50 Ways to Green the Planet
If you can't afford a new home or a large remodeling
project, there are still plenty of things you can do to be
environmentally friendly and save money.
1. Update your lighting
Make it a policy to buy energy efficient compact
fluorescent light bulbs. You can now get a variety of
shapes and perfectly match the color hue and lighting for
each room. They look good and use at least two-thirds
less power than regular lighting.
2. Buy Energy Star
When you are ready to buy new home appliances, buy
smart. Check for the Energy Star rating. These more
efficient machines can reduce your utility bill as much as
30-percent. Deb Snoonian, Managing Editor of Plenty
Magazine said, "Energy Start is a program sponsored by
the EPA and the Department of Energy. Essentially, it's a
way for them to recognize the companies and the products
that are most energy-efficient. On average, an Energy
Start appliance -- whether it's a computer monitor, a
refrigerator, a washer or dryer -- is going to be about
30-percent more energy efficient."
3. Wall Warts
Those clunky power adaptors draw energy from the wall all
the time. Unplug them individually or attach them to a
power strip and turn off the whole switch when not in use.
Around 75-percent of all electricity in a home comes from
appliances that are turned off, but are still plugged in.
Make sure that you only have those appliances plugged in
where you're actually using the electricity. You will save on
bills and we as a society will save on energy.
4. Dormant Appliances
Practically every appliance uses electricity even when it's
switched off. Unless it needs power to retain programming
memory, hit the switch. Better yet, make it a family practice.
Amy Schachter, an Upper East Side resident, said, "My
family reminds each other constantly. That's partly money,
partly the fact that we know now that we're creating energy
usage that is totally unnecessary."
5. Energy Audit
You can find out how much energy your home uses each
year with an energy audit. Many utility providers and state
energy departments will audit your home free or at low cost
to help you find ways to be more energy efficient.
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