Introduction: 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.

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.

Step 2: In the Study / Computer Room

Free:
Firstly, in my computer area we have 12 cords plugged in which operate peripherals and others like the printer, scanner, speakers, mouse charger and our external harddrive. These are nearly never in use so when not in use its best to unplug them because standby power can account for 10% of the average power bill. If you want to see how much energy this uses up try this List. You could also buy a thing called the kill a watt Link. and monitor your usage.

Computer standby mode and monitor standby mode are another great way of saving power. Set up your computer screen to go into standby mode by right clicking on the desktop and clicking properties. Now click the Screen Saver tab and then the power button. You can then set the screen to go into standby mode after a certain amount of time. There is also a standby mode where the computer keeps every program saved to the disk and turns everything onto an extremely low power usage, until you move the mouse where it goes back to exactly how it was. This is great if you don't or can't turn off your computer.

Some other things you can do:
1. Recycle or refill toner or ink cartridges
2. Reuse floppy discs to make something like a bird feeder or bag. If you want to make a bird feeder post a comment and I'll work on an instructable. There are other great things similar to this in the go green contest already though, so check them out.

Pays for itself
Buying recycled paper or plantation paper is a great way of saving natural forests.

Costs money
This will cost quite a bit upfront but if you are a frequent computer user it should pay for itself over time. If you have a CFC monitor( A big glass fronted one) you could think of investing in an energy efficient LCD monitor because an LCD panel monitor generates around half as much greenhouse gas as a conventional monitor and adjusting its brightness lower can cut emissions to a quarter. It also gives a clearer picture :)

What we have done this step:
We have saved energy and trees and stopped old toner cartridges going into landfill.

Step 3: Bathroom and Laundry

Free:
1. Put a bucket under the shower when it is heating up and then use it to flush a toilet or water a new tree or plants.
2. Instead of using the heat lamps try using the normal light in the center. they use a lot less energy and give enough light to see with still.
3. When drying clothes, instead of drying them in the dryer, hang them on the washing line, or if it is rainy outside put them on a clothes airer in front of a warm place (fire or heater).
4. Do your teeth quickly and use a towel to dry your hair.

Pays for itself:
Fix leaky taps in the house. It normally only needs a new washer which costs about $1 each. Try seeing how much water is wasted with this drip calculator. Link

Get a AAA shower head in your bathroom. It uses a lot less water!

Not free:
If you need to get a new appliance try getting an energy star compliant model, the higher the stars the better. Also use the economy wash on the dishwasher and the cold wash in the clothes washer.
When getting a new toilet try to get a dual flush model instead of a single flush so when you don't need to flush as heavily (Hint hint) you only use half the amount of water.

What we have done this step:
We have saved water and electricity.

Step 4: Kitchen

I cant really think of much for this step but I'll have a go!

Free:

Turn up your fridge just a little and it should save a little money.

Make a compost bucket in your kitchen and put in vegetable and fruit scraps like peelings and cores. In the next step it will say what to do with these.

Pays for itself:

When buying food, make sure it is not heavily packaged and buy bulk packages instead of smaller packages, for example instead of a 24 pack of drink cans, buy a few large bottles and reuse them for water. The only problem with reusing them is recent studies have said washing them a few times with hot water and detergent can be harmful, but I have always done this and as far as I know am O.K.

Costs money:
This is a simple thing to help the environment, but it may cost more. When buying cooking oil sprays etc. make sure the can is recyclable and is marked with an {{{ITS OK TO SPRAY}}} logo so that it doesn't damage the ozone layer.

What we have done this step:
Reduced landfill further and helped protect the ozone layer.

Step 5: Outside and in the Car

Free:
When it rains put a bucket or two outside and use the water on pot plants or other plants.

If you have a big car and no other cars, how about setting up a car pooling program at your work or catching public transport instead?

With your compost and lawn clippings, find an out of sight corner of your yard and lay down some wet newspapers and pour it there whenever there is too much for the bucket and turn it with a pitchfork every now and again. If this is too gross for your yard consider buying one or making one like thisor this.

Our water heater is outside and we turn down how hot it heats the water in summer and turn it up in winter because we just have a large knob inside the heater for this but if you don't SEEK HELP FROM AN ELECTRICIAN or HEATER REPAIR MAN.
We also have a thing called holiday mode, which keeps the pilot light alight but not heating the water which we turn on when going away.

Pays for itself:
Please suggest something for this step, as I am half brain dead right now and need sleep! Any comments will be welcome!

Not free:
Planting a tree may not be free but is a great idea, especially if you plant native trees or fruit trees. You can water it with the systems I have provided or just with the hose. A tree or even a pot plant is a great addition to homes and is AWESOME ( I needed to say awesome in here somewhere). These people take it to the extreme though Link.

Note 1.From Joyce (contributed).
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.

Step 6: Well Thats About All the Rooms in My House!

Apart from the bedroom, which is covered in all rooms, that is a list of all the rooms in my house, which concludes this instructable. The last thing to add is that if you are in Australia consider joining this site that I heard about on the radio Freecycle. there may be a UK or US equivalent but I haven't heard of them. All I can say now is good luck and try to convert your friends!

Comments

author
Phill made it!(author)2007-12-16

I'm pretty sure that most/all CFC's that damage the ozone layer are not available to end-user consumers. Though they are available to specialized uses; like airplane fire retardant. Generally; it's safe to user whatever you have unless you stockpile things from the 60's-70's in which case, ask your local waste management municipality what to do with it. If bought something recently from a store; good chance you can spray it.

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

CFC's Chlorinated Flurocarbons.

CF Bubls = Compact Flurescent bulbs

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

CFC's have been largely replaced with HCFC's which have similar characteristics but oxidize before they reach the ozone layer.

author
Tool+Using+Animal made it!(author)2007-08-18

So I went and measured the drips from my sink, it took 7 drops to fill a 1/4 tsp.
3 x min x 60min x 24hours X 365days = 1576800 and 1576800 / (7x4x48tspx16cups)=73 gallons per year.

Sorry hard to type unit conversions online

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

Drop volume is around 1/20 of a drop per milliliter.

author
GorillazMiko made it!(author)2007-09-28

About 1-2 months ago, on the news, they said that global warming is fake, and that what the world does to the atmosphere only effects .3%! It was either .3 or 3%, I forgot, but it was in the news, and they said it was fake. I'm not really sure, but I think we should still save energy and etc...

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

You were lied to.

author
lordguildor made it!(author)2008-03-20

Saving electricity and therefore greenhouse gasses is a very commendable idea. However don't be fooled into thinking that you will save any money in the long term !!!! Think about it the less power we all use the less money the electricity companies will make, less money equals less profit. Neither the companies, nor the shareholders will accept this so they will put the price up. Basically the less power you use the more it will cost therefore not saving !!!!!

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

But then they will be able to replace their coal powered plants with natural gas powered plants or wind or solar, or whatever.

Further the lower your consumption the closer you are to generating your own energy through solar or wind.

At that point your cost is zero and you have greater independence.

author
bipolarbuddhist made it!(author)2008-03-24

Ever thought of a residential turbine or solar panels?

author
pinoymale made it!(author)2007-10-22

How about turning off the fridge before sleeping and turning it back on when you wake up? Will this damage the fridge and possibly spoil the food?

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

The interior will warm and you will have to cool it again. So there will really be no significant net savings.

author
%3Dspider%3D made it!(author)2008-05-05

Some people, who have the right circumstances, have done away with their fridge. They are usually people with their own veggie garden or a food source very close by who can easily buy single-serve perishable food daily for immediate consumption, or at other times use non-refridgerated food. Living in a cold climate helps a bit. Vegans will find it easier also, as they will have no perishable animal products. It's a bit extreme, and I couldn't do it, but it's one thing to consider.

author
James+%28pseudo-geek%29 made it!(author)2008-01-06

it will spoil the food. if you want to save money in that area, just turn the fridge down.

author
totally_screwed made it!(author)2008-05-12

Jdurban
From analysis of what you have written, your education is limited to some high school. Which strongly indicates that you wouldn't understand the science, even if you had read it.

Never mind, I presume you understand the cure.

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

Come on now. Jack invented the light up frisbe, Or so he claims.

author
totally_screwed made it!(author)2008-05-12

Jdurban Your posts reveal a person with strong and immovable views concerning climate science, that are derived from politically ideological pseudo-science but are unalloyed by any ISI peer-reviewed science. When challenged to provide supporting science for your views, you always change the subject, hurl yet more abuse and baseless accusations. Such a technique is commonly used by people who have expressed strident views regarding a subject concerning which they have very shallow understanding. Your attitude would be best summed-up with: “Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made-up! Sayings that sum up your mindset perfectly: “You cannot reason a man out of an opinion into which he was not reasoned to begin with.” Attributed to Benjamin Franklin and Johnathan Swift. “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” Søren Kierkegaard, 1813 to 1855 Since you evidently don't understand or obdurately refuse to understand what science actually is, you clearly are immune to being persuaded by it. Conversations with people like yourself are unpleasant, tedious, needlessly protracted and are singularly uninformative and completely futile. One might as well as talk to a brick.

author
Jdurban made it!(author)2008-05-22

If anyone ever doubts that global warming isn't more religion than science just look at the depths these people go to protect their unfounded beliefs Look at the panic stricken "Totally_screwed" postings. For one that is so secure in their daffy beliefs look at the sheer panic and rush to judgment that if someone does not share in their ill founded religion that they have to be an unintelligent heretic. Wouldn't these types be devastated to discover that I have an I.Q. of 133, hold 21 patents, 3 pending, with a career of over two hundred product designs some of which are "Green Tech". I was developing green technology 20 years before the term was born. Just google "Jack Durban" or a quick tour of the U.S. and European office will suffice. You will also see that I work in the field of free energy and I am helping engineers to replicate the only modern era device that actually functioned and was not a fraud. I am an environmentalist right up to the wobbly global warming theory where it is so laden with half-truths and junk science that only a fool could buy into it 's many unfounded and unscientific claims. Now I leave you to get back to the lab where we work in the real world and not hysteria or agenda driven pseudo science.

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

Jack Durbin, Perpetual motion quack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRJHtl6LyP4

author
homunkoloss made it!(author)2008-06-02

I also think the Climate Change is happening. But even it would not I think it would be better to reduce the emissions of cars cause they pollute our world. And would anything bad happen cause of trying to need less energy ? mfg Daniel

author
tornadoboy made it!(author)2008-06-11

All I've got to say is that if Al Gore doesn't like my "footprint", he can leave his heated swimming pool at his mansion, take his private jet to Boston and have his SUV-driving armada of a security team escort him to my house so he can tell me in person.

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

How long have you been mentally ill Tomato boy?

author
shooby made it!(author)2008-08-05

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.

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

I would check the gage of the wires in the wall and check the fuse or breaker panel to see if you are living in a fire hazard.

My guess is that your apartment is illegally wired.

author
milhouse2k made it!(author)2008-09-10

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]

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

The amount of mercury in a CF bulb is minuscule and not wroth worrying about. Particularly if you are older than 8 years of age.

Sweep up the bits and air out the room.

As CF bulbs age there is even less of danger as the ionized mercury embeds itself in the glass as the bulb is used.

LED's aren't cheap. So what you do is purchase 1 with your lunch money and then use it for a year. You will have saved enough on your power bill to purchase another at the end of the year, Then you purchase another one. At the end of the second year you have saved enough to purchase 2 more. Probably 3 as the prices are rapidly dropping. You use those 3 for another year and now you have saved enough energy to buy 4 more. and then the next year 10. So in 4 to 5 years your house is CF converted for the initial outlay of a lunch.

Maybe you could figure out how to do it faster with two days of lunch money and what you can find under your couch pillows.

author
crazycloud made it!(author)2010-01-05

 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.  

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

Pluto is cooling, so is Titan, and Venus.

2015 will be by far the warmest year ever recorded and none of your professors were predicting an imminent onset of a new ice age.

In fact in the 1950's scientists were already waking up to the global warming threat that was first computed by Lord Kelvin in the late 1800's.

author
labelreader made it!(author)2009-01-14

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.

author
FooGlacticon made it!(author)2009-05-07

Or you could buy a Misto. It's a refillable spray can that just uses pressurized air.

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

For cooking oil, I just use canola in a plant spray bottle.

Works perfectly. I go through 1 liter of oil per year or so, depending on if I eat popcorn.

author
gearskin made it!(author)2010-02-07

 Mistos are fantastic. You can buy a giant thing of oil (less containers) and just keep refilling the misto. 

author
COMMODORE64 made it!(author)2008-04-06

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.

author
%3Dspider%3D made it!(author)2008-05-04

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.

author
COMMODORE64 made it!(author)2008-05-04

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.

author
stranoster made it!(author)2008-05-05

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.

author
pickford78 made it!(author)2008-05-21

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.

author
COMMODORE64 made it!(author)2008-05-22

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.

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

In what country can these skin eating maggots be found?

author
pfox82 made it!(author)2009-04-16

Umm... not everywhere in the world has "skin eating maggots"....

author
COMMODORE64 made it!(author)2009-04-16

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.

author
pickford78 made it!(author)2010-02-07

I put my clothes on straight from the line, that makes them soft.

author
gearskin made it!(author)2010-02-07

 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.

author
gearskin made it!(author)2010-02-07

 I meant in the summer... wow... lol

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

Nothing is cheaper than air.

author
totally_screwed made it!(author)2008-05-06

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!

author
%3Dspider%3D made it!(author)2008-05-05

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.

author
VendicarD made it!(author)2015-12-03

ClapTrap.

author
Chris+Logan made it!(author)2013-01-01

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?

author
ElSergio made it!(author)2011-01-30

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.

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