They’re many simple ways to go green without spending a lot of money in the slow economy. You can lower the impact of consumption with a few helpful tips that will help save the environment and also save money on your energy bill.
• Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs Compact ﬂuorescent light bulbs can be a huge energy saver by replacing all of your incandes- cent bulbs with ﬂuorescents and save on reductions in heat production, energy use and your electric bills.
• Program your thermostat When you are at home, keep the thermostat at 78˚F or higher in the summer and 62˚F or lower in the winter. Programmable thermostats allow you to program the systems to reduce output when they are not needed.
• Plug air leaks This simple step can go a long way toward keep- ing your home at the temperature you desire, saving money on heating and air conditioning bills.
• Tune up your heating and cooling system Have a checkup for your HVAC system every 2 years to make sure it is running efﬁciently. Be sure to clean the ﬁlter monthly during times of peak usage; a dirty ﬁlter can signiﬁcantly reduce the efficiency of your system.
• Switch to green power Green Power is an optional utility service for custom- ers who want to help expand the production and distribution of renewable energy technologies. With green power, you do not have to change your elec- tricity provider. Instead, customers choose to pay a premium on their electricity bill to cover the extra cost of purchasing clean, sustainable energy. More info on green power can be found at: http://www.eere.energy.\gov/greenpower/markets/index.shtml.com
• Choose ENERGY STAR appliances Energy Star products meet a high level of energy efficiency, which can translate into savings on electric bills. When considering the price of a new appliance, take into account not only the purchase price, but also the long-term savings associated with an energy-efﬁcient appliance.
• Reduce water use
• Indoor: Use less water by adding aerators to your sink faucets and changing to low- ﬂow showerheads • Check leaky faucets •Limit showers and take less baths •Using dishwasher over hand wash
The dishwasher uses only half the energy, one-sixth of the water, and less soap. But there is a lot more to it than just faucet and sink and the appliance under your counter. Be aware of what hand washing habits you are using. How do you heat the water in your home? And how often do you do the dishes? How much water do you need to use doing the dishes? Do you fill the dishwater full and use only when needed?
• Outdoor: Incorporate native plants in your land- scape plan and minimize high-maintenance landscaping such as rock, cement or turf grass to conserve water. • Sprinkler system/ check for time controlled system
• Plant trees to provide shade and wind protection for your house
This simple step can help you save money on heat- ing and air conditioning bills while providing beautiful views around your home.
• Use native plantings
Native plants have been growing and evolving in your area for thousands of years and, as a result, have adapted to the local soils and climate. As a result they are more likely to thrive with minimal care, unlike exotic plants. That can mean less need for water, fertilizer and pesticides. Additional info on green landscaping techniques can be found at http://www.epa.gov/re-g3esd1/garden/.com
• Use nontoxic gardening techniques Many gardeners over-apply or improperly apply pesticides, putting themselves, their families, and pets at increased health risk. Nearly half of all households have pesticides stored within reach of children.
• Carpool, use public transportation, walk or bike when possible Green transportation means can greatly reduce your energy expenditures and carbon emissions from your daily routine
• Buy a high-efﬁciency car
The U.S. Department of Energy’s list offers the most fuel efﬁcient cars at http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/best- worst.shtml • Use reusable trash bags • Reusable and recyclable shopping bags for grocery shopping • Rethink your refrigriater
Buy an Energy Star fridge and you're likely to be dealing with numbers that are roughly half the energy used in older versions depending on size desired. Old fridges are really inefficient compared to their new contemporaries and you don't have to work that hard to cut back the amount a new fridge uses.
• Unplug appliances when not in use • Line dry laundry
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