Wednesday, September 26, 2012
"Green" Ways to Save $ and Our Planet
The following lists are simple, straightforward, lower-cost "Green" ways to save you money and help save our planet from further deterioration. This is a no-brainer because you save money while saving the Earth. If everyone did these things, we would greatly reduce our demand for energy/water/gas, which would reduce costs, carbon footprints, drilling, need for Mid East oil, depletion of resources. Conservation is cheaper and faster than alternative energy, at least at this time. We will have cleaner air and more fresh water. There aren't many win-win scenarios in life, but this is one of them. Take advantage of the small bit of knowledge gained here.
- Low-flow faucet aerators (1.0 GPM - gallons per minute).
- Low-flow shower heads (1.5 GPM). They are better quality these days to get shampoo out!
- Lower the water pressure @ hot & cold valves underneath sinks.
- Slower, longer, soaking-type ground irrigation instead of old sprinklers where evaporation occurs.
- Water-saving appliances (refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, etc. - more available these days).
- Fill dishwasher/washing machine with full load for less use.
- Low-flow or dual-flush water saving commode.
- Rain water collection system w/ filter for grey water use (irrigation, flush commodes).
- Irrigate plants/lawn with condensate water from A/C unit.
- CFL (compact fluorescent) or LED (light emitting diode) light bulbs.
- Ceiling, desk or floor fans.
- Programmable thermostat - set to use more power at Off-Peak times. Turn up/down a few degrees according to season/comfort to save some $. Dress warmer inside in winter and cooler in summer.
- Reduce # of light bulbs in Bathroom/exterior light/ceiling fan fixtures.
- Portable heater units.
- Water heater timer or solar powered water heater.
- Solar panels.
- Good insulation in walls, roof, etc. Seal all openings/penetrations especially @ windows/doors.
- Turn off unused lights/devices and in unused rooms.
- Turn off power strip or unplug devices to reduce "phantom power" draw.
- Change HVAC filters regularly.
- Run engine for about 1 minute @ 1st use of day. It's less efficient when running "cold".
- Proper tire air pressure.
- Regular standard maintanence (oil change, filters changed, tire rotation, etc.).
- Cruise control if long distances on freeway.
- GPS and map out all routes for the day. Group your trips for efficiency.
- Carpool, bus, mass transit.
- Drive the speed limit - smoothly. No abrupt starts/stops.
- Fuel-efficient vehicle.
- Avoid rush-hour traffic if possible.
- Turn off engine when using phone if possible. Don't let it idle too long.
- Some gas additives may help improve mileage.
- Turn off engine immediately upon parking.