Being sustainable means saving money. Here are a few easy ways to save money and the environment.
Reducing Energy Use.
- The Department of Energy suggests turning down the thermostat on your water heater to 120ºF can reduce your gas bill.
- Maintaining a clean air filter can reduce blockage which can strain your HVAC system leading to possible damages.
- Use compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs instead of standard incandescent bulbs. By changing one light bulb the average person saves 12 dollars a year. You can find additional information about energy efficient lighting here.
- Updating your weather stripping around doors and windows and adding insulation to your attic will cut heating and cooling costs.
- Consider Microsoft Hohm, a free Web-based beta application that helps you save energy and money. With Microsoft Hohm you can better understand your home energy usage, get recommendations to conserve energy and start saving. For more information about how to sign up, visit the Microsoft Hohm information page.
- Consult the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency for a comprehensive list of state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- If you are interested in buying an energy efficient home or if you are considering making energy efficient improvements to your home read the Guide to Home Energy Efficiency.
Reducing Water Use.
- The average shower uses 2.5 gallons per minute and reducing shower time or using a water conservation kit can be an effective way to cut monthly water usage and cost.
- Monitor your sprinkler system so that water is being used on your lawn and not the street or sidewalk.
- Use a rainwater harvesting system for landscape irrigation and gardening.
- Fix leaks around the home to save thousands of gallons of water per year and lower your water bill.
- View the Richardson Water Conservation page for Essential Water Conservation Tips.
Enhancing Air Quality.
- Keep your vehicle tuned-up with correct tire pressure to slow down long term wear and tear and improve gas mileage.
- Report smoking vehicles.
- Car pool or use public transportation to reduce pollution and gas usage.
- Burn calories and save money by riding a bicycle instead of driving. Take advantage of Richardson's bicycle lanes and designated routes.
- Carefully consider fuel economy and alternative fuel vehicles before purchasing a new car or truck. Choosing a more efficient vehicle with better gas mileage will mean less emissions, better air quality, and less money spent at the pump.
Beautifying Your Lawn.
- Making a compost pile is a fun and cheap way to produce fertilizer for your lawn and reduces what you throw away.
- Plant a tree that absorbs carbon dioxide and provides shade on your home, reducing your cooling bills.
- Consult the Texas Urban Landscape Guide for information on effective landscape planning, design, maintenance, and irrigation.
- For more lawn and garden advice check out the Texas A&M Ag Extension.
- Texas SmartScape® provides an interactive how-to-guide for landscaping with drought tolerant plants native to North Central Texas in order to conserve water, protect the environment, and beautify your home.
Kids can practice sustainability, too! Check out these great educational links:
Find additional energy saving tips and tools by following these links: