Saturday, October 28, 2006

1. Use ceiling fans in the summer and winter. By reversing the direction of the blades, warm air is pushed down, helping to keep rooms warm in winter.

2. Buy ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances. Compared to a 1990 model, an ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerator would save enough electricity to light a home for more than four-and-a-half months.

3. Repair leaky fixtures: one drop per second from a leaky faucet can waste as much as 10 gallons of water each week.

4. Install low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets to reduce water consumption by as much as 50 percent.

5. Choose carpeting, rugs, window treatments, and other textiles made from natural fibers, such as cotton or wool, which are untreated and free of toxins.

6. Ask for flooring products made from rapidly renewable resources, such as bamboo. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, requiring no replanting and little fertilization.

7. Select solid woods harvested from sustainable-managed forests for furniture or cabinetry, rather than pressed woods or composites that may be toxic and hazardous to your health.

8. Eliminate waste by choosing products that are biodegradable or recyclable.

9. Recycle packing and shipping materials from any newly purchased items, and safely dispose of paint cans and other containers with contents that could potentially contaminate the ground or water supply.

10. Turn down the thermostat. Lowering it by just one degree can reduce heating energy costs by about four percent.