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green living tips

Small changes in day to day habits and choices can save energy, water and other natural resources. Here are some tips that are simple, and can make a difference.

Energy Saving Tips (sources: US Department of Energy, EPA, EnergyStar.gov)

  • Use the Energy Star program to find energy efficient products for your home. (www.energystar.gov)
  • The right (appliance) choices can save families about 30% ($400 a year) while reducing our emissions (www.epa.gov)
  • Turn off appliances and lights when you leave the room. (www.epa.gov)
  • Use the microwave to cook small meals. It uses less power than an oven. (www.epa.gov)
  • Purchase "Green Power" for your home's electricity. Contact your power supplier to see if it is available. (www.epa.gov)
  • Have leaky air conditioning and refrigeration systems repaired. (www.epa.gov)
  • Cut back on air conditioning and heating use if you can. (www.epa.gov)
  • Insulate your home, water heater and pipes. (www.epa.gov)
  • Keep in mind that every (road) trip adds to air pollution. (www.italladdsup.gov)
  • Seal home air leaks that cause uncomfortable drafts and add insulation. (www.energystar.gov)
  • Change your air filter regularly, install a programmable thermostat, seal your heating and cooling ducts (www.energystar.gov)
  • Choose ENERGY STAR qualified products.They use less energy and save money. (www.energystar.gov)
  • A whole-house assessment by a contractor can uncover your home's performance problems. (www.energystar.gov)
  • Purchase energy-efficient products and operate them efficiently. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • A renewable energy system can be used to supply some or all of your electricity needs. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Calculating your electricity needs is the first step in the process of investigating renewable energy. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Artificial lighting consumes almost 15% of a household's electricity use. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Use of new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in homes by 50%-75%. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Reduce lighting energy use by selecting lighting and sources that use energy more efficiently. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • You can save energy by turning off lights when they're not needed. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Save around 10% a year on heating and cooling bills by turning your thermostat back 10-15 degrees for 8 hrs. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Energy-efficient windows, doors, skylights can help lower a home's heating, cooling, and lighting costs. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Always look for the EnergyStar and EnergyGuide labels when shopping for home appliances. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Consider air-drying clothes on clothes lines or drying racks. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Don't over-dry your clothes. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.Wash and dry full loads. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Look for a clothes dryer with moisture sensor that automatically shuts off the dryer as clothes are dry. (www.eere.energy.gov)
  • Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked. (www.eere.energy.gov)
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Computer Energy Saving Tips (www.eere.energy.gov)

  • Consider buying a laptop for your next computer upgrade; they use much less energy than desktops.
  • Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
  • Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use.
  • Turn off your personal computer when you're away from your PC for 20 minutes or more.
  • Turn off both your CPU and the monitor if you will be away for two hours or more.
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Water Saving Tips (www.epa.gov)

  • In the bathroom: do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth.
  • Take short showers instead of tub baths.
  • Turn off the water while soaping or shampooing.
  • If you must use a tub, close the drain before turning on the water and fill the tub only half full.
  • Bathe small children together.
  • In the bathroom: never use your toilet as a waste basket.
  • Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin. Use a vegetable brush.
  • Do not use water to defrost frozen foods; thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher; wash only full loads.
  • Add food wastes to your compost pile instead of using the garbage disposal.
  • If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting. (www.eere.energy.gov)
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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (www.epa.gov)

  • Buy permanent items instead of disposables.
  • Buy and use only what you need.
  • Buy products with less packaging and reuse boxes as much as possible.
  • Buy products that use less toxic chemicals.
  • Repair items as much as possible.
  • Use durable coffee mugs.
  • Use cloth napkins or towels.
  • Clean out juice bottles and use them for water.
  • Use empty jars to hold leftover food.
  • Purchase refillable pens and pencils.
  • Compost food scraps, grass and other yard clippings, and dead plants.
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Fuel Saving Tips (www.fueleconomy.gov)

  • Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas.
  • Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
  • Not only will replacing a dirty air filter save gas, it will protect your engine.
  • Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones.
  • An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%.
  • If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets the best gas mileage whenever possible.
  • Consider telecommuting (working from home) if your employer permits it.
  • Consider using public transit if it is available and convenient for you.
  • A loaded roof rack can decrease your fuel economy by 5 percent.
  • If possible, take advantage of carpools and ride-share programs.
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