Friday, May 8, 2009

green choices can save green.


I have been preparing for the move to my new house in a couple of months and doing some research on how to convert my soon-to-be new living space into a greener and healthier environment for me and my children.

One of the easiest and most obvious places to start, is replacing all the older appliances with new energy efficient models. While researching different energy saving appliances, I came across great news....being energy efficient not only saves the environment, but it also saves you money. How often do you get a win- win like that! While some of these new models might cost a little more upfront, they will save you money in the long run on your utility bills over the duration of the life of the appliance.

Another tip:
Sometimes your utility company will offer rebates to customers who replace old appliances with energy efficient models. Some states even hold periodic "tax holidays" for purchases of energy efficient appliances. (As reported via Consumer Reports)

Not in the market for new appliances but still looking for some suggestions of simple ways to save both energy and money? Here is our favorite top ten things you can start doing today that have a real impact on the environment and your budget.

1. Opt for the cold-water wash cycle on your washing machine. You can save about $60/year.

2. Beautiful day? Dry your clothes outside on the line. Not only are you saving energy, but clothes come out wrinkle free and smelling like sunshine!

3. Put your computer to sleep. Using the sleep or hibernation feature when you aren't actively using your computer can save you up to $75/year.

4. Open blinds and shades on cold days. The heat from the sun can make a significant difference on the temperature of your home. Just make sure to close them at night to minimize heat loss.

5. Keep your cars, and all major appliances well serviced. Not only will they run more efficiently, but will save you from costly repairs down the road.

6. Control outdoor lights with sensors or timers so lights stay off during the day.

7. Use programmable thermostats in your home. It is amazing how often thermostats are manually turned up and then forgot about later. Set programs to use less energy while at work, away or at night.

8. Avoid pre-rinsing dishes before putting in the dishwasher. Todays dishwashers are able to handle heavily soiled loads and can save you up to $70/year.

9. Convert all light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs. They save you money, save energy and last for years!

10. Unplug appliances and chargers when not in use. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 75% of electricity used to power electronics in the average home is consumed while the products are turned OFF. Plugging in to a power strip and turning the power off to the strip is another alternative.

rachel

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