really add up.
- Recycle Glass - Reducing air pollution by 20% and related water pollution by 50% just by recycling glass. If glass isn't recycled it can take a million years to decompose!
- Hang Dry Your Clothes - Don't have space? Seem like more work? Then just do one load a week or even other week. Reducing dryer time can have a huge impact.
- Go Vegetarian Once A Week - It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef - ouch!
- Wash In Cold or Warm - If all households in the US switched from hot-hot cycle to just warm-cold, we could save the energy comparable to 100,000 barrels of oil a Day. Don't forget, only launder when you have a full load!
- Use 1 Less Paper Napkin - During an average year, an American uses approximately 2,200 napkins, about 6 a day. If everyone in the US used one less napkin a day more than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from the land fill each year.
- Recycle Newspapers - Just by recycling the Sunday paper we would save more than a half a million trees each year, but still many choose to just throw their papers away.
- Re-Think Bottled Water - Nearly 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled, taking thousands of years to decompose (not to mention ending up in our oceans). Buy a refillable water bottle. EPA's standards for tap water are more stringent than the FDA's for bottled water.
- Plastic Bags Are Suffocating - Each year the US uses 84 billion plastic bags a year. They are not biodegradable and most are not recycled. They are making their way into our oceans and subsequently into our food chain. Use re-usable totes.
- Skip The Coffee Stirrer - Each year Americans throw away 138 billion straws and stirrers. Wow! Add your sugar and cream first and as the coffee is poured in the cup, it will mix on its own. Still determined to stir? No problem, use a piece of uncooked spaghetti, then you can nibble on it. Yum. Even if you do throw it away, it's less guilt.