Five Easy Steps to Feel-Good
Thursday, March 12, 2009 | Author: eventer79
We hear a million times in a million places to "just do X to live greener!" But we can't afford to, don't have time to, don't have the know-how to do ALL those things and how on earth do we figure out which ones have a meaningful impact and which ones are window dressing???

Well, here are five suggestions, some even free, that WILL make a real difference and are completely doable for just about any homeowner.

(1) Stop "vampire" appliances! Any device with a "ready" light, standby mode (i.e. clocks on microwaves and radios), or screensavers, are sucking up power 24/7. This can account for up to 25% of your power bill!!! You can either pull the plug, or you can get a "smart" power strip that will shut things off for you when not in use (more here).

(2) Have an older toilet? These greedy buggers can suck down up to seven gallons with one flush. Now I am not a fan of new super low-flow toilets (some things you just NEED water to get rid of!!!) but more than two gallons is excessive -- just fill a two-liter bottle with water, put it in your toilet tank and you'll cut water use by 1/2 gallon with every flush.

(3) Programmable thermostats -- buy one and use one if you can! A nice one might set you back about $20 and can save you hundreds of dollars a year. By reducing energy demand when you are sleeping or not at home, you also pocket plenty of extra cash.

(4) Showerheads -- go low-flow. This doesn't have to mean low pressure, new models do a great job of using air to still give you a lovely water pressure during your bathing.

(5) Reuse greywater. Greywater is just any water that has already been used once -- most sink water can easily be reused, primarily for flushing toilets. SinkPositive is a great product I've just discovered if you are looking to replace a sink in your bathroom. Drain water goes straight into your toilet tank and is reused for flushing -- no one needs drinking quality water in their toilet, what a waste!! Another (easier and cheaper, but slightly illegal according to most building codes so keep it to yourself) way to do this is simply replumb your sink drain with a flexible pipe that connects to your toilet tank. Very easy to do if the two are located close to each other.

There's lots of "low-hanging fruit" out there, wanderers, so get creative with ways to reuse resources and know that it doesn't have to cost you a bunch of money -- just adjusting an old habit or two and often even saving you money, which is something we all need these days!
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On March 12, 2009 at 3:22 PM , lifeshighway said...

Even the re-chargeable toothbrush! Can I keep my nightlight? Good info though, sent it on to the hubby.

On March 13, 2009 at 9:34 AM , eventer79 said...

I'll let you keep your nightlight -- the dark is a scary scary place.