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Posted in You, Community | October 2015

Save money while you save the planet

Save money while you save the planet

There are many ways to save money that also help protect the environment—walk more and drive less, use a reusable water bottle, buy used items or, better yet, borrow and share with friends and family—but conserving electricity in your home is one of the best ways to achieve cost savings while being more environmentally responsible.

Fossil fuels, which are non-renewable sources of energy, won’t last forever and they emit toxic gases into the environment. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of global warming, we can all probably agree that the fewer pollutants there are in the air, the better. That means the less energy we use, the cleaner the planet will be and the more energy sources there will be for our children and grandchildren.

Even small changes can make a big impact on your wallet and the environment, so consider making these adjustments recommended by Duke Energy for a cleaner planet and a healthier budget:

12 ways to conserve energy in your home

  1. Beware of energy vampires. Plug your electronics into a power bar, then turn the bar off when the electronics aren’t in use so they’re not continuing to draw unused power. Electronics in “standby” mode use energy to power features like clock displays. Always unplug charger cords once your device is fully charged because they will often continue to draw power too.
  2. Wash in cold water. Your laundry detergent will work just as well in cold and you’ll save $0.40 per load. If you still want to use hot water every now and then, just make sure you’re washing a completely full load.
  3. Dry efficiently. Always clean your dryer’s lint trap out after each load to keep it working efficiently, and do several loads back to back so that the dryer doesn’t have a chance to cool down too much before you toss in the next load. Better yet, hang your clothes to dry on portable indoor racks or on a line outside. You’ll save wear and tear on your clothes and they’ll last longer.
  4. Quit peeking! When you’re cooking or baking using your oven, resist the urge to open the door to look inside. The temperature can drop as much as 25 degrees every time you peek.
  5. Use your BBQ. Using your stove or oven on a hot day means your air conditioning has to work that much harder to keep your house cool. Take the cooking outside and enjoy the summer weather!
  6. Dust your fridge. When you dust your house, dust or vacuum the coils on the back or bottom of your fridge to help keep it running efficiently.
  7. Keep it cool. Reduce the temperature on your water heater to 120 from 140. It will save you money while still keeping water hot enough for showers and cleaning dishes.
  8. Change your filters regularly. Your heating system filters should be changed every month for optimum efficiency.
  9. Cover up. Put carpets or throw rugs over your bare floors to help retain heat, particularly if there is little or no floor insulation.
  10. Use the sun. Heat your home with Mother Nature’s help by opening up your curtains or blinds during the daytime.
  11. In the winter, lower your thermostat when you can. Drop it down a few degrees at night when you’ll be tucked up in your warm bed, and every time you leave the house.
  12. Don’t block out the warmth. Make sure you keep your vents clear to let the warm air into your rooms. Don’t cover them with furniture or drapes.

Every little bit helps when it comes to conserving energy, so try to get your family into the habit by starting with small changes like turning off lights and appliances when you leave the room, turning off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth, and throwing on a sweater instead of cranking up the heat.

For more great advice on how to save money while you save the planet, visit Ecomall and the National Resources Defense Council.

412847C CAN/US (10/15)

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