Conservation Tips for your Pocketbook and the Climate

As part of our 2013 Community Conservation Civics Initiative, the Larchmont-Mamaroneck League of Women Voters offers the following ideas for saving both energy and dollars.

  1. Calculate your carbon footprint: Get help at What’s My Carbon Footprint 
  2. Perform your own home energy audit: Get help at Energy Star and The Daily Green.
  3. Arrange for a professional energy audit, for example, at NYSERDA
  4. Handle your temperature: Detect air leaks; caulk and weather strip; properly ventilate; insulate.inspect and clean heating and cooling equipment. Turn the thermostat down in winter. Use ceiling fans.
  5. Lower lighting/electricity usage: Review electrical bills for trends and spikes. Switch to sunlight and energy efficient light bulbs – compact fluorescent and light emitting diode (LED). Purchase Energy Star Appliances, especially the refrigerator, air conditioner, and washer/dryer. Clean coils and adjust temperature on appliances per company directions. Use a power strip for all plug-in equipment and turn it off at the end of the day.
  6. Lighten your laundry load: Reduce the number of loads per week. Wash with cold or warm water. Use concentrated liquid soap. Line dry (at least until clothes are mostly dry).
  7. Limit hot water use, generally: Use the dishwasher and laundry only with a full load. Consider purchasing an energy efficient water heater, and keep the temperature down. Install low flow showerheads.
  8. Eat sustainably: Limit meat and dairy, replace with vegetables, fruit and grain. Avoid purchasing perishable food in bulk if it will spoil before you can eat it. Serve smaller portions and eat leftovers. Grow your own food without using pesticides.
  9. Care for your lawn: Use a rake instead of a leaf blower. Trade a gasoline powered mower for a cordless electric mower. For a workout, use a manual mower. Use the grass on-site as mulch.
  10. Cut back on gas: Drive less; carpool, consolidate shopping trips, ride a bicycle, take public transportation and walk more. To maintain your car’s efficiency, keep the tires properly inflated; drive at the speed limit (55 mph is optimal); and when it is time for a new car, purchase a hybrid or go electric.
  11. Reduce your water footprint and save energy: Find help at  Nat Geo water calculator;  GRACE calculator
  12. In general, reduce (what you consume), recycle and reuse. Buy products with minimal packaging. Bring your own reusable bag. Recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans.