5 Energy Choices for a Sustainable Future

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Like charity, energy conservation begins at home. If you’ve always prided yourself on being a shrewd consumer who favors long-term cost savings and durability, you’ll appreciate that energy-saving products will also help you pinch your pennies.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made this easier when you need to choose an appliance -- the organization requires an Energy Guide label on many kinds of major appliances that tell you how much energy the machine uses compared to similar models. Products can also earn Energy Star labels from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program if they meet certain standards of energy efficiency. Such appliances often cost more than others, but the savings in energy costs often make it cheaper in the long run.

Smaller purchases can also make a difference. Energy-efficient florescent light bulbs, for instance, are a better choice than incandescent bulbs. In addition to remembering to turn lights off when you’re not using them, you could invest in motion sensors or timers to help minimize their use.