6. Change your light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) last 10 times longer than a standard bulb and use at least two-thirds less energy. If you're shopping for new appliances or even home electronics, look for ENERGY STAR products, which have met EPA and U.S. Department of Energy guidelines for energy efficiency. As of December 2013, ENERGY STAR had helped families and businesses to save an estimated $295 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 2.3 billion tons (2.1 billion metric tons) of greenhouse gas emissions from being released over the past two decades [source: ENERGY STAR]. (Learn more about proper disposal of CFLs.)
7. Make your home more energy efficient (and save money). Clean your air filters so your system doesn't have to work overtime. Get a programmable thermostat so you aren't wasting energy when you aren't home. When you go to bed, reduce the thermostat setting -- you won't miss those extra degrees of heat or air conditioning while you're asleep.
8. Maintain your car. Underinflated tires decrease fuel economy by up to 3 percent and lead to increased pollution and higher greenhouse gas emissions [source: EPA]. Underinflation also increases tire wear, so it will save you money in the long run if you're good about checking your tire pressure.
9. Drive smarter. Slow down -- driving 60 miles (96 kilometers) per hour instead of 70 mph on the highway will save you up 4 miles (6 kilometers) per gallon [source: Consumer Guide Automotive]. Accelerating and braking too hard can actually reduce your fuel economy, so take it easy on the brakes and gas pedal.
10.Turn off lights when you're not in the room and unplug appliances when you're not using them. It only takes a second to be environmentally conscious.
More Great Links
- ENERGY STAR. "About ENERGY STAR." (May 13, 20105) http://www.energystar.gov/
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "Climate Change: What You Can Do." EPA. Oct. 19, 2006. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/index.html
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "Measuring Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Waste." EPA. Feb. 16, 2007. http://epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/waste/measureghg.html
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) EPA. "Simple Steps to Save Water." March 12, 2007. http://www.epa.gov/owm/water-efficiency/water/simple.htm
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), WaterSense. "Fix a Leak Week." February 2009. (May 13, 2015) http://www.epa.gov/climateforaction/pdf/fixaleak_factsheet.pdf