Smart Tips to Live a Greener Cleaner Life AND Save Money at Home
You may have heard recently in the news about the possibility of the House of Representatives repealing light bulb efficiency standards (the BULB Act). The premise of this Act is to require that incandescent light bulbs be 30% more efficient by 2012. One of the things I learned from this (I think is fascinating) is that the cheap incandescent bulbs we see in stores (10 for $1 anyone?) haven’t changed since they were created over 100 years ago! Why fix it if it ain’t broke? Lots of reasons!!
This Act will:
- save the average family $100 annually
- cut US energy costs by more than $10 billion annually
- cut the nation’s total electricity consumption by the equivalent of what the state of Indiana uses, according to The Alliance to Save Energy
- cut global warming pollution by the equivalent of 14 million cars on the road annually (or 70 million tons of CO2)
This is significant! FORTUNATELY the House voted against pulling the plug on the bill so that we can all enjoy more efficient light bulbs (as the standard). Very proud to live in a nation that strives for more efficiency – both for the environment and our pockets (on some things at least)!!
Unfortunately we can’t rely on product standards for everything, but there are lots of great ways to cut our energy consumption and keep more money in our pockets!
Included are just a few:
- CFL light bulbs – initial cost is a bit more but with big annual savings the payback time is only a couple months. Just remember with CFL’s disposal is a tad trickier, since they contain Mercury they can not be disposed of in your household trash or recycling container. Home Depot, Best Buy and Radio Shack offer free drop-off locations for unbroken bulbs. If one does break, be sure you know how to safely clean up your CFL.
- Weatherstripping and Caulking – for a low initial cost you can save big bucks by not letting the cool or warm air you pay for escape through cracks or under doors, the more allowed to escape, the harder your heating and cooling source has to work to keep the desired temperature.
- Energy Star appliances – especially if you’re already in the market for new appliances… Energy Star rated appliances often cost the same as standard appliances and can save big bucks (starting immediately and over the life of the appliance) in energy savings (your utility bills).
- Programmable Thermostat – For every degree over 72 you set your air conditioning during the warm months you’ll save 3-5% on your energy bill. Even if the temperature is only adjusted higher when you’re not home… the savings will add up. For even more savings, close your blinds and draw your shades when you’re not home during the day to reduce solar gain.
For more tips on going green in Raleigh and the Triangle area, check out some of our other blogs:
- Daily Green Habits – every little bit does help!
- Computers and Electronics Banned from NC Landfills effective July 1st!
- All about Earth Day
- Watering Responsibly
If you have more ideas you’d like to share – we would love to hear them!