Save Energy in the Laundry Room
Hand washing and line drying may be the most eco- and budget-friendly options for
doing laundry, but our busy schedules often don't allow us to take up these greener
housekeeping practices. Below are ways to reduce your energy use and lower your utility
bills, while still taking advantage of the conveniences of the modern laundry room.
- Wash with cooler water: About 90 percent of the energy consumed by your washing machine
is used just to heat the water.
- Run full loads: Your washer and dryer use the same amount of mechanical energy, regardless
of how full they are, so the best way to save energy is to run full loads of laundry.
- Set your machine for energy savings: Take advantage of your washer and dryer's energy-saving
settings, like the washing machine's “high spin” option, which cuts down on drying
- Turn down the water heater: The default temperature setting for your water heater
is usually 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which actually provides water that is too hot for
most residential needs. Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Clean the lint filter: After each load, clean the lint screen in your dryer to improve
air circulation, reduce drying time and prevent fires.
- Shop for efficiency: If it's time to replace your old washing machine, look for washers
with the EPA Energy Star label. Energy Star appliances use 37 percent less energy and 50 percent less water
than their conventional counterparts which can save you hundreds of dollars over the
life of the machine.
Keep Your Cool
Did you know that forty percent of carbon dioxide emissions and 70 percent of electricity
costs are generated as a result of heating and cooling office buildings? When the
weather warms up we should do everything we can to conserve energy as we keep cool.
Here are some tips to help:
- Save ten percent on your electricity bill by adjusting your thermostat by one or two
- Use automatic setback thermostats for weekends and evenings.
- Consider using outside air economizers.
- Use solar shading to reduce heat generated from the Sun.
- Keep office temperatures low by closing blinds.
When it comes to technology, we are always on the lookout for smarter, faster and
sleeker gadgets, but have you ever considered what happens to your old electronics?
Ewaste, or Electronic waste, is becoming a major problem as electronics are being
replaced and thrown out on a regular basis. Here are a few things you can do to minimize
- Buy refurbished cell phones.
- Recycle your old cell phones.
- Recycle or refill empty ink cartridges.
- Donate old televisions and stereos instead of tossing them.
- Repair instead of replace.
The twenty-first century has often been referred to as the "Digital Age," yet we continue
to waste an enormous amount of paper at the office. As we strive to conserve resources
in the work place, remember, the greenest paper is no paper at all. To digitize your
work space, try these suggestions:
- Keep files on computers instead of in file cabinets.
- Review documents onscreen rather than printing them out.
- Send emails instead of paper letters.
- Purchase software that helps eliminate blank pages from documents before printing.
- Consider "cloud" computing when working on large-scale projects with coworkers.
Ditch the Brown Bag
When packing lunch, we often ask ourselves, "paper or plastic?" The answer is neither!
A waste-free lunch does not include disposable packaging, nothing other than food
debris, such as apple cores, banana and orange peels, and cherry pits. Don't let your
lunch spoil the day; pack a waste-free lunch with these helpful hints:
- Ditch the paper bag for a reusable lunch carrier; try a lunchbox or cloth sack.
- Avoid styrofoam, foil or plastic wrap; instead, try reusable plastic containers.
- If you're using drink cartons or cans, switch to a thermos.
- When it comes to napkins, chose cloth over plastic.
- Opt for resuable utensils.