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Waste Not, Want Not

by Judy Wolfram

     

Updated on Wednesday*:

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Even though it’s only the beginning of October, it still might be warm enough to use your air conditioner--which means that the electric bill goes up, up, up!

Let me give you a few tips to save on that bill:

--Turn off all the lights you don’t actually need to see. (If you’re bumping into walls, turn a light on.)

--I’ve mentioned this before, and I’ll remind you again: unplug electric devices you are not using. This includes coffee pots, toasters, CD players, stereos, televisions, hair dryers, electric curlers, electric toothbrushes and radios. While plugged in, they are still using some electricity. Even cell phone chargers should be unplugged.

--When cooking on a stovetop, use lids on the pans to keep the heat inside the pan, and use pans that fit the burners. When you heat beyond the pan’s edge, you warm the air and waste energy.

--If you boil water for instant coffee, hot tea or iced tea, use a pot or pan with the right amount of water in it. That way you don’t have to use a lot of energy to boil a full kettle.

--If your freezer isn’t full, just pack it with scrunched up newspapers. It helps save energy. They also absorb odors.

--Try to buy energy-saving appliances when shopping for a needed replacement or new appliance.

--I know energy-efficient light bulbs are expensive, but they will save you money in the long run. When you turn on an ordinary light bulb, only 10 percent of the electricity used is turned into light. A whopping 90 percent is wasted as heat. One energy-efficient light bulb saves up to $14 and 40 grams of carbon dioxide every year. If every household changed to energy-efficient light bulbs, we would save enough energy to provide the lighting in 10 million homes for a year.

--Don’t forget to clean the dust off the condenser coils on the back of your refrigerator. It keeps the fridge from running too often, saving energy and keeping the heat generated to a minimum.

My thought for the month is: When you save energy, you not only save money, but help to save the planet too.

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