Green Tip 3 - A Step Back In Time


This week's green tip doesn't cost you a dime. In fact, implementing these simple steps (the sooner the better, please), will not only save a lot of dimes on your energy bills, but will help make giant leaps towards putting the brakes on climate change.

The inspiration for this tip comes from my copy of the Summer 2008 Co-Op America's Quarterly Magazine. Co-Op America is the Nation's premier guide for business leaders in the environmental/socially responsible movement. I have extracted information presented by Armory Lovins, a huge environmental leader since the 1970's. Below is simple, good old-fashioned advice on how to make simple changes right now. These are things our parents, grandparents and generations before did.

1. Turn off lights in your house or business when you are not in a room (rule of thumb one light per person at any given time). My boys were trained to do this at 18 months of age when they could stand on their tiptoes you can do it!

2. Don't heat/cool empty rooms. If a room doesn't get used much, close vents to save energy on heating/cooling. Turn off room air conditioners when leaving a room.

3. When going on vacation, set the temperature 10 degrees below (winter)/ 10 degrees above (summer).

4. When using your dishwasher skip the energy intense drying cycle and choose air dry cycle instead.

5. Run washing machine/dryer/dishwasher in early morning (throw a load in before work/school) or later in p.m. (non-peak times). Use the delay setting on dishwasher. Bonus: utility companies may shift to "time of day" metering, so you will pay less when using utilities early in day or late in day.

6. Turn off electronics when you leave a room. When away from a T.V., computer or other appliance for more than 1 hour, turn it off (use power strips). It's not true that it takes a giant burst of energy to start up.

7. Unplug electronics when not in use. DVDs, TVs, computers, printers, cell phone chargers (all of these items "leak" power when plugged in but not in use phantom load).

8. Pull your fridge away from the wall 2xs per year and clean the coils. Clean coils make the fridge use less energy. Refrigerators are one of the biggest energy users.

9. Place jugs of water in empty spaces in refrigerator to help it run more efficiently (water retains cold better than air does).

10. Wash clothes in COLD water (yes!). Modern detergents get clothes clean with energy used on a cold cycle. If you have allergy problems and need to kill dust mites, use hot for wash/cold for rinse.
11. Use a clothesline. To prevent stiffness/wrinkling, run clothes in dryer for 5 minutes then hang up on line.

Eco-Impact of the above actions taken:


Turn off lights 2% 480
Clean fridge coils 4% 960
Air-dry dishes 5% 1200
Turn off electronics/Use power strips 5% 1200
Wash clothes in cold 7% 1680
Air-dry clothes 10% 2400

TOTAL 33% 8960

This means that you can save up to 33% on your energy costs!! What are you waiting for? You can do it!

Note: Co-op America has recently changed their name to Green America.

Byline Bio: Gwen Corbett, owner of Bear's Den Cottages, Green Lodging
Helping Individuals and Businesses Go Green