It’s tempting to turn up the heat in your home a few degrees, but step back from the thermostat! Throw on a sweatshirt and fuzzy socks and break out that blanket you thought it wasn’t cold enough to use yet; you’ll be warm in no time. Check your windows and doors.
Do you feel a draft? If so, seal the cracks. According to Home Depot’s online help department, it’s as simple as using a cheap bottle of caulk. After it dries, check the window again to make sure it’s sealed properly. Also, make sure your home is properly insulated. The Department of Energy suggests either a professional home energy audit, or at least a self audit. The how-to steps for a self audit are located at their website: http://energy.gov.
Last but not least, if you absolutely need to turn the heat on (or up,) make sure to turn it down before leaving the house!
Don’t leave electronics on when you’re not using them. Ideally, they should be unplugged when you’re done with them. . If left plugged in, electronics continue to consume energy even after you power them down. If the sun is shining, open your curtains and enjoy natural sunlight instead of flipping on your fluorescent light switch. Try line drying your laundry- it’ll save you money! Dryers use a lot of electricity; the Department of Energy estimates that electric dryers account for close to six percent of a household’s electricity consumption. By making these simple changes, you can conserve energy and save money on your electricity bill!
Who loves to take long, hot showers? Taking shorter showers to reduce water use, which will lower your water and heating bills! Try to skip the bottled water. It’s convenient, but it generates a large amount of container waste. We have some of the best drinking water in the state of New York! Watch The Story of Bottled Water, grab a reusable, preferably metal, water bottle and drink up!
Support your local economy and shop at a farmer’s market. By purchasing sustainably grown food in the area, it not only diminishes our carbon footprint from the transport of food, but it’s also good for your health. Visit LocalHarvest.org to find farmer’s markets close to you. You will also find information on how to participate in a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, to buy local and seasonal food directly from the farmer.
Donate your unused closed to thrift shops. While you are there, look around for a new pair of jeans or other clothing items on your wish list to support your local economy. Shopping at the thrift store is a practical way to get more for your money. You can often walk into a thrift store and find well-made and expensive clothing that can be purchased for half of what you would pay at the retail store. Be open-minded and you may be
pleasantly surprised at what you will find.
By following this simple list, you will be on your way to a greener lifestyle. Your planet and your wallet will thank you!