Friday, July 13, 2007

Top 10 things you can do TODAY to save the Environment and Electricity (Green).

You hear about it all the time: all these simple things that you can do to do your part in saving the environment. They are on the radio or TV and when you hear them they sound like a great idea. But then you continue about your life and forget that great idea. So the following is a list of 10 easy things that you can start doing today to do your part in saving the environment. And as always here at Saving Green you will save your own money in the process.

10. If your refrigerator is older then 10 years old consider purchasing a new one. The refrigerators of today are much more energy efficient then they were even just a decade ago. A new refrigerator could cost 50% less to run then one purchased just 10 year ago. The older your refrigerator the more the savings!

9. Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot. Approximately 90% of the energy required to run one load of wash is used to heat the water! Use cold water and save 90% of the cost every load!

8. Skip the clothes dryer and air dry your clothes. It is expensive to use electricity to create heat. Whether it's your oven, the heat in your house, or your dryer this is an expensive process. If you can skip it all together, do so. If you can hang your clothes outside that is the best. If not maybe you could run a rope in your basement and do it there. Even if you have to put them on hangers and hang them around the house. You'll be amazed at what this will save you!

7. Insulate your hot water tank. You have all ready paid to heat the water in your hot water tank. While you are not using it some of the heat is lost through the walls of your tank, which you then have to pay again to reheat! Help reduce the cost of this process by wrapping your hot water tank with insulation. Most home improvement stores sell kits of insulation for this exact purpose. Or to stay on the cheap you can literally take wall insulation and wrap it around the tank and tape it (just be careful not to cover any working parts of the tank, or fire hazard areas of the tank). If you are unsure how to do this call a local handyman who could perform this task for you.

6. Install programmable thermostats. Setting these thermostats to not cool or heat your house when you are not there can save you big GREEN. These also can be purchased at most home improvement stores for under $75 and are fairly easy to install. If you are unsure a local handyman can easily perform this task for you. Typical savings are approximately 1% per degree of setback per 8 hour period. So for every degree you turn down the temp (during heating season) for an 8 hour period you will save approximately 1% of the cost to heat your home. So turn down the temp 10 degrees while you are at work and save 10%!

5. Insulate your home! Most homes built more then 20 years ago are under insulated. Adding insulation will keep in the heat or cool that you are paying to produce. Additionally, another benefit of adding insulation is it will reduce the amount of noise that comes into your house. With heating costs again on the rise for this up coming winter now is the time to SAVE! Also don't forget heat rises. Check you attic and ceiling first as the most savings can be found when insulating them.

4. In the summer become your own biggest fan! Fans are much cheaper to run then air conditioners and can make a room feel 5-10 degrees cooler. Install ceiling fans where you can. Otherwise use pedestal or box fans which are cheap to buy and cheap to run. If you have a basement set up the fan so it will blow the cooler air up into the living space.

3. Don't let the water run when you are shaving or brushing your teeth. Especially if you are using hot water. If you only need a short burst of water make sure you keep the faucet at the cold setting. Even if the water never gets up to temp at the faucet you are pulling hot water through the pipes and using the amount of hot water that you ran at the tap.

2. Plant trees 15 to 20 feet from the house which lose their leaves in the fall if you live in an appropriate climate. In the summer the leaves will shade your house and reduce your need for air conditioning. In the winter the leaves will have fallen off and let light through the branches to warm your house and reduce the need for heating.

1. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs use approximately 25% of the electricity that traditional incandescent bulbs use. They cost a bit more but last much longer than traditional bulbs as well. The energy savings will far outweigh the additional purchase price over the life of the bulb and you'll find that you are changing bulbs much less frequently. Every little bit helps but changing most if not all of the bulbs in your house will really be noticed on your bill I promise you. Most home improvement stores now sell most any variety of CFL's that you would need. They have regular, 3-way, decorative, ceiling fan bulbs, etc.

Saving Green is a blog that I host to hopefully help you save money and save the environment at the same time. I believe that even if you want to save the environment people won't really do much to change until they find that they can also save money in the process.

I would like to hear you feed back as it will help me to get the message out. If you agree or disagree with anything that you read here please let me know. My goal is to get the best info possible on Saving Green, so please help.

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