with small steps. If we make small changes at home, it often carries over into our workspace and our businesses. So let’s start adapting a little and saving a lot. Adapt a Little, Save a Lot You manage what you measure. Outlined are some of the simplest and more impactful ways to decrease energy consumption in your own house and save big. It all depends on the type of energy user you are. If you are “stay at home” type, and spend most of the day at home, infusing energy efficiency investments into your home will pay off. You can perform basic weatherization, which includes repairing cracks that let in drafts of air into your home and weather-stripping or caulking around doors and windows. A good way to control direct sunlight that enters your windows is by using blinds, solar screens, solar ﬁlms, shutters or outdoor awnings. Being vigilant about turning things off and unplugging them when not in use will save you additional money on your energy bill. Whenever you don’t use your electronic equipment, unplug it from the wall. This action alone can save up to 10 percent on the electric bill. Even when not in use, your appliances “suck” the energy out of the source, like a vampire. Or get a smart power strip, a $20 investment to turn off equipment when not using. Most of us use energy during peak demand hours, from 3.00 - to 7.00 pm. If that ﬁts your energy use pattern, becoming aware of when and how your household uses electricity and cutting back by putting electronics on power strips will do the trick. Turning out lights when not in use, installing a programmable thermostat and doing your laundry and dishes after 7.00 pm will save you dollars on your monthly bill. Think about energy when you shop for any new equipment, computers, or lighting. Look for energy-efficient equipment. Did you know that an average Houstonian owns 25 pieces of electronic equipment? Before you dispose of your old equipment, know that there are a number of responsible local electronic waste recyclers who will recycle it. A good Houston recycler is the EPA-accredited CompuCycle. If you can be described as the one to “be the ﬁrst in the office and last one out”, you are leaving the home early and coming home late, try signing up for a time-of-use plan with your local utility then shift your usage to the free or cheap time of day. Temperatures are rising, and we need to ﬁnd the way to adapt to our changing environment, both in our personal and professional lives. Take charge of your adaptation by knowing more about your energy use and how to best manage with minimal disruption to your lifestyle and well-being. You will be glad you did. In next month’s column, we will shed light on some of the pros and cons of socially responsible investment.
A sculpture of Nikola Tesla, the brilliant creator of the AC electrical supply system and multiple energy innovations, taken outside his birth home in Croatia. He was a Croatian inventor, physicist, and electrical engineer. Tesla’s patents and theoretical work helped form the basis of wireless communication and radio.
Photo: Tajana Mesic
Tajana Mesic is the president and founder of GGG Sustainability Solutions, a speaker and a citizen of the world. GGG is a full-service sustainability and resource efficiency consulting ﬁrm operating in Houston and Dallas, providing clients with professional services and guidance on integrating sustainability strategy into operations in a ﬁnancially viable way. GGG is a certiﬁed B Corporation and deeply involved in the Dallas and Houston international community. You can get more relevant sustainability tips at www.facebook.com/greengrovegroup or connect with Tajana at www.greengrovegroup.com.
Published on Sep 1, 2012