We're all looking for ways to save money and use less energy these days. Here (in no particular order) are a few ideas to help you accomplish that.1. Raise the temperature in your fridge and freezer
-- Not enough so food will spoil, obviously, but a degree or two won't hurt anything.2. Adjust your thermostat
-- Don't let your furnace or air conditioner be what keeps you warm or cool. That's what clothes (or the lack of them) are for.
3. Pee in the dark
? A few small LED night lights give you all the light you need for simple tasks, so avoid flipping on that overhead light switch whenever you can.
4. Put your computer to sleep
? Turn on your computer's energy-saving sleep mode so it uses less power when you're away from it. Screen savers don't save any energy, so don't use them.5. Unplug
? Got appliances you're not using? Unplug them until you need them. Most devices pull a small amount of power whenever they're plugged in, and that can really add up. (This is especially true for electronics like gaming consoles and computer peripherals like printers.)
6. Switch to CFL bulbs
? But then, you knew that one already, didn't you? (Better yet, start thinking about LED lighting. It's even better than CFL technology.)7. Cold is good
? Only use cold water in your washing machine. It's an inefficient machine, and you'll save a lot of energy (and wear-and-tear) on your hot-water heater.8. So's the sun
? Speaking of laundry, if you've got the space, why not air-dry your clothes?7a.
Moving backwards a second, only use your washing machines when they're fully loaded. But then, you knew that too, right?9. Don't be an idler
? Too many people let their cars ?warm up? before they drive them, or sit around waiting with the engine running while someone else runs into the store or post office. Warming up a car doesn't help the engine, and idling is just wasteful. Turn the engine off!10. Use your body
? Do you really need to use electric-powered workout machines? Let your body do the work! Life free weights, or take a nice walk outside! (10a
? And while you're walking, leave the darn MP3 player at home so you can listen to the birds, aka nature's music.)11. Go off the grid
? There are now dozens of solar-powered chargers you can buy to juice up your small electronics, like your cell phone or iPod. Buy one, like the Solio charger, and you'll never need to plug one of your devices into the wall again.12. Skip the riding mower
? It's almost Spring, which means it will soon be time to start mowing the lawn again. This year, consider getting rid of your inefficient, polluting gas-powered mower and replacing it with an electric-powered model. Or better yet, get a push mower (see item 10 above). Still better, (12a
) replace some of that grass in your lawn with nice green moss, which will never need mowing!
There you go, 15 ideas to save you money and energy, even though the list only goes up to 12. What can I say, I decided to save a little energy on my laptop while I wrote this.
Post your favorite energy-saving ideas below!