The holidays which also means cold winter weather is here so we should all be thinking about energy. Here are some tips and ideas that will help the environment, are eco-friendly, and to support the going green effort for the holidays and all year! We are all getting ready and celebrating the Many of us decorate for Christmas with lights and all the trimming. So let’s all take a minute to think about how you can do help our world and planet, but still enjoy all the holiday fun and festivities
1. Clean or replace air filters on your air-conditioning unit and heating units at least once a year. For unused rooms keep the vents closed if possible.
2. Wrap you water heater in an insulated blanket and lower you thermostat to 120 degrees and if you are going on vacation or going to be away from home for an extended period turn your water heater completely off.
3. Turn off lights, appliances, and computers when you are not using them and unplug appliances that use rarely or only for a short period such as your toaster. Purchase appliances with the Energy Star label. Did you know that a 10-year-old refrigerators use approximately 50% more energy than a newer model. When you have to buy a new appliance watch for special rebates offered for buying the Energy Star label. According to the EPA replacing with old items with energy-efficient models can save over 25 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, and save money on your energy bills.
4. Recycle Gift Wrapping: Use recycled wrapping paper for any gift and or use gift bags that you can keep recycling yourself year after year. If you want to get creative you can use brown paper bags that you get your groceries in and wrap your gifts with them. You can let the kids help by using stickers or drawing designs with stencils. Buy some pretty baskets at the dollar store and use for your gifts by adding some pretty ribbons or bows. Everyone can use a basket for storing items or putting flowers in – there are an endless amount of uses for baskets of all shapes and sizes.
5. If you are going away from for the holidays turn down your thermostat. In the summer if you are going away turn your air conditioning temperature up.
6. Insulation is so important in your house–make you house is properly insulated, put weather-stripping around your windows and doors and if you have very old windows, replace them new energy-efficient ones if possible.
7. Connect your Christmas outdoor lights to a timer instead of having them on from dust to dawn or leaving them on all the time. If you are using the large traditional colored lights consider buying the new miniature lights. While most C7 or C9 lights use 5 to 7 watts per bulb, some of the older strings use up to 10 watts per bulb! This could save up to 70% energy and extra bonus is that they miniature lights last longer. If you really prefer the brighter colors of the larger lights try switching to 6-watt bulbs instead of 7 to 10 watt bulbs. It is true buying new bulbs will cost in you more initially, but in the long run you will save up 30% in your energy bill and that puts money back in your pocket.
8. Use ENERGY STAR LIGHTS— According to the EPA decorating your home with Energy Star qualified lights LED holiday light strings saves about 75% in energy costs from conventional incandescent lights. They’re shatterproof, shock resistant, safe to touch, are not a fire hazard, are long-lasting, and won’t burn your hands or your kid’s! Decorate your home or tree with more style and less energy with ENERGY STAR qualified and make it eco-friendly!
Many people have artificial Christmas trees due to allergies, respiratory problems. or just prefer an artificial tree — I would suggest you buy a LED pre-lighted wired tree. They are economical and will save you so much time and energy!
Another great choice for outside lightning are using solar lights to decorate – every year more options are available for solar Christmas lights – Christmas lights that will save you money on your energy bill!
9. Try to keep your refrigerator temperature at 36 to 38 degrees and your freezer at 0 to 5 degrees. Keep the doors closed as much as possible.
10. Try to buy Green Electricity which is electricity produced by low or even zero-pollutions facilities. Check out www.greenpower.com
11. When washing clothes make sure you have a full load instead of washing a few items at a time and wash your clothes in warm or cold water instead of hot. Save water and energy and make sure your living eco-friendly!
12. Since it is the season to bake cookies and many other tasty treats–When baking or cooking meals try not to open you oven door more than absolutely necessary because it will reduce the temperature 25 to 30 degrees. When baking in an electric oven, you can turn the heat off several minutes before your food is fully cooked as long you keep the door closed and it will finish cooking your meal. When cooking on top of your stove, try to match the size of the pan to the heating element. More heat will get to the pan and less will be lost to the surrounding air. A six-inch pan on an eight-inch burner will waste more than 40 percent of the energy!
13. If you use glass or ceramic pans, you can turn your oven temperature down 25 degrees, and foods will cook just as quickly.
14. Fireplaces– Most of us usually thing about setting around the glowing fire as a way to save energy, since the fire creates heat and your furnace should not have to work as hard. Unfortunately this not the case! What actually happens is as the fire burns, it draws in air from your house, heats it up, and then the hot air rushes up and out your chimney. That air is replaced by your house sucking in freezing cold air from outside, and while your living room might feel warm, the rest of your house will be ice-cold. Then your furnace has to work overtime to get your home under control again, and it ends up costing you money in the long run.
15. Buy a Potted Christmas tree: A real tree is less environmentally harmful and you can plant it after Christmas in your yard or anywhere you choose. You will be helping the environment and lessen your carbon footprint this holiday season.
Just remember to ” Go Green” be Eco-Friendly, Recycle, Reuse this Christmas and throughout the coming year! Your green lifestyle and taking one small step at a time to save our Environment, Stop Global Warming, and to “Saving Our Planet” will help our world be safer for our children and all future generations! While saving energy make sure you take the time to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and be kind to yourself, our environment, and all those that you come into contact with.
Show your love and friendship to all people and to our planet!
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