If you listen to our show (Tuesday mornings at 9:00 am on KPCW, 91.9 FM or 88.1 FM or streaming live or downloadable at www.kpcw.org) you’ll be familiar with our Green Living 10 Tips Under $10 series. If not, here’s the rundown. Each week on the show, we share a list of 10 tips for green living; all under $10. I personally LOVE this series. I am new to the show (look Mom, I’m an intern!) and still have quite a bit to learn from our esteemed hosts, Katie Noble and Nell Larson. These ladies know their stuff, environmentally speaking. I’m so impressed each week. I’ve implemented a number of these tips already. I love how simple they are; although when seeing how simple these changes can be, I’m often ashamed that I never thought to do this stuff on my own. Alas, that is why we are here: to share with you a variety of ways to live sustainably and environmentally friendly.
1. Check out the air quality in Salt Lake City before you make a trip there. It will save your lungs and prevent adding to pollution in the valley. www.airquality.utah.gov
2. Before you buy another car, check out the EPA’s website www.fueleconomy.gov which will calculate your new car’s carbon footprint and air pollution output.
3. Turn down your hot water heater to 120 degrees. Even if you live in a rental property, this is an easy and quick way to save money and save 550 pounds of CO2 per year.
4. Buy a blanket for your hot water heater. Hot water insulating blankets are about $10 and will keep all of the heat from escaping from your heater. Don’t try using a household blanket – it could catch fire from the pilot light. This will save 1,000 pounds of CO2 per year.
5. Turn down your thermostat. Ideally it shouldn’t be above 68 during the day and 62 at night or when you’re out of the house.
6. Buy a 3 pack of CFL’s and replace 3 bulbs in your home. The new CFL’s are much better than the old ones in term of brightness and luminosity. If every US home replaced just one lightbulb with a CFL, it would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year.
7. Unplug all devices except your refrigerator when you aren’t using them to avoid the phantom power draw. Turn off all power strips as well. If you keep devices plugged in to a power strip, it’s easy to turn off the strip. This includes hair dryers, toasters, cell phone chargers, laptop chargers, televisions, stereos, electric toothbrushes, coffee grinders, blenders. It’s a pain at first, but then becomes routine.
8. Buy a clothesline for your shower and hang clothes in the winter. Denim, towels and blankets are particularly hard on your dryer – give it a break and hang them up. To avoid the dreaded crunchiness, put them in the dryer when they are almost dry. Over a 6 month period a clothesline can save 600 pounds of C02.
9. Don’t give away your old clothing – yet. Instead put it in a box and store it for a year. You’ll be amazed when you pull out some things you really want to wear again.
10. Weatherstripping. Use it, love it, hug it. It’ll save on your energy bills and keep the drafts out of your house.