These everyday moves can help you waste less and save more.
At this point, every home should have a programmable thermostat (call up your utility provider — ) . Use one to lower the temperature every day 7 to 10 degrees when you're not home or at night when you sleep, and you can . For a truly techy option, try — it learns your habits to automatically adjust the temperature when you're not around.
Some electricity providers charge more during the day (when the demand for power is higher). So save by running loads of laundry and dishes after dinner instead or in the early morning.
Speaking of laundry, your washing machine devotes to heating up the water — and cold water will get clothes just as clean. Wash a few loads a week in cold water (and choose liquid detergent over powdered to ensure it dissolves well) and you can save up to $40 per year.
Two tweaks to your dishwashing routine will save you time and money. First, don't run your dishwasher until it's completely full. Second, just scrape off dishes into the trash can instead of pre-rinsing them, and you can , says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And, yes, running the dishwasher is still way more efficient than handwashing dishes, so go ahead and use it.
Idly browsing your late-night snack options or leaving the door wide open while you put away groceries can cost you. As you let cold air escape, your refrigerator has to work harder to reduce its internal temperature again. This bad habit accounts for up to
Here's a sneaky energy saver: ice trays. They take seconds to fill, and you save up to by shutting down your ice maker.
Is this a familiar scene? You're craving a cold glass of water, so you let the sink faucet run for a minute, so the water can cool down. That five minutes could waste up to , according to the EPA. Instead, keep a pitcher or reusable bottle of tap water in the fridge, ready to go.
Organic foods can be pricey. But you don't have to go all organic, just know what to look out for. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) that contain the most pesticide residue. Choosing to buy the organic versions of just these foods can reduce your family's exposure to pesticides by 80% without breaking your grocery budget.
Avoid storing heavy items in the back of your car unless you really need them. More than 100 pounds of stuff in your trunk can , which is like spending an extra 7 cents per gallon on gas. You can also save at the pump with . Earn points with certain , and then use your points to fill up at a nearby Exxon.
Don't just close the screen — shut it down completely when you're done with it. This could on your electric bill.
Even when you aren't using them, your electronics (think: a charging tablet, TV, stereo, and more) are stealthily wasting electricity. Unplug them to prevent which can amount to .
The typical heater is set to warm household water to 140° F, but your water doesn't really need to be above 120° F. Lowering it — 10-degree reductions can save between $12 to $30 a year.
Taking a shorter shower is an water-saving move that's easy enough, but a smarter showerhead can make things easier. Low-flow showerheads (you can find them at any major hardware store) may , according to the EPA's WaterSense program.
By placing a rain barrel at the base of a downspout, rainy days will finally have a silver lining: What you collect can be used to water