The Green Living Corner
Ramp Up Your Recycling
Recycling is less expensive than trash disposal, reducing our operating cost and saving taxpayer dollars. For more, go to this website.
Heat with Care
Properly using a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways you can save energy, money, and help fight climate change. How to keep warm instead of turning up the heat? Dress seasonally appropriately. A light sweater is generally worth two degrees in added warmth, while a heavy sweater adds four degrees. For more, go to this website.
Kill Energy ‘Vampires’
Vampire power used by appliances in standby mode consumes 5 to 15 percent of the average bill, according to the Department of Energy. If your cell phone charger, the conference room TV, or the office kitchen microwave oven is plugged in, it is still drawing energy. Unplug it. If you have a number of appliances, make it easier to ’unplug’ them by putting them on a power strip and then turning the power strip off. Appliances which draw power even when off include those with small lights, clocks, keypads and internal computers.
Let the Sun Shine In
Help the sun heat your home or office. This winter, open window blinds when the room is cold. (Likewise, in the spring and summer, draw window blinds when the room is too warm.) For more, go to this website.
Eat in Style
When you factor in the resources and energy, landfill space, and pollution resulting from disposal, after enough uses, it’s greener to use and wash reusable. For more, go to this website.
Be Bright About Light
Artificial lighting accounts for 44 percent of electricity used in buildings (Source: US DOE). Use natural lighting instead of electric lighting whenever possible. Make it a habit to turn off the fluorescent lights when they will remain off for 15 minutes or more. ‘Task lighting’ (lighting the area just around you) is much more efficient than lighting the whole room, so if you have a desk lamp, consider turning off overhead lights. Screw in an Energy Star-rated light bulb. Dominion Power is offering a $1.50 discount on single- and $3 on multi-packs of Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) purchased at Home Depot stores. Concerned about the ‘shade’ of light your CFL is emitting? The majority of CFLs available in the market offer soft or warm white light, which is comparable to an incandescent bulb. For more, go to this website.