Tips for Making Your Home Greener:
Make your home green! Don't whip out the buckets of green paint just yet...we have a better idea.
We all know a few things to do to conserve energy at home, but with a little more effort we can really conserve. Here are some easy (and not so easy) ways that you can conserve energy at home...Energy is wasted, and electric bills go up, usually because of one or more inefficient home components (windows, heating and cooling systems, and ducts insulation) or a failure to pay attention to product use directions. A good start is to look at these first for easy fixes, in addition to the following tips:
- Keep the cold air out. If you already have energy efficient windows, great! If not, increase window energy efficiency by hanging insulating curtains or drapes. Also, you can place a towel along the window ledge in order to keep cold air out.
- Keep doors and windows closed when using heating or cooling units.
- Don't blast the AC or heat. Keep it reasonable. In the summer, try and keep the air conditionig around 78ºF when you're there, 70ºF for heating. Each degree of heating or cooling can cost an additional four to five percent in energy costs!
- Clean and replace filters. Any appliances that have filters use more energy if their filters are clogged. Check appliances, including heating and cooling systems. Even your hair dryer!
- Give your air conditioner a break (or at least turn it down). By creating shade, you can save up to 8% of your cooling costs. Use shades, awnings, or sun screens to shade your home and windows. Even a tree or plant can do the trick.
- Brighten your room with better bulbs. Replace existing incandescent lamps with compact flurescent lamps (CFLs). These lamps can save three-quarters of the electricity used by incandescents. Don't like the colors of CFLs? Buy a paper lamp shade and paint the inside pink with nonflammable pink paint for a softer light.
- Use dimmer switches, timers, or motion sensors on incandescent lights if you have them.
- Shop for "greener" appliances. If you are in the market for new appliances (i.e. washer or refrigerator), purchase "Energy Star" products. They're efficient in saving energy.
- Is your fridge running too hard? Fresh foods keep at 37 to 42ºF, frozen foods at 0 to 5ºF. Adjust the temperature so it's not too low.
- Put your computer on "hibernate" mode. This way, every 30 minutes that you're away from the computer, it turns off, but not to the point where you have to restart everything once again. Easy. Simple. Energy efficient.
- Fill the washer or dryer when doing laundry. Don't waste energy and water by only washing small amounts of clothing at a time.
- Clean the dryer lint trap after each use.
- Cold-wash: Wash your clothes with cold water. It's easier on the fabric and 85% of the wasing machine's energy goes into heating the water
- Line-dry: Use a clothesline outside or a drying rack inside to air dry clothes instead of using the dryer.
- Dishwasher: Wash only full loads. Use the energy saver, air dry cycle, or if possible, open the door and let dishes dry naturally.
- Oven: Don't preheat your oven. Cook complete meals of several dishes simultaneously in the oven. Use the microwave oven when possible.
- Use the smallest pan necessary when you cook. Smaller pans require less energy.
- Speed-shower: The average 8 minute shower uses 20 gallons of water. Over a year of 8 minute showers could wash 4,152 loads of laundry.
- Water heater: lower the water heater temperature
- Shower head: Install a low-flow shower head to save money and water
- Still drinking bottled water at home? Purify your tap water with a water filter
Other Green Tips
- Local is better than organic! at least "Green" wise and probably health wise. A lot of factory farms and industrial agricultures can create chemicals and call them "organic" because they are carbon based, but things are still being processed by machinery (not nature/human hands).
- Cutting out meat/animal products or eating less is huge! healthier and less fuel costs.
- Recycle waste through NYC regulations and wash containers out.
- Reuse of everything is key, but not all things are reusable for long amounts of time.
- If people really want to make a difference, working together in an impreative:
- If you have a car, carpool
- Co neighborhood dinners, neighborhood gardens, you can support a lot of people with what one person will use on their own.