Saving energy not only saves you money, but helps improve air and water quality too.
MSNBC reports that skies became dramatically cleaner when power plants had to shut down during the August 2003 blackout that hit the Northeast.
Measurements found a 90 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide, a gas that leads to haze and acid rain, and a 50 percent reduction in smog, or ground-level ozone. Not only could the improvement in air quality be measured, but it could be seen clearly with the naked eye.
How To Videos
Want to see exactly how to approach energy efficiency projects? Use this guide to a variety of "how to" videos available online.
Easy Things You Can Do
When an old incandescent light bulb burns out, replace it with a compact florescent light bulb (CFL). They last much longer and use less energy.
Wrap your hot water heater with an insulating blanket and save up to 20% on costs associated with heating your water.
Air can leak into a room through the holes cut into a wall for outlets and light switches. Simple foam mats will seal those leaks.
Air can leak into your home around window and door casings. Caulk around windows and doors to keep out drafts. Rope caulk is clean, easy to use, and doesn't require any tools.
Windows and doors that no longer close tightly could benefit from an application of v-shaped fin striping and/or foam tape. When the window or door is closed, these products will help to seal any gaps.
If drafts enter your home under exterior hinged doors, simply install a door sweep which will brush along the floor and seal any gaps under the door when it is closed.
Not sure which electronics or appliances use the most electricity in your home? Try plugging a watt meter into the wall and it will tell you how much energy an electronic item or appliance draws when plugged into the meter. This will help you decide which things to unplug when they are not in use.