Lower Your Utility Bills By…
Switching to compact fluorescent bulbs. Changing five of the most frequently used light bulbs in your home can save you $100 a year on electric bills.
Programming your thermostat. Keep the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher in the summer; in the winter, set your dial to 62 degrees or lower. This can reduce your energy bill by $100 or more a year.
Plug air leaks. Common leaks occur around windows, doors and other wall areas, and can easily be fixed with weather stripping or caulk. This will also lower your energy bill by $100 or more a year.
Tune up the HVAC. Be sure to have your heating and cooling system checked every two years to ensure maximum efficiency, and clean or replace your filter monthly to reduce your energy bill by $100 annually.
Choose Energy Star appliances. Energy Star qualified products have a high level of energy efficiency, which can translate in to savings of $50 per appliance per year on your energy bill!
Reduce water use inside and out. Switch to low-flow showerheads and add aerators to faucets inside; outside, incorporate native plants and minimize high-maintenance landscaping elements like turf to conserve water. Taking these steps can reduce your water bill by as much as $100 a year.
Choose Green Products
Buy local. Buying local produce reduces the amount of fossil fuels required for the transportation of products from other parts of the country or the world. It also reduces the amount of plastic and paper products consumed in the packaging of these products.
Use low VOC products. Improve your outdoor air quality by switching to products that don’t give off volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Cleaning products and paint are the two most common sources of VOCs.
Use wood alternatives or FSC-certified wood products. Rapidly renewable flooring products include linoleum, bamboo, cork, eucalyptus, recycled-content tile and non-VOC carpet. Wood products are only certified by the Forest Stewardship Commission if they are harvested from sustainably managed forests.
Green Your Yard
Plant trees to provide shade and wind protection. Save on heating and air bills while providing beautiful views around your home!
Use native plantings. Native plants have been growing and evolving in your area for centuries and have adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. As a result, they are more likely to thrive with minimal care, including less water, fertilizer and pesticides.
Use non-toxic gardening techniques. Many gardeners over-apply or improperly apply pesticides, putting themselves, their families and pets at increased health risks. Pesticides and garden equipment emissions also affect our clean air and drinking water.
Green Your Transportation
Carpool, walk, bike or catch the bus when possible. Green transportation means can greatly reduce your energy expenditures and carbon emissions from your daily routine.
Buy a high-efficiency car. Check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s list of the most fuel-efficient cars at www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bestworst/shtml.