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10easy things

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global warming


BETTER BULB Better alternatives use more efficient technology Once dismissed as buzzing tubes in offices, fluorescent lights have gone compact and upscale. Energy-saving compact fluorescents (CFs) now rival the cozy, warm light of traditional bulbs. They use a fraction of the electricity, which means lower electricity bills and millions of tons less global warming pollution. And in the summer, because they don’t burn as hot as incandescent bulbs, they’ll lower your cooling bills.

IN YOUR HOME Adjust Your Thermostat By making simple changes in your life, you can reduce the amount of C02 released into the atmosphere and help stop global warming. Put on a sweater instead of turning up the heat in your home. Save 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $250 per year.

Use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs Replace 3 frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Save 300 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $60 per year.

Weatherize Your Home Caulk and weather strip your doorways and windows. Save 1,700 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $274 per year.

Take Shorter Showers and Install a Low-Flow Shower Head

AT THE OFFICE IN THE YARD Plant a Tree Trees suck up carbon dioxide and make clean air for us to breathe. Save 2,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year.

Use a Push Mower Use your muscles instead of fossil fuels and get some exercise. Save 80 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year.

Use Recycled Paper Make sure your printer paper is 100% post consumer recycled paper. Save 5 lbs. of carbon dioxide per ream of paper.

Change the AC Filter Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended. Save 350 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $150 per year.

Showers account for 2/3 of all water heating costs. Save 350 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $99 per year. Using less water in the shower means less energy to heat the water. Save 350 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $150.

Check Your Water Heater Keep your water heater thermostat no higher than 120°F. Save 550 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $30 per year. Keep your water heater insulated could save 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $40 per year.

Unplug Unused Electronics Even when electronic devices are turned off, they use energy. Save over 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $256 per year. Your electric meter is often adding up kilowatt hours when you don’t think you’re using an appliance. Unplug toasters and cell phone and other chargers when they’re not in use. Don’t use air fresheners that have to be plugged in. Use power strips. Cable boxes and video game boxes, and to a lesser extent TVs and VCRs, use almost as much energy when they’re off as when they’re on. Make it easy to turn them all the way off— plug them into a power strip and turn off the whole strip.

Fill the Dishwasher Run your dishwasher only with a full load. Save 100 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $40 per year.

ON THE ROAD Inflate Your Tires Keep the tires on your car adequately inflated. Check them monthly. Save 250 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $840 per year.

If every household replaced just three 60-watt incandescent bulbs with CF bulbs, the pollution savings would be like taking 3.5 million cars off the road! If you were disappointed by CF bulbs in the past, it’s time to try again. Today’s energy-saving bulbs can be used just about anywhere—as reading lights, in vanities and wall sconces. Some are dimmable; others work in three-way lamps. All are cheaper and more attractive than earlier models. It’s easy to start saving money and electricity today. Here’s how to make the switch:

1 Start with one bulb

4 Check the shape and size

There are lots of choices, so before switching all the bulbs in a room, try just one to make sure it gives the kind of light you want. Look for bulbs with a color temperature between 2650 and 2850 degrees Kelvin or labeled “warm white.”

Both the CF bulb and its ballast (the bulb’s “engine” in between the glass and the screw-in part) can be bigger than standard incandescent bulbs. Inspect your lamp shade, the harp and the socket to ensure that your lamp can accommodate the CF bulb.

2 Know your watts Incandescent bulbs are known by how much power it takes to light them—a 40-watt bulb is on the dim side and uses less power; a 100-watt bulb is bright and uses a lot of juice. Energy-saving CFs provide much more light per watt. Look for a CF bulb whose wattage is about one-quarter of the incandescent you’re replacing. For example, a CF bulb in the 15-watt range replaces around a 60-watt incandescent.

3  Dispose of burned-out bulbs properly All fluorescent lights contain trace amounts of mercury. But don’t worry — there is far less mercury in CFs than in thermometers or old thermostats. Plus, using these bulbs helps prevent mercury from being released into the air from coalpowered power plants. When they burn out years down the road, recycle them.

5  Be careful choosing CF bulbs to use with dimmers In order for a CF bulb to work in a dimmer, it must be specially designed to do so. Read the package before you buy a CF bulb for a dimmer-controlled fixture.

6 Look for Energy Star The most energy-efficient CF bulbs carry the Energy Star label, the imprimatur of the government-backed energy efficiency program. (More about how bulbs qualify for Energy Star.)

7 See if your utility offers rebates Energy-efficient bulbs help utility companies lessen their load at peak times, so sometimes they run special programs or rebates to encourage you to make the switch.

Carpool When You CanOwn

a big vehicle? Carpooling with friends and co-workers saves fuel. Save 790 lbs. of carbon dioxide and hundreds of dollars per year.

Change Your Air Filter Check your car’s air filter monthly. Save 800 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $130 per year.


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