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Go Green

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WINDOW SHADES - Use drapes or blinds to reduce heat gain (in warm climates) and/or loss (in cold climates).

DISH WASHING - Generally, it's best to wash dishes in the dishwasher (preferably with full loads) than to do them by hand - and scrape rather than rinse plates before loading.

* The average dishwasher in use today consumes about 12 gallons of water less then 10 minutes with the faucet running. Filling the sink uses about 5 gallons or less - but that's 5 gallons for washing, five for rinsing.

AIR CONDITIONING - Save on your heating and cooling costs just by setting your thermostat back when you're not home and while you're sleeping. If you tell it to return to your preferred temperature before you return home, you won't ever know the temperature changed, until you look at the reduction in your energy bills.

HOME COMPUTER - Enable the power management feature in your desktop computer. For an initial level of power savings, turn off the monitor after a designated time. For even more power savings, designate a time period for activating "System Standby" or "Sleep”. With standby/sleep, your monitor, hard-drive and other internal parts will go into a low-power mode when you are away from your desk.

Get rid of your screen saver. It requires more energy to run those static images of your kids (on a constant basis) than it does to have your computer and monitor go into a low-power mode. And speaking of equipment, an LCD monitor not only saves space, it uses one-third the power of a CRT monitor.

REFRIGERATOR - Replace an older refrigerator with a new, efficient one. Refrigerators made prior to 1993 use twice the energy as the new qualified models.

SODA CANS - Recycle. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television or operate a computer for three hours.

LIGHTBULBS - Replace all of your most used incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (which use two-thirds less energy, generate 70 percent less heat and last up to10 times longer). *Make sure to check on the disposal of mercury that in these light bulbs.

TOILET - A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water a day. Check for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If you have a leak, color will appear in the bowl within 15 minutes. Flush as soon as you're done with this test to avoid staining the tank.

AIR FILTERS - Change the air filters in your furnace regularly. That saves up to 5 percent of heating costs.

WASHER AND DRYER - Wash only full loads and do not over-dry laundry. Use the "cold" setting (with a cold-water laundry detergent) or "warm" setting whenever possible. Heating water to "hot" accounts for 90 percent of the machine's washing energy; only 10 percent goes to power the motor. If your dryer has a moisture sensor that turns the machine off automatically when clothes are dry, use it. Clean the lint trap before every load.

Here are some companies that sharing with us the Green Vision:

1. Used Cardboard Boxes
  Save Time, Save Money, Save Trees. Get quality used, new, misprinted and overrun cardboard boxes. Free Shipping. 1-2 business day delivery, depending on your location.
2. Earth911
  Delivers actionable local information on recycling and product stewardship that empowers consumers to act locally, live responsibly and contribute to sustainability.
  One of the most comprehensive on line resources for greening your home. Green Home is on a mission to green the world, one home at a time.  One of the most trusted on line suppliers of environ--mentally friendly products.
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