It’s Time to Jump on the Green Bandwagon

April 19, 2010

Thursday is the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Are you doing your part to protect the planet?

Americans make up less than 5 percent of the world’s population but consume 25 percent of Earth’s natural resources.

Here are some green tips for your home. These ideas are win-win because they will save you money while you do your part to save energy.

*Light Bulbs: If each home in America replaced one incandescent bulb with an energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), it would save enough energy to light more than three million homes for a year, which equates to about $700 million in annual energy costs, and it would prevent nine billion pounds of greenhouse gases, which is equal to the emissions from about 800,000 cars. The CFL bulb, which lasts 10 times longer than those old bulbs, uses 75 percent less energy, will save you at least $30 in energy over its lifetime and basically pays for itself in about six months.

*Turn It Off: Remember your parents yelling at you to “Turn off the lights!” while growing up? Well, they were right. Save energy by turning off lights when you aren’t using them. In addition, many appliances and electronics that use electricity, such as TVs, computers and kitchen appliances like toasters, continue to draw a small amount of power even when they are off. Unplug them when you aren’t using them or add a smart power strip to fully cut electricity and save wasted energy.

*Cool It Down: Lowering the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120°F will save your three to five percent in energy costs, which is great, but did you know it will also help your water heater last longer and work better by slowing mineral buildup and corrosion in your pipes? Well, it’s true. In addition, it’s more eco-friendly to take short showers instead of baths.

*Full Wash, Air Dry: When running your dishwasher or washing machine, make sure it’s for a full load. Then, air dry your dishes instead of using the dishwasher’s drying cycle and hang your clothes to dry instead of using your clothes dryer. Not only will the latter save energy, but your clothes will last longer!

*Audit It: There is something called a home energy audit, which is a process that assesses how much energy a home uses, where a home is losing energy and how to make a home more energy efficient. You can hire a professional to do a home energy audit, or you can do it yourself. Either way, it can save you a ton of dough in the long run.

These are just a few, simple ideas for lowering your bills as well as your carbon footprint on this Earth. Now, go be green!

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