Conservation tips

Instead of air conditioning, use fans

Ceiling fans can be a useful helper or substitute for air conditioning even at the peak of summer. But as the temperatures of August become a memory, now might be a good time to turn off the A/C altogether and instead rely on an open window or ceiling fan. **How this helps** Your air conditioner is one of the biggest… read more →

Use night lights

This is an easy one. Do you leave any room lights on in your house to help you (or your little ones) navigate at night? Switch them off and use low-energy night lights instead. **How this helps** Super-efficient night lights, particularly ones that use LEDs, need so little energy that they cost less than a dollar *per year* to operate.… read more →

Plan for a new water heater before your old one fails

Most people don't think about their water heater until it suddenly dies. Then the priority becomes replacing it as quickly as possible. In the long term, this can be an expensive proposition. Water heaters vary greatly in efficiency, so know in advance which one is right for your home. **How this helps** Water heaters come in a wide variety of… read more →

Fill up your fridge

The fog has cleared around TerraPass towers and we're feeling the heat. Here's a way to save energy used by your fridge or freezer during the summer months: keeping your fridge and freezer at least three-quarters full to reduce the amount of energy they use. **How this helps** Items in your fridge have been already been cooled, so they help… read more →

Run your big appliances at night

Another tip for keeping your house cool in the summer: run your washing machine, dishwasher, and drier at night. These big appliances throw off a lot of heat, and during the day you're just going to make your air conditioner work overtime to keep the house cool. Another benefit of using your big appliances at night is that you reduce… read more →

Keep your air conditioner free of gunk

Last week we suggested easing up on the A/C during summer months to conserve energy. But whatever temp you choose, it makes sense to keep your cooling system running as efficiently as possible. Take a few minutes to give it a proper cleaning. You'll save energy and extend its life. **How this helps** Air conditioners suck up a lot of… read more →

Set your thermostat to 78 degrees

*It's been too long since we posted some nuts-and-bolts conservation tips. So without further ado...* It's hot out there. But it doesn't need to be quite so cool inside. Set your thermostat to turn on the air conditioning at a temperature no lower than 78° F (25° C). **How this helps** It simply doesn't need to be that cold inside.… read more →

Cut your carbon and save on auto insurance

Here's another example of how the tortoise beats the hare. The insurance industry is starting to offer lower rates for drivers who drive less, apply a light foot on the pedal, and avoid sudden stops. These driving habits save fuel and reduce carbon emissions. They also cut down on accident risks and the resulting insurance claims. Now technology is helping… read more →

Cut your travel footprint this summer

The kids are out of school, and that summer vacation that seemed so far away when you booked it back in February suddenly looms. Whether you're flying, driving, biking, or sailing, we've got some advice on how to keep your carbon footprint down while you do it. Regardless of how you travel, the best way to get your carbon footprint… read more →

Cutting carbon from your diet: a practical guide

Cookbook author and food writer Mark Bittman offers up some practical advice on reducing your meat consumption, which, you may recall, is probably the most effective way to cut the carbon footprint of your diet. Fans of Bittman (I am among them) may have noticed a tidy compatibility between Bittman's food writing and Michael Pollan's more polemical work on food… read more →
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