Energy effecient dishwasher
Sunset, Thomas J. Story

Pack in the Dishes

Fill the dishwasher with every use. Dishwashers use more energy the less they have in them. By running it with only full loads, you could save an estimated 100 pounds of carbon dioxide and $40 per year.

Check out these energy-efficient appliances.

Fix leaks
Liesa Cole

Be Leak-Free

Fix leaks! As soon as you spot a leak at your house, fix it or contact your plumber to do so.

Fact: Leaky toilets can waste 30 to 50 gallons per day per toilet, and leaky faucets can waste 15 to 20 gallons per day.

Learn more about kitchen faucet styles.

See more of this great budget bathroom makeover.

use reusable cleaning tools
Cottage Living, Robbie Caponetto

Recycled Rags

Use reusable cleaning tools such as rags and natural brushes. This eliminates one-use wipes and cheap sponges.

Bonus: Save old towels and/or T-shirts, cut them into squares, and use them as cleaning rags. Stained white napkins can have a second life as rags.

Turn off lights
Margot Hartford

Limit the Lighting

Turn off all unnecessary lighting. When you leave a room, be sure to turn off the light (and other appliances).

Bonus: Install a motion sensor on lights, especially in places where you only pass through, such as stairways and halls.

Save more energy at home with bed and bath energy tips.

reduce phantom power
Courtesy of Southern Living

Wasted Energy

Reduce phantom power. This is power used by appliances and other electronics that are plugged into the wall, but not powered on. Cut down by unplugging your cell phone, iPod, microwaves, and computers when not in use. Your cable box is the only electronic that shouldn't be unplugged.

Purchase a Smart Strip
to help cut down on phantom power.

use reusable cloth bags
Courtesy of Target

Reusable Bags

Choose neither paper nor plastic. Many grocery stores now sell reusable cloth bags. Take advantage of this offer and purchase enough bags to cover your average trip to the grocery store.

Launder these bags in a low-energy laundry room.

use reusable bottles
Courtesy of Nalgene

Ban Bottled Water

Yes, water is good for you, but make sure you are taking care of yourself in a way that is also healthy for the environment. Use a filter on your sink faucet or keep a filtered pitcher in the refrigerator.

Learn how to be sustainable with style.

use reusable bottles
Courtesy of Southern Living

Donate Your Device

Be technologically eco. When your old printer or your computer screen breaks, don't just throw away the unusable electronic. Research local stores that accept e-waste as a donation.

Create a healthier home office.

minimize printing
Courtesy of Sunset, Thomas J. Story

Reduce Printing

Think before you print. Reconsider your need for a document or an e-mail before you print it. If you need to print something, print it double-sided and on recycled paper.

Learn other ways to save energy today.

collect rainwater in a barrel
Courtesy of

Recycled Raindrops

Barrels of fun. Purchase a rain barrel to fit under your gutter and collect rainwater. This water cannot be used for drinking or even bathing, but you can use it to water your plants or wash your car.

Learn more about the benefits of using a rain barrel from the rain barrel program in River Falls, Wisc.

Tips courtesy of Green Girl Atlanta

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