CONSERVE AT HOME: What You Can Do!
According to Save the Water, the average American uses 2,000 gallons of water every day, while the average family in Africa uses only 5 gallons of water each day. Taking these steps to conserve water can make a big difference.
- Only wash full loads of laundry
- Fill a bucket while showering and use it to water plants
- Scrape your plates rather than rinsing completely
- Run dishwasher only when full
- Use low flow aerator on your faucets
- Turn off faucet while brushing your teeth
- Create lawn watering schedule using a watering calculator
- Harvest rainwater
- Install water-efficient appliances and shower heads
- Collect running water to give your plants a drink. Wait 24 hours if you have a softener.
- Take a shower rather than a bath.
- Fill a pitcher while running water to put in refrigerator for later consumption
- Use fish bowl water, a natural fertilizer, for your plants.
- Fix leaky faucets and toilet connections, check often.
ECO-FRIENDLY EATING & YOUR GARDEN
COMPOSTING AT HOME: A Complete Beginner's Guide
by John Quinn
by John Quinn
As one realizes how composting can be a relatively simple and effective way to improve their gardens and reduce waste, they may wonder why they did not start doing it sooner. About one in three homeowners in the United States compost at least occasionally, with nearly one in five doing it on a regular basis. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans throw away over 250 million tons of trash per year. At present, around a third of this refuse is recycled or composted.
As much as 30 percent of residential waste can be turned into compost. This effort could dramatically cut back on an individual's waste production. If they compost in the house or yard (make sure to check that it is allowed in your community), homeowners who are worried that the items they recycle will end up in a landfill can look for replacements they can decompose instead. People may be surprised with just how much they can toss into a compost pile.
Composting can also save money by reducing the need to purchase expensive potting soil or fertilizers to promote healthy plant growth. It may also reduce irrigation needs, cutting down on water usage and utility bills. Composting is growing in popularity across the world. The Town of Collierville, for example, looks to increase the amount of yard waste taken to compost sites
USE LESS PAPER
It's crammed into your mail box, piled on your desk and sometimes recycled. But more often than not, unread mail, old phonebooks and other paper products sit in landfills, while more and more forests are cut down each year to produce even more products. Here’s how you can limit your paper use.
- Switch to online bill pay.
- Opt out of junk mail subscriptions.
- Think before you print.
- Recycle according to your local guidelines.
- Subscribe to digital magazine subscriptions.
- Donate boxes from online shopping or after moving.
JUST FOR KIDS
There’s no doubt that the emissions from traffic pollute the air. Switching up your driving habits can make a bigger environmental impact than you think. Not only will you spend less money on gas, but you will also significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
You can power down with a power strip. Do you forget to unplug your cell phone and other electronic equipment rechargers? You can use a power strip to turn off these phantom power drainers. Instead of trying to unplug countless gadgets when not in use, simply flip one switch to disengage the continual transferring of energy.
Change Out Light Bulbs
Change your incandescent light bulbs for CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) bulbs. This will give you a leg up for the 2012 enforcement of the 2007 energy law that mandates that by 2012 all 100-watt incandescent bulbs are to be phased out. The process will continue through the various watts until the end of 2014 when the 40-watt incandescent light bulb will be the last to be phased out. By switching over to CFL bulbs, you can save on electricity since a CFL bulb only requires one-third the amount of power it takes to power an incandescent bulb. In addition, the energy cost of replacing incandescent bulbs is ten times more than that of a single CFL bulb.
Weatherize Your Home
It might seem to be an unlikely way to save electricity, but if you have a leaky house it can cause a larger demand on electricity. This is especially true during the summer months when you run air conditioning. You can make cost-effective and relatively low cost adjustments like adding caulking and attic insulation.
Hot air can get trapped in attics and increase the amount of power you need to cool the rest of your home. By installing attic fans or turbine roof vents, you can vent the hot air out of your roof and reduce the amount of electricity you need to cool your home during the summer months. If you want to reduce the electricity even more, consider installing solar powered fans.
Energy Star Appliances
If your appliances are older models, then you should retire them and purchase new ones as soon as you can. An Energy Star refrigerator can save money since this one appliance contributes nearly 15 to 20 percent of your energy consumption. A new washer and dryer, not only will save on electricity requirements, but also save on clothes. A partially filled freezer requires more electricity to keep the food frozen than a full freezer.
If you use an electric oven and range, then you might want to consider other options of cooking such as a gas grill, slow cooker, or toaster oven.
You can save by putting some lamps in your home on timers. For example, if you leave your home when it's still dark outside, you can place a lamp or two to turn off at sunrise and turn back on at sunset so you don't enter a dark home.
Replace your furnace thermostat with a programmable one to reduce your electricity and energy needs. Set your timer to a low temperature during the night and to turn the furnace on at a higher temperature in the morning before you get up. Also, set the timer to a lower temperature while you're away at work and again to a higher one timed to turn on prior to your return home.
If your water heater is electric, then you can also place it on a timer to reduce the amount of electricity required to heat your household water.
Motion Detector Lights
While security considerations may mandate that you leave some lights on at night, such as those by an outside door entrance, you can place other lights that you use for security purposes on motion detectors in order to conserve electricity.
Saving Electricity Equals Saving Money
While your main goal in saving electricity might be altruistic in a desire to help the environment and reduce your impact on resources, the personal benefit is that you can save money by using these tips for conserving electricity.