Good morning and happy Earth Day to you. Earth Day offers great opportunities to protect the environment — as well as our bank accounts.
Some of the familiar admonitions really do work: Recycle and reuse, drive less and consolidate errands, install programmable thermostats, take reusable shopping bags to grocery stores, pay bills online, start a compost pile.
•Unplug unused electronic appliances.
For instance, unplugging a DVD player could save 12 cents a week in electricity, Doesn’t sound like a lot?
Then add in game consoles, computers, printers, radios, phone chargers and other gear, and a family could save around $70 a year by unplugging unused appliances. Or by turning off power strips connected to the appliances. And the savings could jump an additional $100 a year by unplugging a turned-off plasma TV.
I just took an inventory and I have 26 appliances that remain forever plugged into the power source and continually drain away precious energy! That includes my hair dryer, hot rods, and make-up mirror. I’ve connected them to a power strip and will “Pull the Plug” after my morning maintenance routine.
My DVD player hasn’t been used since – forever – I don’t know how to work it. It’s going into cold storage today
•Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
They cost more up front, but one compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb can save about 40 cents a week — or more than $20 a year — in electricity costs compared with a traditional light bulb. If 100,000 households each use a dozen CFL bulbs, the savings could reach $24 million, and even more dramatic reductions in electrical costs.
•Fix water leaks.
The average homeowner pays $20 a month for water. But that figure could drop by $6 to $7 a month with just a few actions, or up to $84 a year. The top priorities are to fix leaky toilets, buy energy efficient clothes washers and use low-pressure shower heads.
If 100,000 households adopted these changes, it could total $8.4 million in savings.
Earth Day 2009 will make a profound difference if residents to their part in changing their behaviors and protecting the environment.