There are many ways to make an effort toward saving the environment
– buy and drive a hybrid vehicle, set up a solar power system
in your home, etc. Of course, for many people, these examples are not
reasonable. For many people buying a new car and solar panels costs
too much money up front, even if it can save money in the long run.
However, you can save energy without spending a lot of money. In fact,
by saving energy, you can save money in the long run.
Here are just a few low-cost examples of what
you can do to start saving energy today:
• Driving– do not drive
aggressively (rapid acceleration, braking, and speeding waste gasoline).
Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned. Roof racks create drag
and thereby lessen gas mileage – when you don’t need them,
take tem off. Carpool. Complete regular maintenance checks. Combine
errands into single trips. Don’t speed. Use the air conditioning
• Washing – wait until
you have a full load of laundry and a full load of dishes before you
run your appliances. When it is warm out, hang your clothes out to
dry. Air dry your dishes. Take short showers (and don’t take
baths). Turn off the water while you are soaping up. Use a sponge
and bucket to wash your car, using the hose only for the last rinse-off.
• Thermostats – lower
your hot water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In the
winter, set your heat thermostat to one degree lower (or as low as
comfortably possible). Raise it in the summer. Even just a few degrees
can make a big difference.
• Plugging in – either
unplug your home electronics when not in use, or plug them into a
power strip which you can simply turn off when the electronics are
not being used. Even in standby mode, your equipment can use several
watts of power. Use rechargeable batteries.
• Light Bulbs – here’s
a bright idea: change your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs.
Even changing one much-used light can make a difference. And guess
what? Once changed, it will be a very long time before you have to
change it again.
• Windows – protect your
house from heat by using window coverings. Keep curtains closed on
south facing windows during the day during the summer. In the winter,
keep said curtains closed at night and open during the day. Use storm
windows during the winter. Check for drafts and fix them (using weather-stripping,
• Furnace – gas or oil
furnaces must be cleaned and serviced at least once a year. Change
the oil furnace filter.
Efficient Appliances– buy home appliances and
electronics with the Energy Star label (which means they have met
strict efficiency guidelines).
Know that there are many things that you can do besides the abovementioned
tips. Also, know that by saving energy in your home and on the road,
you will also end up saving money. You do not have to spend money to