— From the Pages of FLL Issue #36
1. The first thing you should do is figure out how much energy you’re actually using. One of the most fun, interactive ways to do this is by calculating your carbon footprint. Go to www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/ to measure your impact on our climate. This calculator is not too long, not too short, and even gives you energy saving tips at the end.
2. Many computers, televisions, air conditioners, and even dishwashers have “energy saving” options. Use them! Though energy saving appliances may cost more up front, they will save you money in the long run. Look for the blue and white Energy Star® label on the appliance of your choice. After using energy saving appliances for one month, call your electric company to do a comparison.
3. Purchase energy saving LED or fluorescent light bulbs for your most used lights. Once again, they may cost more at first, but will use at least 75% less energy, last ten (or more) times longer, and provide just as much luminance as those bulbs who have been swallowing your wallet.
4. Buy a bike. Look on Craigslist or check out the Common Wheel in Lancaster for an affordable riding option. Many people do their grocery shopping with merely a backpack and a bike. Not only will you be lessening your personal level of gas pollution, you’ll get some good lookin’ legs out of it, too!
5. There are many additional tricks of the trade regarding the care of your home. Stop the dishwasher before the drying cycle and let dishes drip dry instead. When washing clothing, only wash full loads. Also, use cold water for your cycles with cold-water detergent; hot water cycles use 90 percent of the energy during the process.