Global warming is a threat that everyone needs to
take action against. Although government policies and corporations can
make the biggest impact, you personally can also do your part. These 13
tips will help you save your hard earned money on utility bills, save
you time and energy, and most importantly, save the environment at the
1. Stop Annoying Junk Mail
Think about how much paper goes to waste just from the junk mail you receive. Recycling is just not enough. Stop the mailing all together. You will save trees from being cut down for paper use, as well as finally stop all that annoying mail. Smartmoney.com wrote a great article on how to stop junk mail.
2. Insulate and Seal Your Windows and Doors
Not only will sealing your windows save you energy and money, but it will also help reduce uncomfortable wind drafts and help reduce mold and mildew problems. Insulation will help keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Insulation and sealants are easy and cheap to install, and you can pick up the supplies you need at your local home improvement store.
3. Buy EnergyStar Appliances
Every electronic in your house that you can think of has energy star equivalents. Air conditioners, heaters, fans, lights, phones, refrigerators, washers, dryers, televisions, dvd players, and so on. Next time you purchase any electronic, make sure it is Energy Star Compliant to ensure that you are saving money when you power your electronics.
4. Inflate Your Car Tires
Driving on underinflated tires can reduce your gas mileage and tire life by more then 15%, and also increases your chances for your tire to explode while driving. Be safe and save the environment by keeping your tires inflated.
5. Use the Microwave Instead of the oven or Stovetop
Microwaves can use about 50% less energy then conventional ovens. Especially make sure you use the microwave in the summer because the conventional oven will heat up your kitchen, forcing your air conditioning to work harder.
6. Close Vents and Doors of Unused Rooms
Do you have a guest bedroom, a dining room, or a study that is rarely used? Close all the air vents in that room and keep the door closed. By doing this, your heating and cooling systems will not have to work harder to regulate extra space that just goes unused anyway.
7. Install CFL Lightbulbs
Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) use 75% less energy, last 10 times longer, and give off a lot less heat compared to the standard incandescent lightbulb. Considering the average household spends 11% of their energy consumption on lighting, CFLs could really help you save energy and money.
8. Take Shorter Hot Showers
Take short showers instead of baths. If you take hot showers, lower the temperature a little and take quicker showers. Don't forget - sometimes a cool or cold shower feels a lot better then a hot shower so don't get stuck in a routine and always take a hot shower.
9. Plant a Tree on the South Side of your Home
By planting deciduous shade trees such as Maple Trees or Oak Trees on the south and/or southwest side of your home, you will save cooling costs in the summer. These trees will shade your home from the sun as well as naturally cool the air. In the winter when the leaves fall off, the sun will then be able to shine on your house, giving you heat when you really need it.
10. Insulate Your Hot Water Heater and Pipes
Put the back of your hand against your hot water heater. If it is warm or hot, then you are wasting valuable money and resources every second. The heat that is supposed to be heating your water is leaking out of the appliance. Most insulation packages come in easy to install kits and are relitavely cheap.
11. Lower Your Hot Water Heater Thermostat
Many hot water heater manufacturers set their water heaters to 140ºF before shipping them out of the factory. This not only reduces the life of your hot water heater, it wastes energy. It could also be a health hazard by making you suseptible to burns and scalding from hot water. Having your hot water heater set to anything higher the 120ºF is a waste of energy and money. 115ºF - 120ºF will do just fine for most homes.
12. Get a Free Energy Audit
Almost all utility companies offer free energy audits to help your household reduce the energy bill. Give your electric company a call and schedule an appointment. It's free and you will end up saving money on your monthly payments. Why not take advantage of this free service?
13. Use the Stairs Instead of the Elevator
Save energy and stay fit! As long as your floor is less then 5 floors away, making the walk is not really asking that much. It takes a lot of energy for that elevator to operate.
This article was written by the author of Mission Environment and all right are reserved. This article may be posted or displayed elsewhere as long as a link back to MissionEnvironment.com is displayed.
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