In October Kiplinger’s released what they called their “Green Issue” in which they basically dedicated the entire issue to “Green” living. A buddy of mine recently asked me for a copy of an article in the issue called, “29 Ways to Conserve and Save.” So, I figured I would share it with the CPF readers as well. I picked out my 10 favorites from the article.
- Use compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of traditional bulbs. Kiplinger’s mentions that, “if every U.S. household replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL, the emissions savings would be comparable to taking three million cars off the road for a year.” Supposedly the bulbs pay for themselves (from the energy savings) over the course of a year or so.
- Add extra insulation to your water heater. If you have a water heater built before 2004, you can wrap it with an insulating jacket and save about $30 a year on your water heating bill.
- Have your furnace tuned every two years and you will, “save about 1,250 lbs of carbon dioxide and 10% on your heating bills.”
- Lower the temperature on your thermostat. For every degree that you lower your home’s temperature during the cooler months, you can subtract about 5% from your bill.
- Use cold water to wash your clothes and you can save 50% of the energy that you would use if you used hot water. I honestly don’t know what effect this has on the clothes themselves, so I will have to check with my wife on that one. 🙂
- Get a programmable thermostat. This wonderful tool allows you to program the temperature of your house on an hour by hour basis. So, it can be cooler when you are gone or asleep and warmer when you are around.
- Use a weatherstrip around your front and back door and you can save about $30 a year on energy costs.
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees (Fahrenheit for the international folks). Even if you don’t have a temperature gauge on your water heater, they suggest turning it down, “until the water feels hot, not scalding.” I think my parents need this one – I just about got second degree burns from washing my hands while I was visiting the other day. (Mom, Tell Dad to turn it down – money doesn’t grow on trees!! Remember?)
- Adjust your lawnmower to the 3-inch setting. They say that longer grass holds moisture longer, so you will not have to water as much.
- Have a pro wash your car. Kiplinger’s mentions that, “the commercial car washes save up to 100 gallons per wash over the do-it-yourself kind” and if every American, “took the lazy way out just once, total savings would amount to 8.8 Billion gallons of water.”
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