I’m a fanatic about saving electricity. Many who know me know that our air conditioner will not be running unless temperatures are in the 100s at least for a few hours and it’s after 4 p.m. I’m the one that unplugs the TV and will open up blinds and curtains instead of turning on lights. When Earth Hour comes around, we happily join in with the rest of the world and unplug for an hour.
This year will be no different. Earth Hour, a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), will happen from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the last Saturday in March. I hope you join me during this symbolic hour and commit to be the change for this planet.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until Earth Hour to start saving electricity. Here are a few other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint:
- Replace the roof with one with an ENERGY STAR® label. It will save energy and help protect the environment through superior energy-efficiency.
- Install high-performance windows with double-glazing and spectrally selective coatings that reduce heat gain and avoid cranking up your AC.
- Look for ENERGY STAR-qualified TVs – they’re up to 30 percent more efficient than noncertified models.
- Avoid energy vampires. Even when they’re turned off, home electronics in “standby” mode use energy to power features like clock displays.
- Plug electronics into a power strip, then turn the strip off when not in use to save in energy costs.
- Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use. Many chargers draw power continuously, even when the device is not plugged into the charger.
- Set your computer to sleep or hibernate mode instead of using a screen saver so it uses less electricity during periods of inactivity.
- Always wash with cold water, laundry detergent works just as well, and you’ll save 40 cents per load.
- Turn off your water heater until if you plan on leaving home for a few days. And you get back. Most models will reheat the water to the set temperature in about an hour.
- Shorten those showers to cut hot water costs.
- Get an insulation wrap to help your old water heater heat in more effectively.
- Use microwaves and toaster ovens to cook or warm leftovers. You’ll use less energy than cooking with a conventional oven.
- Keep your freezer full – it uses less energy than an empty one. For maximum savings, consider filling your freezer with gallon containers of water.
- Use motion-detector lights for all your outdoor lighting – they’re convenient and efficient.
- Select light-colored or opaque lamp shades. Place lamps in corners so they reflect light from two walls.
If we all commit to doing just a few of these tips, we can continue to reduce levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (ghg) in the atmosphere. Consider solar energy because as a renewable resource available within many geographic regions of the U.S., it has great potential to significantly reduce our nation’s ghg emissions.
Join Bill Walton and NRG Home Solar to fight climate change
It’s in #yourpower to make a difference! This Earth Hour join basketball legend Bill Walton and NRG Home Solar to fight climate change by taking a pledge to find out more about how solar power can help you be kind to your wallet + the environment. Every pledge you enter will have a chance to win 1 of 10 “Earth Boxes” valued at over $500!! If NRG Home Solar reaches 1,000 pledges, they will donate $20,000 to Grid Alternatives – an organization that provides solar for low-income families across the United States.
Go to nrgearthmonth.com to enter and pledge to increase awareness about climate change by finding out more about solar and have a chance to win 1 of 10 Earth boxes! Each box includes a $300 Visa Gift Card, Goal Zero Torch and Rechargeable Speaker, throw pillow, and seed bombs, all together valued at $500. Give your pledge and make a difference this Earth MonthClick here to enter