Your Car3, 4
Save time and money, help prolong the life of your vehicle and reduce harmful emissions when you:
- Plan your route to minimize time on the road
- Get tune-ups and properly inflate tires
- Avoid excessive speeding and braking
- Avoid overusing the air conditioner
- Avoid extra weight
- Don't idle
Living near your office, school, favorite stores and businesses and/or friends saves cash by reducing wear and tear and the amount of money you spend on gas. It may also provide greater opportunities to walk, bike, carpool or take public transportation.
In 2010, with the help of ENERGY STAR, Americans saved nearly $18 billion on their utility bills while
reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 33 million cars.5 Minimize your heating,
cooling and electrical expenses, and your carbon footprint, when you:
- Shorten your shower time
- Install a low-flow showerhead
- Turn off lights not in use
- Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs*
- Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use and/or plug into a power strip designed to cut energy use when appliances/electronics are switched off
- Use ENERGY STAR* approved heating and cooling equipment, appliances, electronics and light fixtures
- Use a programmable thermostat to avoid unnecessary heating and cooling
- Appropriately seal and insulate your home
- Compost* food and yard waste, including autumn leaves!
- Take advantage of federal tax credits6 for consumer energy efficiency
Are you replacing your home’s current systems or building new? Solar, wind and geothermal systems are more affordable and attractive than ever before. And if you produce more power than you need, you can earn cash selling back to local utility companies.
Reduce waste*, greenhouse gases and spending when you:
- Use reusable grocery bags
- Use an at-home water filtration product (a pitcher or faucet attachment) and a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water
- Buy in bulk
- Share books and magazines with friends, borrow them from the library or view them online
- Sell or donate your unwanted, slightly used clothes, furniture and other household items
- Buy ENERGY STAR approved products
Repurpose packaging (e.g., cardboard, plastic lids, jars) for arts and crafts projects.
Considerable energy is required to harvest trees, produce and distribute paper. Help protect forests and reduce demand by:
- Using recycled paper
- Printing double-sided
- Banning unsolicited mail* (e.g. pre-approved credit card offers, insurance solicitations)
- Opting out of store catalogs and viewing/purchasing merchandise online
- Canceling newspaper and magazine home delivery and choosing online subscriptions
- Obtaining coupons from couponing websites or e-mail
- Enrolling in online banking and/or mobile banking and
- Recycling used paper and paper products
> Save on School Supplies
> Achieve Financial Independence
> Enjoy a SAVE-cation - Time away without breaking the bank
> Managing Your Identity - Protecting Against Identity Theft
> There’s no place like home … but should you rent or own?
> Empowering Our Kids Today and Tomorrow: The ABCs of Money Management
1Shulman, Seth. "Publications/Catalyst." Union of Concerned Scientists: Citizens and Scientists for Environmental Solutions. N.p., Spring 2012. Web. 21 Aug 2012.
2Rogers, Chris Dinesen Rogers. "How to Reduce Your Home's Carbon Footprint Living with a Skeptic." suite101.com. N.p., 8/01/2012. Web. 21 Aug 2012.
3"Action No. 173 - Drive the car, don't let the car drive you." Brighter Planet. N.p unknown., n.d. Web. 21 Aug 2012.
4"How to Increase Fuel Mileage on a Car." wikiHow. N.p. unknown, n.d. Web. 21 Aug 2012.
5"About ENERGY STAR." ENERGY STAR. N.p. unknown, n.d. Web. 21 Aug 2012. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=about.ab_index*
6For more information about tax credits, please contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)* or a professional tax advisor.
7"Paper Recycling Frequent Questions." United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). N.p., unknown. Web. 21 Aug 2012.
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This article is based on information available in August 2012. It is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific financial, investment, tax, legal, accounting, or other advice and should not be acted or relied upon without the advice of a professional advisor. A professional advisor will recommend action based on your personal circumstances and the most recent information available.