10 Tips to SAVE ENERGY (and Money) in Your Home.
A whopping 46 percent of home energy use is energy loss! In other words, no productive energy use at all! Here are simple ways of reversing this, mostly by changes of habit.
1. Each degree you turn down the heat saves 3 percent of heating costs, while each degree you raise the temperature of your air conditioner saves 3-4 percent of cooling costs. By changing the temperature by 2 degrees all year, you can save about 2,000 pounds of C02 a year.
2. Cook with a slow cooker or a toaster oven to reduce electrical use from kitchen appliances. For a meal that requires one hour to cook in an electric oven, and which uses 2.7 pounds of C02, a crockpot uses 0.9 pounds of C02 for seven hours, a toaster oven takes 1.3 pounds of C02 for 50 minutes, and a microwave only 0.5 pounds of C02 for 15 minutes of cooking.
3. Switch to a laptop instead of using a desktop computer and cut three-quarters off your electrical use. Turn off the laptop at the end of the day.
4. Switch to cold water washing and save 80 percent of energy used for laundry and save an estimated $60 a year. Hang dry your clothes instead of using the dryer and save 700 pounds of C02 a year.
5. Plug anything that can be powered by a remote control or that has a power cube transformer (little black box) into a power strip, and turn it off, and/or unplug, when not in use. (Power cubes are 60-80 percent inefficient.)
6. Turn off the lights when you aren't using them and reduce your direct lighting energy use by 45 percent. Stop using heat-producing halogen lamps (they can also be fire hazards). Install occupancy or motion sensors on outdoor lights.
7. Switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) from regular incandescent bulbs and use 60 percent less energy per bulb and save 300 pounds of C02 a year.
8. Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket and save 1,000 pounds of C02 a year. Insulate your hot water pipes too.
9. Use public transportation whenever possible, carpool, shop locally and ideally switch to a hybrid or energy-efficient car.
10. Keep your tires inflated to improve gas mileage by 3 percent. Every gallon you save also saves 20 pounds of C02 emissions.
Being green can be easy after all!
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Change A Light Bulb
By replacing a standard bulb with a compact fluorescent one you will get more light for less money and save a lot of energy.
Create A Compost Pile
It's easy to do. Find a corner of the yard that's out of the way. Carefully throw food wastes (leftovers, eggshells, coffee grounds, spoiled vegetables, etc.) into a pile and mix with dirt. Every week or so, turn the pile over with a shovel to give it more air. In a few weeks, it will turn into a rich, nutritious soil that will help plants grow. Just think: What used to be "garbage" is now a valuable substance!
Insulate Your Home
You may find a lot of energy being wasted right in your own home. After you've finished your energy audit, make a list of the things you believe should be done. Your local hardware store sales person can help you determine how much the improvements will cost, how much energy they will save, and how much money your family will save in reduced energy bills.
Observe The Three R's
Refuse, Reuse, and Recycle. Whatever you buy, wherever you live, the Three Rs are the most important rules to live by, at least as far as the environment is concerned. The next time you go shopping--whether by yourself or with your parents or friends--think about the Three Rs every time you pull a potential purchase off the shelf. Is it something that is overpackaged or wasteful? If so, Refuse it. Is it something that is made of or packaged in recycled material, or which you can reuse in some way? If so, Reuse it. Is it something that can be recycled easily? If so, Recycle it.
Well, not everything, but just about. As we described earlier, there is little you can't recycle one way or another. One exception is plastic, most of which is not easily recyclable. Set up recycling boxes in your home--one for collecting newspapers, another for collecting other types of paper, another for glass, and another for aluminum. Try composting, which is a way of recycling food and other organic matter. You can even try recycling plastic, if you can find a place that accepts plastic for recycling. If you can't recycle something, see if there is some way you can reuse it.
Turn Off The Lights
This is such a simple thing to do, but sometimes it's so hard to remember! Ask your parents if you can put little stickers near the light switches you leave on the most often, reminding everyone to turn them off when they leave the room. Consider starting a Lights-Off Fund, to which each person must donate a nickel or dime every time he or she forgets to turn off the lights. As those nickels or dimes add up, you might donate them to an environmental organization.
Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL)
CFLs are simply miniature versions of full-sized fluorescents. They screw into standard lamp sockets, and give off light that looks just like the common incandescent bulbs - not like the fluorescent lighting we associate with factories and schools.