Pacific Coast Executive Realty is involved in a pilot-program that allows you to get all your incandescent light bulbs replaced with energy-efficient bulbs for free. This can save you up to $100+ a month in reduced energy costs. Savings of $100/month translate to your ability to afford $15,000 more on your new home. The new compact fluorescent lamps (CFL's) shed a rich, warm light, unlike standard fluorescent bulbs of the past. For more information, go to www.EnergyCheckUp.com or contact Monty at (619) 922-1981.
Here are 28 easy things you can do to save money and reduce pollution:
1. Give your car a break. Consider buying a home where walking, biking, carpooling or public transportation is an option. Saving a gallon of gas puts nearly $5 in your pocket and keeps 20 pounds of CO2 out of the air.
2. Inflate your tires. Keep a tire gauge and check them at least once a month. Under-inflated tires lower gas mileage 0.4% for every pound drop in pressure.
3. Lose the lead foot. Quick acceleration and heavy braking reduce fuel economy by up to 33%. 50% of America's trade deficit is due to oil imports (often from countries that don't like us very much). Easing up on the pedal will save you money and reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil.
4. Stop idling. All cars build after 1990 don't need to "warm up" before driving. Start your car and go!
5. Upgrade your windows. New dual pane windows have a vacuum between the panes of glass, which serves and an excellent barrier against noise and thermal diffusion. This could knock 10% to 25% off your heating/cooling bill and prevent up to 5 tons of CO2 emissions/year. And the new windows look great and slide more easily than those rusty ones you have now.
6. Caulking and weather stripping. Not ready to take on the expense of upgrading your windows? At least seal up any leaks or gaps around doors and windows with caulking. Or add a storm panel to increase efficiency.
7. Plant trees. They look great, absorb CO2 and provide shade.
8. Swap your A/C for a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans are remarkably effective and use far less energy (and chemicals) than air conditioning.
9. Seal your ducts. Simply use duct tape to join separated sections and patch holes.
10. Be reasonable with your thermostat. You don't need to cool your house to arctic conditions during the summer or make it a tropical paradise every winter!
11. Get rid of foil, plastic wrap and Tupperware. Plastic is made of petroleum and is difficult to recycle. It also leeches estrogens and other chemicals into food. Environmental estrogens have been implicated in triggering early puberty in girls and reducing testosterone in men. Use glass or Pyrex containers instead.
12. Try a meatless Monday. If you cut out one beef meal per week, we'd save 70 pounds of grain, 70 pounds of topsoil and 4,000 gallons of water per year.
13. Bring your bag. Plastic and paper grocery store bags are wasteful. Bring a cloth bag. Also, bring your old bags to the recycle bin you'll find at the entrance of most stores.
14. Change your bulbs. Do this for free by calling Monty at 619-922-1981.
15. Turn off and unplug. In the average American home, 75% of electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. Unplugging seldom used appliances might shave $10 off your electricity bill.
16. Reach for the Energy Stars. There's an Energy Star version of almost every appliance. The EPA awards Stars to appliances that are at least 30% more efficient than their standard counterparts.
17. Shower efficiently. A one or two minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons of water per month.
18. Use the cold water. If your shower takes a while to heat up, catch the cold water in a bucket and use it to water your garden or lawn.
19. Go native. Using native plants in landscaping drastically cuts down on water usage. They are acclimated to the amount of water naturally present in Southern California and rarely need additional watering.
20. Run a full load. Waiting until you have a full load of dishes or clothes before running the appliance saves up to 800 gallons of water per month.
21. Scrape, don't rinse. Today's dishwashers are more powerful than older units. Scrape food off your plates rather than rinse it. Try it - your dishes will come out just as clean.
22. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Separate recyclables from your trash bin.
23. Displace water. Put a plastic bottle or bag weighted with pebbles and filled with water in your toilet tank. Displacing water in this manner saves 5 to 10 gallons of water per day.
24. Insulate your house. Foam insulation can be blown into walls of older homes, dramatically improving efficiency.
25. Keep your garden green. Surprisingly, homeowners use 10 times more pesticides and fertilizers per acre than farmers. 67 million pounds of the stuff are applied to lawns each year. Opt for native plants, safer pesticides and compost for fertilizer instead.
26. Say goodbye to junk mail. Bulk mail accounts for 5.2 million tons of waste each year. That's 100 million trees per year in the U.S. Click here to find out how to stop junk mail or sign up with New American Dream to learn about other money saving environmental initiatives.
27. Ditch plastic water bottles. When you can, take water with you in a steel, aluminum, or recycled glass bottle instead.
28. Call Monty James to help you find an energy efficient home in a great neighborhood near your workplace. 619-922-1981