Somewhere along the way I missed the memo about Earth Day, which was yesterday. I thought I would share 12 ways I conserve energy and resources on a daily basis. Not only are these actions good for our environment, they are good for the pocketbook as well.
12 energy and money saving tips
1. Drive a fuel efficient car. My car gets close to 30 mpg, which is well above average. Less gas, less money, fewer emissions. Win, win, win. If buying a new car doesn’t make sense, then consider these tips for saving money on gas.
2. Drive efficiently. Your car’s engine is an important factor in how much fuel you use, but so is the way you drive. You don’t need to be a hypermiler to save money on gas. Accelerate and brake smoothly. Use cruise control. Combine your trips. These small actions will decrease the amount of gas you use as well as your carbon footprint.
3. Use CFL’s. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use 25% of the energy of standard incandescent bulbs and they last much longer.
4. Take showers instead of baths. The average 5 minute shower uses 20 gallons of water. The average bath uses 37 gallons. If you want to conserve even more water, turn off the faucet while lathering.
5. Recycle. My wife and I recycle just about everything we can. Every week we fill our recycle bin (sometimes overflowing), and we usually only have one bag of trash. We also recycle all those coupon flyers we receive in the mail…
6. Stop receiving junk mail. You can choose to opt out of credit card offers, and you can also have your name and address removed from advertisers’ mailing lists (junk mail). You save time and clutter on your end, and fewer resources are used.
7. Turn things off. Don’t leave your TV or radio on when you sleep or when you leave the house. If you want to take it a step further, use a power strip for all appliances or electronics other than your clocks.
8. Use a programmable thermostat. My wife and I set our thermostat to function only when we are home so we don’t needlessly heat or cool an empty house.
9. Open windows. When the weather is nice (I love the spring and fall!) my wife and I leave the windows open as long as possible. This not only airs out the house and leaves a clean scent all day, but a nice breeze reduces our need to run the air conditioner – saving us money.
10. Dress appropriately for the season when indoors. If you need to wear long pants and a sweatshirt in the summertime while you are indoors, you are wasting energy. And if you can wear a short sleeve shirt and shorts indoors in the winter time, you are spending too much money on heat.
11. Run your dishwasher on energy saving mode. We run our dishwasher on the “glasses” cycle, which is the shortest cycle. This uses less water and energy. There is also an option to let the dishes dry without heat. It takes energy to create that heat – which uses more resources and money than letting your dishes air dry. I’ll deal with a few spots if I know that I am saving money and helping our earth.
12. Use cold water to wash clothes. Your clothes come out just as clean and you won’t use energy heating water for your water heater.
It all boils down to the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The more we conserve now, the less we spend in terms of dollars, and the more resources we leave for our children. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
photo credit: barunpatro.