Friday is upon us! We save all of our great idea planning for the weekends. And as tax day looms ever-closer, our weekend planning has mainly revolved around how we can improve our budget over the next year.
In some cases, “being green” can equate to more costly as, for example, when businesses work towards shifting from using traditional cotton growers to organic cotton growers, who were not yet prepared for the demand (believe you me, as with any new product, price will go down as demand increases…remember the 20% drop in price of the Apple iPhone only months after launch?).
But in other cases, choosing to green your lifestyle can be a big budget saver. Remember our post on natural ways to unclog your drain? Using regular household products saved you about $6!
Well, saving on electricity is like that. This weekend why don’t you join us in busting out our old electricity bills for the year. Stare in shock and awe at the amount you spent. Egads! Wonder what it would take to shave 20% off that bill….hmmmm…Here’s our top 10 easy changes.
After Tax Electricity Diet:
1. Air dry some of your laundry. Remember we’re only trying to shave 20% of our bill to start. This shouldn’t take extreme measures. Focus on small changes that won’t be difficult to fit into your busy life.
2. Use a smart energy strip in an area that has a lot of peripherals plugged in at once, like your home office or entertainment area. Using a smart strip ensures that when you turn one item off (such as your computer) everything else plugged into the strip is cut off as well. See Use Smart Power Strips: Green Tips.
3. Take a few minutes before you leave the house to ensure that all lights are turned off. This is also a nice way to get your mind collected and prevent yourself from experiencing issues caused by rushing around. Like leaving the house in your slippers. No…we would never do that!
If you have kids, this is a great job for them. It not only gives them something to be responsible for, but it also helps teach them the value of conserving.
4. If your water heater is more than five years old, consider covering it to keep it insulated. See “Cozy Up to Your Water Heater”
5. While you’re checking out your water heater, check out the thermostat. Often water heater thermostats are set to 140 degrees F when 120 is usually fine. Each 10 degree reduction saves 600 pounds of CO2 per year for an electric water heater, or 440 pounds for a gas heater.
6. Turn your refrigerator down, as well. Refrigerators account for approximately 20% of household electricity use. Set your refrigerator temperature as close to 37 degrees and your freezer as close to 3 degrees as possible.
7. And the trifecta of setting thermostats…In the winter, set your heating thermostat at 68 degrees during the day, and 55 degrees at night. During the summer months, keep it at 78. Lowering your thermostat just two degrees during winter saves 6 percent of heating-related CO2 emissions.
8. Don’t use your dishwasher or clother washer unless it’s a full load.
9. Switch to CFL’s wherever possible. In a typical home, one compact fluorescent bulb can save 260 pounds of CO2 per year.
10. If you’re in the market for new appliances, buy Energy Star. In most cases they don’t cost more, and they will save you money to boot. See “Energy Star: Do Good“