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No/Low Cost Projects

No and Low-Cost Things You Can Do Today to Save Water, Energy, Money and the Environment.

Water Saving Tips:

  • Install a low-flow showerhead and take only a 5-minute shower or 3-inch tub bath. Older showerheads deliver four to five gallons of water per minute. A new, two-and-a-half-gallon-per-minute showerhead will reduce your water consumption by one-third to one-half. A typical bathtub holds about 60 gallons. A top-quality, low-flow showerhead will cost $10 to $20 and pay for itself in energy saved within four months.
  • Catch water in a bucket or watering can while waiting for shower water to get hot.
  • Put a water displacement bag or plastic bottle in each toilet tank.
  • Fix leaky toilets, faucets and pipes. Leaky hot water pipes will run up BIG bills. One drip can waste up to 48 gallons of water a week. If it's a hot water faucet that's leaking, you're literally sending your energy dollars down the drain.
  • Turn off the water while shaving, brushing your teeth, and lathering in the shower.
  • Run only full loads in dishwashers and washing machines.
  • SWEEP, never hose, driveway, patio or sidewalk.
  • When you change your pet's water, pour the old into the nearest plant. The plant will never know the difference!
  • Check for and fix leaks inside and outside of the home, including sprinklers and valves.

ENERGY Saving Tips:

  • Vacuum your forced air system filter so it doesn't have to work as hard to pull the air through it.
  • Close the fireplace damper (flue) when not in use.
  • Test your doors for leaks. Go outside in the dark and check for light shining through.
  • Vacuum your refrigerator coils. Check the gasket seals by closing a piece of paper in the door. If you can move it up and down easily, the gaskets are not sealing well, and warm air is leaking in.
  • Keep your refrigerator full, even if you simply use large containers of water. The mass of the contents helps keep the refrigerator cold.
  • Unplug or recycle extra refrigerators. Older and second units may use as much as 40% more energy than newer models.
  • Keep the dryer lint trap and the exhaust vent clean so the dryer doesn't have to work as hard. A dirty lint trap will really slow down the drying process.
  • Throw in a couple of dry towels with a wet load. They will help wick the moisture away. The load will dry quicker, and you will use less gas or electricity.
  • Use the air-dry mode in your dishwasher.
  • Wash full loads of clothes in cold water.
  • Clean your light bulbs and glass fixtures periodically. Sounds funny but it makes a huge difference. Dust blocks light.
  • Place lamps near the corners of the rooms. The light reflects off two walls and spreads the light better.
  • Set your computer to go into sleep mode when not in use. Turn off the monitor when you leave for more than 10-15 minutes.
  • When using the oven, turn off the gas 5 minutes earlier than the recipe calls for and let the food sit in the hot oven the remaining time. 5 minutes multiplied by the number of dinners really adds up!
  • Don't peek. Every time you open the oven door to look at the food, the oven temperature is lowered by 25°F to 75°F. Use a timer if the oven door does not have a window.
  • Purchase EnergyStar appliances. Don't be misled by labels such as "Energy Miser," "Energy Saver" and "Fuel Saver." The best way to determine energy efficiency of appliances is to compare information provided by EnergyGuide labels.
  • Last but not least, and you've heard this many times before, set your thermostat for 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer. In the winter, open the window shades to let the sun warm the air; in the summer, close them to block out the sun's rays.
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