Instructables

Room by room steps to reduce global warming and your electricity bill.

Picture of Room by room steps to reduce global warming and your electricity bill.
This is an instructable designed to cost next to nothing (except in the case of new things like dishwashers:) and reduce out global footprint. A movie I think you should all see first is this Link

This is interesting as well Link

Thanks to Greenpeace for the picture.

Also, basically, no matter what, whether you are a believer in global warming or not, this can help to wean us from non-renewables and save you a little money.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Every room:

Free:
Turn off any appliances you either don't use very often or when you go on holidays.
Instead of turning heaters on high try wearing warmer clothes, and when the heater is on, close off any unused areas of the house and the blinds and curtains.
Instead of using the air conditioner just open windows when there is a cool breeze.
Lastly in the free section, make sure you leave no devices on standby. Standby in devices makes up about 10% of the average power bill.

Pays for itself:
The easiest thing to do is as a bulb blows buy a new replacement which is either a compact fluorescent or an LED bulb. These use a lot less electricity and last a lot longer. Led's last nearly forever and CF's last about 15,000 hours according to the package which is 15 times longer than the average bulb.
Remember though its even better to turn the lights off or just open the blinds! :) When you leave the room flip the switch!
This is a link to see how much energy you will save and to find out what type to buy!This is a link to see how much energy you will save and to find out what type to buy!

Another easy thing to do is to get eneloop or rechargeable batteries for you battery powered devices, for example wireless mice and keyboards, so that:
1. They stay on longer
2. There are no dead batteries being put into landfill.

Not free
Check your insulation, especially around lights and skylights and get it replaced or patched up if it is not completely covering everywhere or not working.

To keep a tiled room warmer try putting a rug down in winter.

What we have achieved this step:
We have reduced landfill, saved energy and become aware of how much energy we waste with incandescent light bulbs.
1-40 of 106Next »
Dripping 3 times a second would be a ridiculous leak... Most annoying drips are once every 5 seconds or so... Or 1/15 of the 9500 gallons of water that you suggest that you waste.... 650 gallons.

The real question is... What's the carbon footprint of the repair components? And What's the exact gallon amount before you're actually doing good?

ElSergio3 years ago
Also if you happen to keep fish tanks, when you do your water changes, you can use the water you take out to water your plants. Conviently the things in the water that make it not ok for fish, are GREAT for plant growth.
ScotDeerie4 years ago
We just had our apartment checked for shared metering and while trying to figure out what was using so much wattage, we had to go over every appliance we had with a rep from the electric company.  He said big electricity users are refrigerators, stoves, freezers (especially freezers that aren't full)* and washer/driers.  He said a computer, even with lots of peripherals uses very little electricity.

* to fill up the freezer to make it more efficient, he recommended filling it with water filled, plastic milk cartons.  They fill the fridge and can be easily removed when you need the space.
COMMODORE646 years ago
Dryer, bad? Why? No, you are just too paranoid about laundry system. Just leave laundry equipment out of this topic, because they are important to our life due to hygienic living.
Out of interest, how are dryers important to "hygienic living"? Dryers are the worst culprits for hiking up your electricity bill. Ours went up $100 when our flatmate got a dryer right before winter. It saves a lot of money to avoid using them except when extremely necessary.
No, not if you have High Efficiency washer and dryer. Dryer that uses natural gas runs cheaper than electric, and i suggest you to re-consider about that. Sure, the laundry is expensive for us, but it wont hurts to do it 1 - 2 times a week, separated loads at night. That'll give you a light bill because the night isn't the rush hour.
stranoster (author)  COMMODORE646 years ago
Sure... Who cares about that energy when we could use a free alternative. I understand on rainy days but otherwise it is just laziness, especially if you have a heater on already inside. An airier or hills hoist washing line will do just as well and the sun and wind seem perfectly hygienic to me.
energy efficiant dryers even use high amounts of electricity. you can use a clothes hanger that will break once every 10 years and can be replaced for $20 plus save you large amounts of money in the summer. I use the pulley type of clothes hanger and we can get huge amounts of clothing on a line at a time. In Canada it is now illegal for sub-devisions to ban clothes lines in their policy.
Right you are, but n o it is not banned, but have serious health warning, due to bugs laying eggs in wet clothes. But if you build a cute bugscreen outside just for drying clothes, then yeah i guess you could do that. Would you like to have a live maggot eating your skin while you are working? That's a consequence for leaving clothes outside to dry out. Oh! and, when drying clothing outside, the clothes gets little stiffy.
Umm... not everywhere in the world has "skin eating maggots"....
Of course. I was mistaken on my post, and found out the hard way of doing laundries at the cottage. I take it all back, but my point remains valid, it does get stiff, but its necessary to rub the clothes together to restore the softness on clothes. Beside, this is a old thread now.
I put my clothes on straight from the line, that makes them soft.
 Maggots do not eat live skin. I think it's a valid tip, if you have an energy efficient  dryer awesome, but if you want to do more and have no problem with hanging your clothes, even more awesome. You could also hang a line in a basement. If you have a basement with a drain, you can hang a line down there and the clothes will dry AND help keep your house cool in the winter. They will humidify your house. For water to go into a gaseous state it requires heat, so (not by a ton) but it will suck heat from the air, leaving it cooler, a real plus in the summer.
 I meant in the summer... wow... lol
Why is a Dryer really necessary? What's wrong with hanging the washing out to dry outside when it's warm? Solar UV will also help sterilise the textiles, which AFAICK, 'dryers' do not. Cheaper AND better!
I agree with stranoster. Even the most efficient natural gas dryer is still using a non-renewable fossil fuel as opposed to just muscle power. And the most efficient products aren't always the cheapest to purchase. I can't afford to have any dryer but what I have, and hence I avoid using it as much as possible. Having no dryer will still be cheaper than having a dryer, no matter what sort it is. This still involves washing clothes. It's just the method of drying that could be different. There's no harm in encouraging people to go outside to do some light physical activity like this. I still can't see how it's unhygienic.
gearskin4 years ago
 Some other really great tips are to line exterior walls (walls that are against the outside of the house.. I can't think of a better way to say it) with book-shelves and books. Books act as great insulators and are awesome in general. You can also purchase or make some blankets and make a nice storage ottoman to store them in. We do this in our living area so that guests can feel comfortable as we keep the temp quite low. You can also try your hand at making your own detergent, toothpaste, and other such things, which save money and the environment :) 
gearskin4 years ago
 Start a garden! It's really simple and even just growing some tomatoes can save you at the store. What better way to use that compost?!
gearskin4 years ago
 A really good tip is to separate your fridge from your stove. It takes more energy to keep your fridge cool if it is sitting next to a constantly warm stove. Just rearranging can be very beneficial. Also, using vinegar and water to clean in the kitchen and reusable dish-towels is another way to say money and help the environment. You can get nice white dish-towels at Ikea for 49 cents and just bleach them if they get really discolored, or check out a local thrift store. 
 Save* not say..
labelreader5 years ago
I don't know why anyone uses cooking sprays. Oil is easy to work with for nearly all applications (the one exception I can think of: waffle irons -- what a pain!), and it always comes in a recyclable glass or plastic bottle with a lot less processing and waste.
Or you could buy a Misto. It's a refillable spray can that just uses pressurized air.
 Mistos are fantastic. You can buy a giant thing of oil (less containers) and just keep refilling the misto. 
crazycloud4 years ago
 When I was in college everyone was talking about the next ice age.  The other planets in our solar system that are not inhabited are heating at this time also.  Our planet needs us to do everything we can to help it but I don't see any benefit at all to this carbon tax idea they are trying to pass in the US.  We are a carbon based life form, plants need carbon or they will die.  Car exhaust and industrial waste have many much more pollutants that we need to address.  
BeepDog5 years ago
That's a CRT monitor not a CFC monitor. I think...
That is correct, CRT monitors are the "boxier" models that weigh a lot more. It stands for Cathode Ray Tube. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitors are the "flat panel" monitors that are becoming the norm now. LCD monitors can have different light sources in them, the standard is a CCFT (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Tube) which is basically a more beefy version of a tubular fluorescent lamp. These do a good job, but they do burn out eventually. Many manufactureres are beginning to switch over to LED (Light Emitting Diode) lamps in their LCD monitors and TVs. These use even less energy, emit pretty much no heat, and last for a VERY long time. They are also shockproof. If you can purchase a monitor that uses LEDs as it's light source you would probably save quite a bit of money over its lifespan!
I have a laptop that uses LEDs, and it makes a significantdifference in the power consumption, evidenced by much longer batterylife :)
withnall5 years ago
Also make sure that there is plenty of free air flow around your fridge and freezer, the cooler the environment they vent into the less energy they have to use cooling the insides.
withnall5 years ago
Alternatively,if you are lazy about plugging them in and unplugging etc just run them all through a powerboard(double bonus if you use a surge protected one you are ensuring against damage).Make sure its a board with an on/off switch and just switch it to off when you turn your computer off!
Afka5 years ago
Don't forget, if you're using rain catching buckets, to use a screen, or to change the water often, as stagnant water is where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
stranoster (author)  Afka5 years ago
Thanks for the tip. I'll add it when I next edit.
About the fridge: you can buy a cheap but accurate (NSF certified) analog fridge/freezer thermometer, so you can adjust the fridge settings until you're using dead-on the least energy to keep within the "safe food zone".
kittiekat5 years ago
Nice ideas, a couple of new ones to try out, thanks for taking the time to put it together.

Thought I'd let you know freecycle exists in many countries, when I was in the UK I used it extensively! Main page is http://www.freecycle.org/
stranoster (author)  kittiekat5 years ago
Thanks, I'll add that to the next edit. It should be sometime soon. Glad you liked it.
Joyce5 years ago
Great job. One comment even small trees are expensive bought from a nursery. Why not start your own in a pot then plant out. I have started mulberries, peaches etc this way. Seed came from picked or purchased fruit. Or a walk through most parks will yield fallen acorns dogwood berries etc.
stranoster (author)  Joyce5 years ago
Thanks for the tip :) I'll include it in my next edit. I didn't even think to put that in, so thanks again.
milhouse2k5 years ago
I leave my computer on to perfrom protein folding to improve cancer and other disease research
milhouse2k5 years ago
Just never break one of those florescents and tell, or else have hazmat called on you! Also I've had those compact florescents go out a lot more frequently than standard inconstants and not nearly as bright =[. i like the idea bout LED's but they not cheap at all]
irrilia6 years ago
Hope I am not duplicating the request...would like to see the bird feeder made with floppies? Thanks!
shooby6 years ago
I just moved to a smaller apartment, where everything I plug into the wall other than the built in microwave is on one switch. When the switch is off, the only power consumer is the smoke detector. Nice not to have to stare at a constellation of multicolored LED's anymore while trying to fall asleep.
1-40 of 106Next »