In this tough economy, we all are looking for ways to cut our costs. One major household expense is the utilities. There are simple ways to cut your energy costs and treat the Earth better in the process. Most of them are easy and cheap to put into place. The hardest part will be changing your family’s day to day habits.
To make the best changes, start simple. Turn off anything you aren’t using in the next five minutes. Put your electrical appliances, televisions, computers and other energy hogs on a surge control strip that you shut off when they aren’t being used. A lot of these items use energy even after you turn them off.
Use a laptop instead of your desktop. The wattage use is far less in the laptop by over 125 watts. Turning them off at night is of course a penny saver, but so is leaving the printer off until you need to use it.
Use solar or motion lights for your outdoor needs. They both have come down in costs and up in efficiency over the last few years. By using energy only when they are needed they too save you that shiny penny.
Solar is something to look into for all your electrical needs though the more you implement it the more costly the start up is. If you can do it a step at a time, in the long run it will save you dollars not pennies. There are even solar refrigerators and deep freezers now that are just a slightly higher cost then the standard electrical ones.
For another quick change, replace the standard bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent bulbs that use about 75% less energy. You may have heard about mercury in them but the EPA says that while you should be careful, the bulbs are better over all for the environment then the small amount of poison that may be released by breakage.
Now about those water pipes and faucets, there are simple steps that can save you money and almost no effort. Check your pipes for leaks then insulate them. They sell a simple to use product that uses foam tubes that fit on your pipe and can be secured with tape. Add diffusers to your taps. Add a brick in the back of your older toilet to raise the water level so it uses less to fill up.
For your outdoor needs, look into rain barrels. They are both cost saving and Eco friendly. There are several types available to match up with your home situation. You can use the water for your garden, your lawn, and even your car.
Want to save on your heating costs? Close off rooms you don’t use. Cover your windows with plastic. A cheap trick is to use a clear shower curtain and double sided tape. Check around doors and windows for air leaks and seal them with caulk or other filler. If you have large gaps you can stuff them with plastic grocery bags. Use a butter knife to push it in to those tight spaces.
There are many simple measures to help both you and the Earth by lowering your energy consumption. It just takes some investigation, patients, and creative thinking.
For some more great tips check out Federal Trade Commission’s information site by clicking here.
Brian Clark Howard, 7 Easy Ways to Save Energy, The Daily Green
The EPA Web Site