Swamp Thursday – Lower Your Electric Bill, Save More Money

By Alexandria Ugarte

lower electric bill
Image Courtesy: forbes.com

It’s that time of the month again. (And no, ladies, not that time.) Your GRU bill has just arrived and the money you made at work – or the plasma center – just won’t suffice this time. Whether you have that roommate who does their laundry three times a week or you can’t remember to turn the lights off when you leave a room, these monthly expenses are tying into your weekend funds. So, what can be done to lower your GRU bill while also giving back to the world for once? Go green! Going green means putting forth a conscious effort toward the pursuit of saving our planet, while saving yourself money.

Here are some tips to  help you go green and cut that GRU bill in half:

1. Be cautious with your lighting

  • If you will be out of a room for more than 15 minutes, turn it off.
  • Buy LED lights. The operating life of a light-emitting diode (LED) is unaffected by turning it on and off.
  • Benefits: While lifetime is reduced for fluorescent lamps the more often they are switched on and off, there is no negative effect on LED lifetime.

2. Monitor your air conditioning

  • Change your filter.
  • Try turning your AC down during the night because it runs less this way.
  • Window or portable units can be controlled by what area of the house you’re in. This uses 50 percent less energy than a central air unit.

3. Save water

  • If its yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down.
  • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. You can save up to four gallons of water every morning by turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth.
  • Fix that drip! At 1 drip per second, a faucet can leak 3,000 gallons per year.

4. Recycle

  • Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.
  • Recycle your old electronics. E-waste contains toxic and hazardous materials, which have the potential to leach into our soil and water.
  • Facts: According to Dosomething.org, in 2009, Americans produced enough trash to circle the Earth 24 times. Also, over 75% of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it.

5. Save energy

  • Unplug appliances when not in use (e.g. coffee pots, blenders, microwaves and chargers). Since this is not always practical, use power strips because electricity is only monitored by how many cords are plugged into the wall.
  • Do full loads of laundry (this saves water, as well).
  • Remember that many electronic devices in our homes are quietly drawing electricity all the time.

6. Save paper

  • Cancel unsolicited mail. By doing so you can reduce clutter, protect privacy and help the environment by saving a natural resource.
  • Pay your bills online. This is convenient because you can preschedule so that each monthly bill gets paid on time
  • Don’t print unnecessary items. For example, don’t print things that are available for viewing online or coupons that are available via your smartphone.
  • If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.

7. Stop air pollution: carpool, walk or bike

  • Carpool with co-workers or your piers. This saves energy and diminishes traffic.
  • Walk to class or work if possible. This can be good for your health as well.
  • Benefits: According to The Rideshare Company, the average vehicle releases 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year. An overabundance of CO2 in the atmosphere is the leading cause of global warming.

8. Support your local farmer

  • Buying local means eating food that hasn’t traveled thousands of miles to make it to your plate.
  • You could buy food that is grown without artificial chemicals, which are harmful for the soils and for your body.
  • Benefits: Buying locally and dining in can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year.

9. Purchase BPA-free water bottles and save some money

  • BPA is the main component of polycarbonate, the hard and clear plastic sometimes used to make water bottles. It contains a chemical that is hazardous to human health.
  • Plastic bottles can take up to 700 years to compost.
  • Fact: Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic bottles every hour.

10. Use natural beauty products

  • There are so many products that can be made at home that don’t include any of the suspect chemicals used my large manufacturers. Ingredients like avocado, yogurt, oatmeal and sea salt can be used for facial scrubs, lip balms, masks, hand moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners.
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