10 easy ways to save loads of money (and help the planet while you’re at it)

Because daily life shouldn’t have to cost the Earth…

Money Saving Tips for Home

Do you leave your computer on all night? Forget to turn the lights out when you leave home? Bump up the thermostat at work when no one’s watching? If you pleaded guilty to any of these energy-wasting crimes, it’s time to quit your energy use and abuse.

Never fear, you can be greener by putting these money and energy saving tips into practice. Simples…

At home…

1. Start small
Make sure electronics and lights are turned off when they’re not in use, including all power strips. Exchange incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Use cool water to wash your laundry, and purchase a low-flow shower head to reduce water usage.

2. Look for the Energy Start Logo
If it’s time to replace any of your kitchen appliances, look for a model with the Energy Star logo on it. This certification is awarded to appliances that are up to 35% more efficient than regular models.

3. Improve the heating in your home
Insulate your walls and ceilings to prevent heat from escaping from your home. Seal off the heating and cooling ducts on your home’s furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner. Keep careful watch over your thermostat: in the wintertime, make sure it’s below 18 degrees. You can always just throw on a sweater if you’re feeling chilly!

4. Go local
Food can’t get any more local than your own back yard. Consider planting a small garden to start harvesting some of your own vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Or else visit your local farmers market – much fresher than supermarket chains and you’ll be helping your local area too!

5. Change your workout routine
Cancel your gym membership and start getting your exercise outdoors. Gym equipment wastes a large amount of energy. Plus, you’ll get a better workout outside thanks to the natural inclines and declines of the terrain. If it’s too cold to do your exercise routine outdoors, consider doing laps at an indoor pool or joining an aerobics, marital art, pilates, or yoga class.

The office…

6. Start with your daily commute
Try walking or biking if you live near your office, or using public transportation if you have a longer commute. If your car is your only option, find a colleague who lives close to you and ask them to car-share with you. Just think, it’ll be nice to have a travel buddy on that dreary morning commute.

7. Take advantage of the internet
Reduce the number of meetings you must travel to by suggesting to have a video conference instead. Correspond over email rather than regular post whenever possible, and use scrap paper to print anything other than important documents. Depending on the type of job you have, you may be able to reduce the number of days you go into the office or start doing your work remotely. Talk with your boss to see if this is an option. Working in your jammies anyone…?

8. Reduce your computer’s energy consumption
Choose an energy saving setting that will put your computer to sleep when it’s idle instead of using a screen saver when you’re away from the computer.  Power down your computer completely and turn off the button on your power strip before you go home each night. It’s the little things that make a big difference.

9. Use your window blinds
Window blinds are a key energy saver in the office. Keep them closed in the summertime to help keep the office cool, and open them during the wintertime to bring in any light—and warmth—from the sun.

10. Get involved
Make suggestions or form a committee to help reduce energy usage throughout your office. Your influence may range from inspiring a colleague to make changes to his routine to getting your employer to implement new lighting, thermostat settings, or recycling policies to help move your office into the greensphere.
http://globalcool.org/lifestyle/energy-saving-tips-for-the-office-and-at-home, on 13 November 2014 in Lifestyle

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