The 12 Best Ways to Reduce your Energy Footprint

By Charlie Szoradi and the Great Green Home Show,
Posted on Thursday 12th March 2009

These suggestions are in no particular order, and while not one on its own is groundbreaking, executed in accord, these tips will definitely save you a lot of money in not all that much time.

  • Take Public Transportation – Carpooling, or just not driving, to one’s destination is one of the most effective ways of reducing a carbon footprint and not wasting precious fossil fuels. A quick one-mile trip to the shop emits up to 70 percent as much pollution as a ten-mile excursion with several stops.
  • Use the Programmable Thermostat – If you program your thermostat to drop very low while no one is home, or while you and your family sleep, you can save a ton of money on your energy bills. Also, you should clean the filter on your Air Conditioning Unit, and set the degree mark up by 5 degrees and down by 5 degrees, for when you are home and not home, respectively.
  • Hot Water Heater Blanket – Wrap your hot water heater in a blanket, so that it does not emit heat while sitting in the basement. In the winter, the room that the hot water heater sits in is often 60 or more degrees colder than the water in the heater. This causes heat loss, and makes the heater work harder to keep the water at its peak temperature. Also consider turning down the setting on your heater, or getting an On Demand Water Heater, that will not continuously heat a large quantity of water, saving you a ton.
  • Don’t Use the Dryer – Hang your clothes up outside on a line, and reward yourself with huge savings. The dryer uses a lot of energy to run, and also causes insulation problems in your home as the spout that releases the steam from the dryer is normally not properly sealed.
  • Think Energy Star® – When the time comes to replace an old appliance, consider an Energy Star® rated product. They have dryers, refrigerators, windows, roofs and solar equipment that will save you money in the long run.
  • Solar Panels – The installation of Solar Panels can be expensive, but they are well worth it. There are also tax credits available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that will refund you 30% of the total cost. This will add value to your home, while saving you money on your energy bills.
  • Low-Flow – Utilizing low-flow shower heads, faucets and toilets will greatly reduce the amount of water your family uses. When implemented along with a Rain Barrel for rain water collection, you will see the amount of water used on your utility bill drop dramatically.
  • A Brand New Car – Think about purchasing a hybrid or electric plug-in vehicle. These cars have really great mileage (in the mid to high 30 mpg range or better; non SUV of course), and at the moment might be even cheaper than you think. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allows for tax rebates on certain models that could return up to $7,500 to you when tax time rolls around.
  • Recycle – Recycle everything you can, and try to buy recycled goods as well. Actually, just buy less of everything. You don’t really need it anyway…
  • Silent Energy Stealers – Get a power chord that will monitor the energy released to your electric equipment. Ghost loads are the use of energy by products that aren’t on or in use. Computers and peripherals are huge culprits of ghost loads. Make sure you turn off those things you aren’t using, like the television or the stereo.
  • Change How you Eat – Add more natural and organic foods to your diet, and make sure they come from local farms as to not waste gas on transportation. Also, try to eat less burgers. It takes 6 gallons of water to produce a head of lettuce, but it takes over 1,000 to produce a cheeseburger with lettuce, because the feed for the cows is so inefficient to grow, plus the emissions for the tractors is very high.

  • Invest Responsibly – Invest your money in Socially Responsible growth-oriented businesses or funds. is a free resource for anyone that wants to save energy, money, and the environment. The articles, product reviews, online tools, and return on investment calculations are researched from a diverse range of public and private sector sources. Overall, the company is passionate about saving money as well as creating healthy homes, offices, and lifestyles.

To hear the audio for this and other Great Green Home Show radio segments, visit the “On the Radio” section on For energy saving tips, consider an Energy Audit or a Home Efficiency Checkup.

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