As the price of gas soars to $4.00 a gallon and beyond and the price of conventional energy to heat, cool, and light our homes continues to rise, let Climate Mama show you 10 easy ways to save some cash, energy and our environment at the same time!
1. Kill Vampires and stop the blood-letting: Notice those little red and green blinking lights around your house (and no… it’snot Christmas time). Many electronics stay “on” when plugged in, even when they are turned “off”. In fact, according to Repower at Home the typical household spends 10% of its electrical bill on things plugged in but not turned on. Kill the Vampires – UNPLUG and save.
2. STRIP in Every Room: Power strips, that is – use them and save. Put electronics like your computer, printer and fax machine all on the same power strip. Make it simple: one flip of the switch turns all the electronics off or on. Do the same with your entertainment unit and the TV, DVR, and X-box, turn the energy off and save BIG.
3. Program your Life: According to the US Department of Energy you can save 10% a year on heating and cooling just by setting your thermostat back 10-15 degrees for eight hours a day. Let a programmable thermostat do this for you when you are at work or out of the house, and have your “home warm up or cool off” to a comfortable temperature, before you return.
4. Buy Green & Save $$ Green: Check in with your power provider and see if they have a “green” power option. Many energy providers allow you to opt in to a “greener” renewable energy choice without sacrificing service or quality. Your decision helps the power company meet your State’s requirements for increasing renewable energy options in their power mix. You choose to support renewable energy like solar, wind or geothermal, as opposed to dirty polluting fuels like coal or oil; you win and so does the air we breath!
5. Put the Energy Detectives to Work: Empower the kids in your life and motivate them to help you reduce your energy bills at home by unplugging, turning off the lights, changing light bulbs etc. When you see a reduction on your energy bill pass some of the savings on to your kids. Your kids just might pay attention the next time you tell them to “turn out the lights!” For more ideas, check in with Green Allowance!
6. Change a light bulb, save the world (and up to $50!): Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs use 75% less energy than old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. For every bulb you swap, you will cut as much as 1,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year and save up to $50 on your energy bill over the lifetime of the bulb. To get your community involved, let Project Porchlight show you the way.
7. Earn a Star – When it comes time to replace appliances, choose Energy Star products, a designation of the Environmental Protection Agency that helps you choose more energy efficient products, save money and use less energy. Check with Energy Star as you may be eligible for state or federal rebates on certain Energy Star products like washers, dryers and refrigerators.
8. Be Informed, Make Your $’s Count: As an informed consumer, use your purchasing power to support companies and products that are trying to be more environmentally responsible. Don’t get “greenwashed” though, read the fine print! For help on this, check in with our friends at Climate Counts and find out which companies are trying harder.
9. Bulk Up and Loose: Buy food, cleaning supplies and other products you use regularly in bulk and save. Not only will you find that things are generally cheaper when bought in bulk, but by reducing packaging by buying in bulk, you are also helping to conserve resources and reduce landfill waste.
10. Play Games: Join DoSomething.org and the Environmental Protection Agency and play Emission, a Facebook game where players advance by taking action offline to save energy and help the environment. Challenge the kids in your life, your friends down the block, in the next town or across the country!