Save energy to save money.
Set your thermostat
a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to
save on heating and cooling costs.
- Install compact fluorescent
light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.
- Unplug appliances when you're
not using them. Or, use a "smart"
power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts
"phantom" or "vampire" energy use.
- Wash clothes in cold water
whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to
machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
- Use a drying rack or
clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying. If
you must use a dryer, consider adding dryer
balls to cut drying time.
Save water to save money.
- Take shorter showers to
reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too.
- Install a low-flow
showerhead. They don't cost much, and the water and energy savings can
quickly pay back your investment.
- Make sure you have a faucet
aerator on each faucet. These inexpensive appliances conserve heat and
water, while keeping water pressure high.
- Plant drought-tolerant native
plants in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering. Find out
which occur naturally in your area.
Less gas = more money (and
- Walk or bike to work. This
saves on gas and
parking costs while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing
your risk of obesity.
- Consider telecommuting
if you live far from your work. Or move closer. Even if this means paying
more rent, it could save you money in the long term.
- Lobby your local government
to increase spending on sidewalks and bike lanes. With little cost, these
improvements can pay huge dividends in bettering your health and reducing
Skip the bottled water.
Think before you buy.
- Go online to find new or gently used secondhand
products. Whether you've just moved or are looking to redecorate, consider
a service like craigslist
or FreeSharing to track down
furniture, appliances, and other items cheaply or for free.
- Check out garage sales,
thrift stores, and consignment shops for clothing and other everyday
- When making purchases, make
sure you know what's "Good Stuff" and
- Watch a video about what
happens when you buy things. Your purchases have a real impact, for
better or worse.
Borrow instead of buying.
- Borrow from libraries instead
of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to mention the
ink and paper that goes into printing new books.
- Share power tools and other
appliances. Get to know your neighbors while cutting down on the number of
things cluttering your closet or garage.
- Buy in bulk. Purchasing
food from bulk bins can save money and packaging.
- Wear clothes that don't
need to be dry-cleaned. This saves money and cuts down on toxic chemical
- Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products.
You might pay more now, but you'll be happy when you don't have to replace
items as frequently (and this means less waste!).
Keep electronics out of the trash.
- Keep your cell phones, computers, and other
electronics as long as possible.
Make your own cleaning
- The big secret: you can
make very effective, non-toxic cleaning products whenever you need
them. All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar,
lemon, and soap.
- Making your own cleaning
products saves money, time, and packaging-not to mention your indoor air