- Install a programmable thermostat in your home. Used properly, it can save about $180 each year.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR logo when buying home appliances, electronics, and heating and cooling systems.
- Ask your local utility company if you qualify for rebates or incentives for energy efficient equipment.
- Set your water heater at the lowest required temperature.
- In summer, open the windows and use fans and dehumidifiers, which consume less energy than air conditioning. Many houses were built with good cross-ventilation. Take advantage of your home’s layout.
- Plant trees. Evergreen trees on the north and west sides of your house can block winter winds, and leafy tress on the south and west provide shade from the summer sun.
- Keep doors airtight by weather-stripping, caulking, and painting them regularly.
- Almost 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes is used to heat the water. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water, instead of hot, using a detergent formulated for cold-water use.
- Dry your clothes on a laundry line rather than throwing them in the dryer. Clothes dryers are the third-largest energy users in the home.
- Run full dishwasher loads. You'll save up to 20 gallons of water per load, or 7,300 gallons a year. That's as much water as the average person drinks in a lifetime.
- Buy a water filter for your kitchen faucet and put to good use yet another way to do away with those plastic water bottles that are clogging landfills and burning up energy in recycling plants. About 1.5 million tons of plastic are used on the bottling of 89 billion liters of drinking water each year.
- Use a reusable water bottle rather than purchasing bottled water.
- Use a reusable coffee cup and ask the barista to put your java in it rather than a disposable cup.
- Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth or lather your hands with soap.
- In North America, fruits and vegetables travel an average of 1,500 miles before reaching your dinner table. Choose local produce, which cuts back on energy used in transportation, often guarantees a fresher product and is better for the local economy.
- Eat organic food when possible and available.
- Eating plants is always better than eating meat. It’s both better for you and better for the environment.
- Limit the number of foods you buy that require extensive disposable packaging.
- Plant a garden or participate in a community-supported agriculture program.