I believe and I’m sure most people believe that the world in which we live is important to all well-being. This is why it’s so important that we, as individuals, do all that we can for the environment that is created for this world. I’m not talking about the same thing that we hear coming from the “far left” representatives, but more subtle than that. I believe that we can help in our own way beginning at home by saving on energy. When we learn ways to save on energy we save money and that also helps us become a lot more self-sufficient.
There are a lot of different things that we can do when it comes to saving energy. When we do things that save on energy then we are doing our part to lower the demand on all of our natural resources such as fossil fuels, oil, natural gas and even coal.
To help our environment and save energy we don’t have to do without things or give up the things that we’ve come accustomed to, we just need to learn how to use the things we already have better. Did you know that an average American, like you and me, produces around 40,000 pounds of CO2 emission every year? We also, use almost a million dollars of energy every single minute of each day every year.
Here are a few things that you can do when it comes to your energy use on your own. By learning to utilize some of these energy saving ideas you can cut down on your yearly emissions by 1,000’s of pounds a year and you’ll even see a pretty big savings on your energy bills.
Change How You Use Your Appliances
The first thing you can do to save some money is try turning down your refrigerator a bit. Your refrigerator accounts for around 20% of your overall electricity usage. Put a thermometer in your fridge and then keep your fridge close to 37° F and your freezer set as close to 3° F as you can. If you have an energy saver button on your fridge, turn it on.
Another thing you can do to save energy and money is make sure to set your washer to the warm or cold water setting only when you wash your cloths and never use the hot water setting. Just by setting the washer at warm for two loads of wash a week you’ll be saving nearly 500 pounds of CO2 from getting into the environment.
If you have a dishwasher it’s always a good idea to make sure that you only run it after it is totally full and always make sure that it’s set on the energy saving mode. If it has an air dry option, then use it and let your dishes air dry. If you don’t use heat during drying you can actually save 20% electricity used by your dishwasher.
Another way to save on energy is to turn down the thermostat on your water heater. Often they are set at 140° F. However, if you turn it down to 120° F it will still heat up your water just fine. Each ten degrees of reduction in temperature is going to save you 600 pounds of CO2 each year if it’s an electric water heater and 440 pounds each year if it’s a gas water heater.
Heating and Cooling
When it comes to heating and cooling your home always make sure that you don’t over heat or over cool your rooms. When it’s winter make sure that you set the thermostat to 68° F during the day and then down to 55° F at night. During the summer try to keep the thermostat set at 78° F. When you lower your thermostat just a couple of degrees during the winter you will save 6% of your heating related CO2 emissions. That ends up being 420 pounds of CO2 reduced each year.
Always make sure that you have clean air filters in your furnaces and air conditioners. When you have dirty filters you lose a lot of energy and the units have to work a lot harder when the filters are dirty.
Small Investments Will Pay Off
Start buying more energy efficient light bulbs, especially for the lighting that you use most often. They do cost more more from the start, however, they save you money over time and they last 10 times longer than the average light bulb. These bulbs actually tend to be brighter and only use ¼ of the energy that other bulbs use. Only 10% of all the energy that’s used by normal bulbs actually generate light. The rest of the energy is what makes that light bulb hot.
Spend some money on an insulating jacket and wrap it around your water heater. A jacket costs about $20 and it can actually end up saving 1100 pounds of CO2 every year for an electric water heater and 220 pounds for one that’s gas.
Weatherize where you live. Take caulk and some weather stripping and go around plugging up any air leaks you find around all of your windows and doors. Caulking your windows will only cost you about a $1 for each window and weather stripping for each door will cost about $10.
Recycle, Reuse & Reduce
Try to reduce your waste. You can do this by products that have minimal packaging and by picking products that are reusable or ones that you can recycle. Every pound of waste that you don’t create helps to save energy and reduce your CO2 emissions by about a pound. Make sure you recycle as much as you can because it it costs the country much less to make new products out of recycled material than it does from raw materials. This in turn helps the environment overall.
Consider Home Improvements
If you own a home then take a look around and see where you can do some improvements that will be energy saving types of investments. One good thing to do is to make sure that your walls and ceilings are all well insulated. You can save up to 30% on your heating bills if you make sure your well insulated.
Consider investing in more modern windows. By replacing your regular windows with ones that are argon filled and double glazed you are going to cut down on CO2 emissions by 2.4 tons a year for gas heated homes, 3.9 tons for those oil heated and a whopping 9.8 tons for electric heating.
Make sure that you have shade trees planted around your home and that your home is painted a lighter color in warmer climates and a darker color if you are in a colder climate. Shade trees alone can reduce energy enough to save 25 pounds of CO2 from being produced each year, per tree. Having the properly painted home can actually save up to 2.4 tons of CO2 each year.
Most of these things that I’ve mentioned here are all very simple and easy ways in which you can save energy, be more kind to the environment and most importantly, save you money. I hope that you have found these suggestions helpful.