Until the day comes when we get a good chunk of our energy from renewable energy sources, the onus falls on us to reduce our consumption of energy right now. One thing we can all do is make our lives and homes more energy efficient.
According to studies an average American household spends about $2,o00 annually on energy and also creates more than 26,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Residential energy use accounts for about 20 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The market is flooded with new products, and techniques to make homes more energy efficient. These are some tips and tricks which are helping me, pick what will work for you, every little bit helps in reducing our CO2 addition to the atmosphere; no step is trivial.
These tips from Yahoo Green all together can help you save up to 275$ annually!
- Activating the power-save function on your computer is a super-easy way to shave up to $90 a year off your utility bills. Exactly how much you save depends on whether you use a laptop or a CPU and a monitor and how long you currently leave your computer on for.
Low power mode also helps equipment run cooler so it lasts longer. Get into the habit of turning off your monitor when you walk away for 20 minutes and your computer when you leave your desk for more than two hours, and you’ll rack up even more savings.
- Reduce the brightness setting of your television. Select the “home” mode because the “retail” or “vivid” mode (the default setting for most TVs) uses up to 25 percent more power, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
While you’re at it, activate the energy- and power-saving modes on your TV and other appliances and save around $43.04 a year.
- Did you know that Video game consoles, such as the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, use nearly the same amount of power when they are turned on and left idle as they do when you are actively playing a game or watching a movie.
Save more than $100 a year by remembering to turn off your gaming system whenever you’re not using it.
- Switching off unneeded lights will save you $21.04 a year. Does it make sense to turn off the light when you leave a room for a few minutes? Yes for incandescent bulbs. Fifteen minutes is a good rule of thumb for compact fluorescent light bulbs.Speaking of CFLs, Consumer Reports’ tests found that each CFL will save you around $5 a year in electricity costs over a regular bulb.
- Wash your clothes in cold water. You’ll reduce your bill by around $18.58 a year and it’s better for your clothes.
Even just switching your temperature setting from hot to warm water can cut a load’s energy use by half, according to the Department of Energy.
Some myths about the CFL bulbs:
- CFL lamps have mercury so they are a major safety hazard- In reality they do contain trace amounts of mercury which according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is only equivalent to consuming a nibble of albacore tuna! and that too only if one does not clean using caution once the bulb breaks.
- CFL bulbs are not really energy efficient as they take more to manufacture and transport – The amount of energy required to manufacture, transport, and dispose of an item is called “embodied energy.” For a CFL, the embodied energy is about 4% of the bulb’s total energy use, according to an essay published in LD+A, the magazine of the Illuminating Engineer Society, last December.
These are all tips available on the web, it is just a matter of searching for it and practicing it… I have adapted most of the things above that are applicable to me and my power consumption over the year has been reduced by around 400$ annually.
Along with power consumption I have also added the following to my daily routine :
Reducing trips to get grocery
Walking where ever I can.
Closing the running water tap when brushing, shampooing etc…
Eating conscientiously (local grown etc..)
Going vegetarian most days of the week
In Summer I Love listening to the sounds of nature and also the fresh wind that blows through along with the sounds of my wind chimes.. Open windows and I use a fan when it gets a little too hot (beats the A/C hands down:) ).
A clothesline in the yard for summer
Native plants in my garden (more tolerant to the climatic changes)
Reuse What I have at hand
and RECYCLE when ever possible!
I must have missed out on things for sure. Will add more in future. If interested check out this Yahoo Green Pledge You can Pick what you want to do out of the list of Green Options and it will tell you how much CO2 you will reduce annually from your share 🙂 I think it is mighty Cool!
Source Yahoo Green and EERE
This is a pretty cool tool I found on Amazon –