Here are some great lists of tips, along with a sampling of what's
included in each category:
Did you spring a leak?
Make sure your home is leak-free. Check your water meter over a period
of time when you are certain that no water is being used. If the meter
reading changes, you have a leak!
Time is of the essence!
Repair leaks as soon as they are discovered. A seemingly small leak
can waste 70 - 100 gallons of water per day.
Minimize the use of the garbage disposal.
Food waste can clog the pipes in your home and throughout the sanitary
sewer system. Dispose of solid food items in the garbage instead.
Does your garbage flush?
Don't use the toilet as a garbage can. Throw tissues, cigarette butts,
dead bugs, etc. into the garbage, not the toilet.
Are you getting enough fiber?
Before using harsher chemicals, try using a better cloth or mop.
Washable micro-fiber materials are the latest rage because more fibers
mean more surface area for picking up soils. That means you can use
less cleaning solution and less work for you. Disposable mop heads and
similar products are not recommended as they generate more waste.
Time for your sponge bath.
Sponges are great because they are reusable, but they can also be
great places for germs to live. Clean your sponges frequently with
soap and water, then sterilize them by soaking for at least 3 minutes
in boiling water or a dilute bleach solution.
Washing them in your dishwasher is a less effective option. Squeeze
moisture from sponges when putting them away. Dry sponges are less
friendly for germs.
Starve the bugs by keeping things clean.
Insects need to eat. Dry foods in a cupboard, garbage in a trashcan,
crumbs on the floor or even residues from spills can all attract bugs.
Keep storage containers sealed and clean up messes quickly and
Block off bug highways.
Caulking and sealing around baseboards, moldings, cupboards, pipes,
ducts, sinks, toilets and electrical outlets, as well as
weather-stripping doors and windows may help reduce routes of entry
Snip six pack rings.
These nasty little things find their way into waterways and often
drown or suffocate birds, fish and sea mammals. Always remember to
throw away six pack rings in the garbage or eliminate them completely
by buying drinks in cardboard packaging instead.
Reduce and Reuse.
Buy products that are longer lasting or that can be reused or refilled
several times. For example, try a lunch box and reusable plastic Tips
for Reducing Garbage 3 containers instead of a paper bag and plastic
wrap. Shop for products with a minimum of packaging. Wouldn't you
rather pick out those oranges yourself instead of taking a bunch
wrapped in unnecessary plastic?
Wood could be better.
Try using cedar blocks instead of mothballs in your closet. You have
to replace them more frequently, but won't have to worry about getting
the chemical smell out.
Properly store chemicals.
Keep all chemicals in their original containers. Check labels to
determine if items can be stored next to each other. Make sure they
are stored in a locked cabinet out of the reach of children and pets.
Flammable materials should be stored in a fire-retardant cabinet.
Just a little higher.
Turf grasses, at least 2-3 inches is a good height. Keeping your grass
this high promotes healthier roots for a greener, pest resistant and
drought resistant lawn.
Don't be dull.
Sharp mower blades cut easier and reduce tearing that can weaken the grass.
Right Plant - Right Place
Native plants are generally easier to maintain because they have
adapted to local environmental conditions, but even native plants need
to be placed in the right location within your yard. Select plants
that match the existing conditions for soil, moisture and sunlight.
Save water everyday and be prepared for our next water shortage with
drought tolerant native plants.
Mulch looks good, helps retain soil moisture, keeps down the weeds and
improves your soil. Apply mulch 2-3 inches deep around plants and out
to the drip line of trees. Coarser mulch such as pine bark can be 3-4
inches deep (remember to leave enough space around the trunk of trees
and plants). The most environmentally friendly method is to recycle
tree cuttings and other non-pest organic debris from your yard as
If you must.
If you do purchase mulch from a hardware store, avoid cypress mulch
and any mulch that may contain pressure treated wood. The best kind of
mulch is pine bark, which is in big enough pieces to keep the weeds
down and allow water to pass through it.
Shut the door - and the windows.
When you do use your A/C, don't waste the cool air. Double-check that
the windows and doors are closed.
Seal around doors and windows.
Caulking and weather-stripping can help to keep the cool air in and
the warm air out. Even those tiny cracks can add up to a lot.
Remember to shop for products that can save you money in the long term.
Read the energy-guide sticker.
These stickers help to tell you how much energy a particular model can save you.
Every time you open the oven door while cooking, you lose 25° to 50° F
of oven temperature, which makes you waste more electricity or gas. If
you can, use the oven light to check on your food.
Zap it instead!
Microwave ovens use about the same amount of power as conventional
oven, but they work much faster. Use them for reheating and for small
items. They are less efficient when cooking large dishes.
Pack it in there!
Wait to do full loads of dishes instead of wasting water and
electricity on a half-empty dishwasher. If you only have a handful of
dishes, wash them in the sink instead. But remember, don't let the
water run forever. Fill the sink for washing and/or rinsing instead.
Turn off the lights when you leave the room.
Something that simple can save electricity and make the bulbs last longer.
Install compact fluorescent lighting in lamps and fixtures.
Initially, these bulbs cost much more than regular incandescent bulbs,
but because they use a fraction of the energy and last many times
longer, they easily pay for themselves over time. These lights don't
get as hot so you save on A/C. Look for special compact fluorescents
for dimmable and 3-way fixtures.
Help your refrigerator breathe.
Periodically clean the coils behind your refrigerator and air intake
on the bottom. This will save energy and also extend the life of your
The veggies have frostbite.
Keep the refrigerator between 38°F and 42°F, and the freezer between
0°F and 5°F. A 10°F drop in temperature will add an additional 25% to
the cost of running your refrigerator
Use cold water when washing clothes.
The hot water cycle of most washing machines uses 90% more energy per
load than the cold water cycle. Using the hot water cycle can also
shorten the life of your clothes.
Clean you dryer's lint filter with every load of laundry.
A clogged lint filter obstructs airflow and is a potential fire
hazard. If you have to dry a load a second time, you use twice the
energy and you double the cost.
Ouch, not so hot!
The US Department of Energy suggests that you turn your water heater
down to 115°F, which provides hot enough water for most household
uses. It's a common misconception that the hottest setting sterilizes
the water - it doesn't. So save money and protect yourself from
scalding. For every 10°F you turn it down, you can save 6% on your hot
Flush it out.
Drain the hot water heater at least twice a year. You don't have to
empty it, just let it drain until the water runs clear. This usually
means draining about a gallon or so. Dissolved minerals in the water
build up inside the unit, so flushing it out periodically will extend
the life of your water heater and save energy too.
Don't overfill the fuel tank of your boat. Wipe up any dripping fuel.
Avoid fuel leaks by maintaining your engine.
Don't top off your gas tank when filling up. When you smell gas, it
means some highly toxic substances are in the air. Once the nozzle
clicks off the first time, the gas you're paying for (at these
prices!) is not going into your tank. It's stuck in the hose, or
getting ready to spill on the next person.
Regular tune-ups and maintenance checks will improve your vehicle's
performance and gas mileage.
Set your A/C to a moderate 78F - cutting 5-8% off your bill for every
Clean or change your air filter. Regular maintenance will increase
efficiency by 5 to 10%.
In the office....
Cut the amount of paper that you use in half -- make double-sided
copies when possible.
Email, circulate, or post documents instead of making a copy for everybody.
Computers and Printers
Most computer programs today have a "Print Preview" feature. Use it to
proofread documents rather than printing out numerous draft copies.
This is also a great time to run spell cheque check.
Save paper by fitting more information on each page. Try reducing your
margin size and/or the font size. Many computer programs will allow
you to change the defaults so that you don't have to remember every
Instead of using a full cover sheet when sending faxes, try using a
small adhesive note
Store files electronically when possible.
Create a central document filing system that many people can access
instead of having each person maintain duplicate files.
Perform an energy audit and switch to energy efficient equipment.
Use a funnel to ensure the motor oil does not spill on the ground.
Place drain pan under car beneath oil filter to further avoid spillage.
Your Car and Our Air
Regular Tune-ups for your car will increase its fuel efficiency and
reduce air pollutant emissions by more than half.
Keep tires properly inflated. If your tires are under-inflated by
just 4 pounds, it will cost you a half-mile-per-gallon.
All told, there are hundreds of tips listed here that should fully meet your needs.
I checked with Dade County officials about the procedures for
reproducing the list in a commercial document, should that be your
aim. They indicated that this was an acceptable use, but that in
order to receive formal permission for use, you should send a request,
on letterhead, to:
Public Information Officer
Department of Environmental Resources Management
33 SW 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33130
I trust this information fully answers your question.
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