The U.S. accounts for 5% of the world’s population, but uses 25% of world energy resources. Your energy choices affect the environment both locally and globally.
Most of these energy conservation actions don’t cost much time, money, or effort, but they can help reduce your energy bills if you do them consistently over time.
When Buying a Home:
Look for energy efficient features. They may cost more up front, but energy efficient homes cost less to own. Look for passive solar, energy efficient heating and cooling, tightly sealed ducts, and energy saving windows.
When Buying Appliances:
Newer is better. A new refrigerator uses just half the energy of a 10-year-old unit. And a new washing machine can cut energy use up to 70%. Replace older appliances with newer models for super energy savings.
If you won’t be around, turn it down. Going away for 24+ hours? Turn off heaters and air conditioners, pool and waterbed heaters, fans, light, and small appliances. Going for 48+ hours? Do all of the above, plus turn water heater off or down according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Plant a tree for cooling shade. Plant a deciduous tree on the south or west side of your home. It will provide cool shade in summer and allow warming sun to reach the house in fall and winter. Hand mow small lawns. Don’t over-idle gas mower.
When Using Office Equipment:
Turn off computer equipment that won’t be in use for 1+ hours. Enable “sleep” function to power down for shorter periods. Use e-mail instead of paper memos and faxes.
When Speaking With Children:
Help them become energy-wise. Teach children to turn off lights, TVs, VCRs, and computer equipment when they finish using them. Keep a list of available snacks on the fridge to limit door opening.