Compact fluorescent lamps have never been cheaper and easier to get. They cost more than the old light bulbs, but can save you $30 (in the US, for example) in electricity costs over the lamps life time. The average life span of compact flourescent lamps is 8 to 15 times that of incandescants! Lighting counts for about 9% of household electricity usage in the US. Start by buying a few to get used to the difference in the light (it’s white and not yellow). After a few days, you’ll probably end up prefering your new lights! You’ll definitely see a difference in your electric bill.
Have a stereo with fancy disco lights that you only use twice a week? Go unplugged! Same goes for the dvd, microwave and anything else in the house that uses lights while you’re away all day. Also, consider not putting compact flourescent lamps in every fixture. Homes often come with more than you need. Let there be light, but let there not be too much light! Even if you find one fixture that you realize you don’t need, you’re saving energy!
A bigger microwave takes more energy to heat last night’s pizza. A bigger refrigerator requires more energy to cool your food. If you don’t need an oversized microwave and fridge, consider buying a small one. You’ll save twice – once when you buy it and again every month on your electric bill. Most of us don’t do major chef cooking on a microwave (who does?!) – the smallest model is the way to go. Those oversized refrigerators will encourage you to buy industrial sized food and you’ll end up with a supersized stomach! A smaller model will gently push you to go shopping twice a week instead of once a month. You’ll save energy and be healthier.
Walk to the store, to work and to your friends! If you live in a smart community, then most of your daily needs should be within a 15 minute walk from home. Make use of it! The best way to get back at those evil oil exporting countries is to leave the tin box at home. Plan your week so you need the car less. If you just bought that smaller fridge and you’re going to the supermarket twice a week instead of once a month, take a small backpack and go for a walk. Save energy and burn the best kind of energy – calories!
Turn the computer off at night. You’re downloading some amazing filesharing stuff and you want to finish. But consider this – you could be spending that same electricity bill money on buying the cd’s and dvd’s that you’re downloading! Turning the computer off for 7-10 hours a day will make a big difference. If you’re going to be out of the house for over an hour, turn off the computer and save energy! While we’re talking about night time, make a plan for night lights. Go through your house and decide which light you *really* need on at night. There’s usually no reason for more than one – the one between your room and the bathroom. The energy you can save during the time you’re asleep in your bedroom will add up to a lot – it’s 6-8 hours a night of less energy. If you do need one light on, make it a compact flourescent lamp that has a small wattage.
Saving at night will give you more money to spend in the day! Saving energy is the way to go. There are many more Clean Energy Ideas online. If we all do our part and lower our energy bills, we can make a big difference. Take a tour of your home – look around and see what *you* can do! Clean energy can be fun if you keep a positive attitude – see these tips as a fun project that will add extra cash to your wallet.