Archive for Green Tip Tuesday

Green Tip Tuesday

My tip for today is a quick one that is free – unplug it! Not using your toaster right now? Unplug it. Not listening to your radio? Unplug it. In the US about 20% of a home’s energy bill is a result of appliances and home electronics; and the truth is that even when your appliances and electronics are turned off, most of them are still drawing electricity. This energy use is known as “standby power.” Though the standby power usage may not be much in your house, that small amount of usage gets multiplied by millions of homes a day. That adds up to A LOT of wasted energy.

Small appliances in the kitchen are probably the easiest to unplug – toaster, blender, etc. But some of the other big power-drainers are devices like stereos and TVs that most of us find to be too much hassle to unplug. Is that you? Then spend a few bucks (if you don’t already have one around the house!) on a power strip that allows you to cut power to several devices with one switch. Still too much work? Spend a few bucks on a smart power strip that automatically cuts power to your devices when not in use. You can even use your Swagbucks to pay for it if you buy it from Amazon!

For more information on home energy usage and what appliances are the biggest culprits, check out Energy Savers. Hey, did you know that toaster ovens use more power than refrigerators?

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Green Tip Tuesday

Here is another easy thing anyone can do to save money while being a little more eco-friendly: turn down the heat! When the temperature dips down low outside in it is normal for us to want to crank up the heat inside to keep warm. But it is also normal for us to have extremely high electric bills during the colder months. But we don’t have to. There are a couple ways to go about lowering the thermostat.

The first is my personal favorite because it takes the least amount of effort on my part – having the thermostat on a low temperature all the time. For us that is 65. Okay, so it is not always comfortable to run around in shorts and a tank top, but slap on some socks and a long sleeve shirt and it is pretty comfortable. Most of the time I’m still not in long sleeves (though the hubby keeps on a hoodie). Try just lowering your thermostat one degree at a time for a while until you reach what you are comfortable at. We didn’t arrive at 65 all at once.

You can also keep the thermostat a little higher during the day and then turn it down by 5-10 degrees at night and lower when you are going to be gone. It makes no sense to keep your home warm and toasty for the furniture when you are gone and at night you can just use more blankets.

If, like me, you don’t want to be bothered with manually lowering and raising thermostat or you think you would forget, you can always buy a programmable thermostat to do it for you. You can buy them starting at around $30 and set it to automatically change the temperature at times when you would ordinarily be in bed or away from home. Some of the nicer ones even have a weekend setting.

Lowering the thermostat is a simple (and even free if you do it manually!) thing to do to save you money that takes barely any time or effort at all. So get in there and go do it! And don’t be worrying about the Kid in our freezing cold house, he wears warm clothes, too. Most of the time 😉

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Green Tip Tuesday

I figured other blogs had a certain day of the week where they regularly posted on specific thing, so why not me? Am I not good enough? Indeed I think I am! So as I was lying (laying? I never get that right!) in bed this morning nursing my son I thought it would be nice to have a Green Tip Tuesday where I could post some simple thing that we can all do to save money and do something good for Mother Earth. And one day when my blog becomes incredibly famous that I have thousands of followers I will even post a Mr. Linky for others to participate 🙂

GREEN TIP:

Switch to CFL bulbs. This tip is so insanely easy that I am surprised more people haven’t done it. Heck, my electric co-op has even sent us two of these bulbs in the past year. It is true that Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs cost more upfront and on the surface it seems much cheaper to buy a 2-4 pack of regular light bulbs at the Dollar Tree for (you guessed it) $1 than to buy 1 for around $6 (though you can find them much cheaper and I will admit it has been almost three years since I have priced them). But regular light bulbs have to be replaced much, much more often.  CFL bulbs use about 75% less energy, so in energy savings alone they pay for themselves in only a few months. Plus you don’t have to worry about changing them all the time because they last about 10 times longer! That is the greatest saving to me. We replaced many of the bulbs in our house with CFLs when we moved in over three years ago and haven’t had a problem with them since. The incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, all seem to go out at the most inconvenient times. So my goal is to replace all of those as soon as possible so I can go back to not worrying about my light bulbs.

Want to know how CFLs work? Check out ENERGY STAR.

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