Caring for the Cosmos
November 2009: Reducing Energy Use
Continuing our efforts to become better keepers of God’s earth, one straightforward step we can take involves reducing the amount of emissions we produce, particularly carbon dioxide. Since much of the CO2 that is released into the atmosphere comes from burning fossil fuels to generate electricity, I encourage everyone to review the following list of tips for saving power, taken from MichaelBlueJay.com, that can be easily implemented at home.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat, and schedule the heat to run at a lower temperature at night, and when you’re not at home.
- Instead of turning up the thermostat, use space heaters to warm up the room you’re occupying.
- Check that caulking around windows and weather-stripping around doors are air-tight.
- Insulate your attic.
- Pull shades or curtains on hot days, to prevent the sunlight from heating up rooms; on cold days, keep them open to let in more light and warmth.
- Before turning on the air conditioner, cool off your home with attic or ceiling fans, when the temperature outside is lower than inside.
- Turn off lights you’re not using.
- If you have an electric water heater, wash laundry in cold water.
- Put your computer into hibernation mode when you’re not using it.
- Instead of running a clothes dryer, hang wet laundry on a clothesline or a laundry rack.
- Replace traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescents.
- When shopping for a new clothes washer, look at front-loading models. Besides saving energy, many products qualify for a $75 rebate offered through NJ’s Clean Energy Progam, as detailed at NJCleanEnergy.com.
- Refrigerators purchased before 1987 use 1400 kWh per year on average, significantly more than newer models. Consider replacing an older fridge with one made after 2001, which uses only 500 kWh annually. Assuming an electricity rate of 12¢/kWh, these numbers translate to a savings of $108 per year.
Copyright © 2009-2013 by Jennifer Kirsch. All Rights Reserved.