Preserving energy is one way to go green. It can also save you money on your utility bills. Keeping a home the right temperature makes up approximately 44 percent of a typical household’s utility bill, according to the Department of Energy. In addition to heating and cooling, some energy also gets used without notice, including phantom energy. Phantom energy consumed by electronic devices on standby cost U.S. consumers $5.8 billion per year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCSUSA). Take control of your utility bills and energy consumption today.
Walk or carpool when you can to reduce the amount of fossil fuels you consume. This will also cut down on carbon emissions. Encourage the local government to invest in sidewalks and on-road bike lanes.
Unplug when you exercise. Run, walk or or bike outside instead of using motorized gym equipment. Typical treadmills consume 1,500 watts in half an hour, according to Tree Hugger. Preserve energy while enjoying nature and exercise outdoors.
Upgrade at least one appliance per year, to an Energy Star-rated appliance. Start with oldest appliance, and include items found in the basement including the hot water heater and heating system. Replace refrigerators, stoves, washers, dishwashers and air conditioners.
Make it a family rule to turn off all TVs, gaming systems and lights when they are not in use. Even when off, some electronics use power to remain on standby, according to the UCSUSA. Use power strips which can detect when appliances are not in use, to eliminate phantom energy loss.
Weatherize your home with new windows, basement and attic insulation, and by fixing or replacing drafty doors, to decrease energy consumption. The Department of Energy has a calculator to help you figure out the R-value or thermal resistance of your homed based on its age and location (see Resources section below).
Green your laundry by washing all clothes in cold water. Line dry laundry on an outdoor clothesline or an indoor drying rack, rather than using the electric clothes dryer.
Invest in energy-producing systems including solar-power for the home or for an outdoor swimming pool. Small wind electric systems can lower your electric bill by 50 to 90 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Do not try to do everything green all at once, proceed in stages to make it easier.