Saving Energy at Home

Using energy more efficiently can reduce your carbon footprint and save you money in the process. Here are some quick fixes that can cost you little to no money to implement:

  • Lower your water heater temperature to 120°F
  • Lower your thermostat in winter
  • Wash your clothes in cold water
  • Turn off unneeded lights and electronics
  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Seal large air leaks in your home
  • Insulate your water heater
  • Install efficient showerheads

You don’t have to drive a hybrid to go greener with your car.

Let’s face it. Not everyone can afford to go out and buy a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t still do your part for the environment where your car is concerned. Here are a few tips to help you out.

Have your car professionally washed - According to the International Carwash Association, commercial car washes use 20 litters of water per car on average vs. the 50 to 80 litters typically used by people washing their vehicles at home.

Don’t use the drive-thru - Instead of sitting in line burning fuel and pumping out CO2, park your car and order your food, prescription or whatever inside.

Avoid idling - When waiting for someone to come out to the car, run into a store or when chatting with someone in the next car, turn your engine off.

Keep up to date with regular maintenance - Getting your oil and filters changed regularly helps maintain better gas mileage – as does keeping your tires properly inflated.

Use sun shades or park in the shade - When you get into a hot car, the first thing you do is crank up the air-conditioning, which greatly reduces your fuel economy.

Don’t overload your car - Only drive with items in the car you actually need for each trip – the more your car weighs, the harder your engine works. Travelling lighter can help your fuel economy.

Springtime means time for yard work and a chance to make a difference for the planet and your budget.

As we all now know, carbon dioxide is a big problem. You do your part to help reduce this global warming gas by planting some trees in your yard. In addition to soaking up carbon and helping the environment, trees can be of big help to you.

  • Using trees as wind breaks can cut your heating bill by 10%-20%
  • Shade trees positioned east and west of your house can cut home cooling costs by 15%-35%
  • Plant fruit trees to save money on produce

And beyond trees, when working in your garden you should do everything you can to create ways in which plants use less water. All of these will conserve energy.

  • Choose hardier plants
  • Plant things that need more water in groups
  • Use mulch to help keep in moisture
  • Mow only when the grass really needs cutting
  • Make sure you water your lawn sparingly

Make your summer travel plans a little greener.

Summer is here and that means it’s time for vacations. Here are some helpful hints for making your plans more eco-friendly.

When arranging your own travel, work with organizations that can help you offset your eco-impact

Use mass transit for your travel
Instead of flying, take a bus or a train to reach your destination. Not only is it a great way to help the environment, it’s a great way to see more of it.

Rent an eco-friendly vehicle
Mainstream rental companies like Hertz continue to increase eco-friendly offerings. There are also a number of smaller rental companies that, while not nationwide, are really pushing green vehicle rentals. The easiest thing to do is ask for a vehicle that gets better mileage no matter which company you rent from.

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