Saving your energy…for things that matter

Okay…so I was sitting down, getting ready to write. Realized music would help, then the fan (because even though the rest of the country seems to be dealing with record cold, ice and snow,  I’m in Puerto Rico – and a tad too warm – at least in here at my desk in the cabin). I look at my topic – “energy savings” …and it hits me. Duh. Turn off the fan, the music, unplug the computer and move out to a picnic table – where I don’t need any energy…except a few brain cells.

And basically that’s it. We can list ten tips, a hundred, or a thousand ways you can save energy – but really, like everything else – it comes down to being  conscious  around everything we do. Just think about saving. Like our parents used to tell us to save our allowance, or maybe we taught our kids, or you are teaching your own now.

But sometimes specifics help get us started thinking differently. Here are some of those perfect no brainer ways to start saving energy; the natural resources that it takes to bring that electricity to our homes, and the money it takes to pay for it.  

  • Set your thermostat a few degrees cooler in the winter and higher in the summer. When I’m home, in the pacific NW, I find a fleece vest is indispensible. I basically live in mine when I’m in the house.
  • Wash clothes in COLD water. As much as 85% of energy used to wash clothes goes to heating the water – and laundry soaps are now designed to clean in cold. Don’t take my word for it, learn more from the green laundry experts at Seventh Generation.
  • Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when incandescent bulbs burn out. Learn how best to dispose them though.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use, or use a “smart” power strip that monitors “phantom load” energy use. Find out more about the phantom load, what we use without realizing it, before things are even turned on.
  • Weather-strip and insulate your house: windows, doors, cracks in the basement.
  • Install a Water Heater Blanket – learn how much it can save you at treehugger.com.
  • Use a clothesline – indoors, in the basement, or out. Even for half the items you’re drying, or half your loads.  

Think about savings on both an individual level, and collectively, in our communities. That’s where the statistics get staggering. The wild numbers that are revealed when you see what happens if everyone did these things.   

So whether it’s your energy, your money, or our energy, our future needs. Let’s save it. These tropical breezes beat the fan any day.

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