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Go Green At Home And Save Money Too

As the planet faces an uncertain future of global warming, which is believed to be the result of us all burning fossil fuels indiscriminately, we all have a duty to do the best we can to redress the balance. Here are some vital tips to help you get started...

Plastic & Recycling - Quick Facts

  • 2.5 million plastic bottles are used per hour
  • Plastic garbage bags take 10-20 years to decompose
  • Styrofoam takes forever to decompose

In 1988, after urging from recyclers, The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (SPI) introduced its resin identification coding system (known as the SPI code, or "Plastic Code"). The "Plastic Code" is a number that identifies the most common plastic type used in a product or packaging material. In theory, all plastics numbered 1 to 7 are recyclable, although in practice many are not.

Plastic Code:

1 - Polyethylene Terephalate [PET] - (softdrink and water bottles)

2 - High Density Polyethylene [HDPE] - (milk jugs, detergent and shampoo bottles)

3 - Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride (UPVC) or Plasticised Polyvinyl Chloride [PPVC] - (clear food and non-food packaging, medical tubing, wire and cable insulation, film and sheet, construction products).

4 – Low Density Polyethylene [LDPE] - (plastic shopping bags, reusable drink and food containers)

5 - Polypropylene [PP] - (Tupperware, Rubbermade, yogurt containers)

6 - Polystyrene [PS] or Expandable Polystyrene [EPS] - (CD jackets, food service applications, grocery store meat trays, egg cartons, aspirin bottles, cups, plates, cutlery).

7 - Other, including nylon and acrylic - (water bottles, citrus juice bottles, sauce bottles)

Going Green At Home

If you want to go green in your home, and save a little money at the same time, it's never been easier.

Your home is where you spend a lot of your income, so it makes sense to be spending it as efficiently as possible. You can start to go green in your home by insulating the house. Loft insulation, wall cavity insulation, double or even triple glazing - it will all make a tremendous difference. Yes, there is an investment to consider, but you will save in the long term, and save a lot too.

We all use too much water. Go green in the home by cutting back as much as you can. We could all, collectively, save one billion gallons of water a year by changing our old flush toilet cisterns. The old ones use three and a half gallons per flush and the new high-efficiency ones use just over one and a quarter gallon. It makes a big difference! If you did only this to go green in the home you would save 20,000 gallons of water every year, and pay a lot less in water bills.

The standard light bulbs that most homes have are very inefficient. Compact fluorescent light bulbs burn around 5% of the old bulbs and they last 10 times longer. They may cost slightly more to buy initially, but this is an obvious way to go green in the home and save a bundle in the long run. But you can do even better, The new LED lights are almost twice as efficient as even the compact fluorescent light bulbs, and they will last even longer too.

Heat leaks out of a house in winter and into the house in summer. Better insulation all round is a great way to go green in the home. Look at your loft, your wall cavities, your windows and your doors. Sort out all of these and you can go green in the home and really save too.

Home utilities are a drain on energy. Did you know that modern washing powders are so good that they don't really need hot water? your washing machine uses most of its energy heating the water, so wash your clothes cold. They will clean great while you go green in the home.

You may think your dishwasher is also an energy drain, Strangely, it isn't. If you use it fully filled it uses less resources than if you wash by hand.

Once you know these little tips and tricks, it's easy to go green in the home!

Home Owner's Handbook To Energy Efficiency

The Homeowner's Handbook To Energy Efficiency - This guide helps you set realistic personal goals for reducing your home's energy consumption. It also takes you through the process of assessing current energy usage and predicting the benefits and estimating the costs of remodeling options. The methods for making homes more energy efficient described in this handbook will also improve comfort, safety, durability, and resale value. With projects ranging from simple fixes to large-scale renovations, this book offers solutions for the energy-conscious homeowner, regardless of budget, technical ability, or time.

Click here for more details ...

Estimating Home Appliance Energy Use

To calculate how much energy your home appliances are using, use the following formula:

(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption

Note: 1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts

To estimate the annual energy consumption of running an appliance, multiply the above result by the number of days you use the appliance during the year. This then allows you to calculate the annual cost of running your appliances by multiplying the kWh per year by your local utility's rate per kWh consumed.

For certain appliances like refrigerators, you should estimate the number of hours it operates at its maximum wattage by dividing the total time the appliance is plugged in by 3. Although appliances like refrigerators remain constantly turned on, they actually cycle between on and off as required to ensure that interior temperatures are maintained.

Let's apply the formula using a practical example:

To estimate the energy consumption of a personal computer and monitor ...

  • Wattage = 120 (computer) / 150 (monitor)
  • Hours Used Per Day = 6

Energy Consumption = (120 + 150 Watts × 6 hours/day) ÷ 1000 = 1.62 kWh

To estimate the annual cost of running a personal computer and monitor ...

  • Utility's rate per kWh consumed = 10 cents/kWh

Annual Cost of running = 1.62 kWh × 365 days/year x 10 cents/kWh = $59.13/year

Typical Wattage Ratings For Common Household Appliances

Use the figures below to help you calculate your energy consumption and energy costs:

  • Aquarium = 50–1210 Watts
  • Clock radio = 10
  • Coffee maker = 900–1200
  • Clothes washer = 350–500
  • Clothes dryer = 1800–5000
  • Dishwasher = 1200–2400 (using the drying feature greatly increases energy consumption)
  • Dehumidifier = 785
  • Electric blanket- Single/Double = 60 / 100
  • Fans
    • Ceiling = 65–175
    • Window = 55–250
    • Furnace = 750
    • Whole house = 240–750
  • Hair dryer = 1200–1875
  • Heater (portable) = 750–1500
  • Clothes iron = 1000–1800
  • Microwave oven = 750–1100
  • Personal computer
    • CPU - awake / asleep = 120 / 30 or less
    • Monitor - awake / asleep = 150 / 30 or less
    • Laptop = 50
  • Radio (stereo) = 70–400
  • Refrigerator (frost-free, 16 cubic feet) = 725
  • Televisions (color)
    • 19" = 65–110
    • 27" = 113
    • 36" = 133
    • 53"-61" Projection = 170
    • Flat screen = 120
  • Toaster = 800–1400
  • Toaster oven = 1225
  • VCR/DVD = 17–21 / 20–25
  • Vacuum cleaner = 1000–1440
  • Water heater (40 gallon) = 4500–5500
  • Water pump (deep well) = 250–1100
  • Water bed (with heater, no cover) = 120–380

(source: US Dept Of Energy)

Home Appliance Energy Use - Useful Tips

  • Look at your electricity / utility bill for kWh rates. Make a reasonable estimate if you don't know the exact figures to use.
  • Check your appliance for wattage. This is usually stamped on the unit (normally on a metal plate along with the manufacturer's serial number).
  • If you can't find the wattage for an appliance, try to find the amount of amps consumed by the item, then multiply the amp consumption by the voltage used by the appliance. Normally, for most household items, it's 120 volts. Please note, however, that appliances like electric stoves and dryers are usually rated at 240 volts.
  • Appliances like your VCR, TV, stereo, computer, and many items in your kitchen continue to use electricity even when they're turned off. This condition is referred to as "phantom load." Phantom loads can be prevented by either unplugging appliances from the wall socket, or plugging them into a power strip.
  • When you're not using an appliance, turn the power strip off to reduce even more the annual cost of your energy bill.

Go here for more information on ways to go green at home


Home Appliance Energy Saving Tips - How To Save 40 - 50% Off Your Total Energy Consumption

Total energy consumption is a concern for any homeowner.  There isn’t anyone, I can imagine, who doesn’t want to save some money on their home energy costs.  An effective way to do this is by using energy saving home appliances.

When shopping for appliances, you want to keep the cost of your total energy consumption foremost in mind.  Depending on the appliances you choose for your home, you can greatly reduce your total energy consumption.  By utilising the right appliances you not only increase home energy efficiency, but help the environment as well.

Low energy appliances help to reduce your carbon footprint and decrease your negative impact on the environment.  The nature of such appliances is to lower the amount of energy needed to make them work efficiently.  This will reduce your power consumption and put less demand on the natural resources used to power your appliances.  This results in a lower energy bill for you and less stress on the environment.

Fortunately, appliance manufacturers have gotten on board this Green Initiative with enthusiasm.  Whether they recognised their responsibilities as stewards of the earth to create more energy efficient products or simply responded to a demand in the market, they are now producing more and more energy efficient appliances than ever before.  In fact, energy efficiency has become a key tool in the sales and marketing strategies of appliance manufacturers and distributors.  This was not the case ten or twenty years ago.

The home appliances that consume the most energy are your clothes dryer and your refrigerator.  Your refrigerator is always running and it burns more money every time you hear the compressor kick in to maintain temperature.  Your clothes dryer consumes more energy than any other appliance, by far, when it is on and consumes the highest percentage of energy among your appliances overall.  Ovens, water heaters, dishwashers, and stovetops are among other high-energy usage appliances.  Basically anything that is used to create or remove heat will burn a lot of energy to do so.

While the total energy consumption of your home appliances is less than the energy consumption of your heating and cooling, it may come close to or even surpass your energy consumption for lighting.  This all depends on how you use your appliances and how you light your home.  Given this equation, it may be possible to save forty to fifty per cent of your total energy consumption from appliances by using more efficient products and processes.

Because temperature control has the greatest impact on energy use in the home, anything you can do (like letting the standard temperature in your home run a little cooler in winter and warmer in summer) to reduce energy usage for heating and cooling will have the greatest effect on your total energy consumption.  However, using more energy efficient appliances and adjusting the way you use appliances in the home will also have a large impact on your total energy consumption.


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