Energy Conservation: Updating Appliances

The best way to save money with appliance updates, is to insulate and seal all ducts and air leaks so your money isn't flying out the window. A home can save 20% on its heating and cooling bills by sealing holes. Install a programmable thermostat to turn down the heat while you're asleep or at work.

Cut down on your energy consumption by updating your appliances and utilizing the following tips:

  • The most energy efficient appliances are ENERGY STAR appliances.
  • Install low flow showerheads. If you do not already have them, low-flow showerheads and faucets can drastically cut your hot water expenses. Savings of 10-16 percent of water heating costs.
  • Plug your home's leaks. Install weather-stripping or caulk leaky doors and windows and install gaskets behind outlet covers. Savings up to 10 percent on energy costs.
  • Wrap the hot water tank with jacket insulation. This is especially valuable for older water heaters with little internal insulation. Be sure to leave the air intake vent uncovered when insulating a gas water heater. Savings up to 10 percent on water heating costs.
  • If your ceiling is uninsulated or scantily insulated, consider increasing your insulation to up to R-38 to reduce heating costs by 5-25 percent.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. If you have a heat pump, select a model designed for heat pumps. Set-back thermostats can save up to 15 percent on energy costs.
  • Put your computer and monitor to sleep.

Eco Tip provided by: http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/tips/winter.html


Energy Conservation: Residence/Home

Right in your own residence/home, you have the power to save money and energy. Saving energy reduces our nation's overall demand for resources needed to make energy, and increasing your energy efficiency is like adding another clean energy source to our electric power grid.

Cut down on your energy consumption in your residence/home by utilizing the following tips:

  • Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.
  • Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle.
  • Air dry clothes, instead of using the dryer.
  • Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor.
  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use -- TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.
  • Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F.
  • Take short showers instead of baths and use low-flow showerheads for additional energy savings.

Eco Tip provided by: http://energy.gov/energysaver/energy-saver-guide-tips-saving-money-and-energy-home


Energy Conservation: Heating

Most of our energy use comes from fossil fuels like petroleum and coal that provide electricity and gas to power our growing energy needs. These resources are non-renewable which means that we will eventually run out.

Cut down on your energy consumption with heating methods by utilizing the following tips:

  • Cover all bare floors. Carpeting or rugs add to comfort and heat retention, especially if there is little or no floor insulation.
  • Raise the temperature slowly to keep your bill lower. Quickly raising your heat pump's temperature activates the heat strip, which uses tons of energy.
  • Set your thermostat to 68-70 degrees during the day in the winter, and 65-68 degrees at night to keep your home comfortable and save on heating costs.
  • Close the flue in your fireplace and install glass doors to keep in the warm air.
  • Limit your use of portable heaters. They’re great for "spot" heating, but running a 1,500-watt heater 24/7 can be expensive.
  • Keep your thermostat close to the outside temperature – it’s cheaper to keep your home at 70°F when it’s 50°F outside than when it’s 30°F.
  • Don’t block air vents with drapes and furniture.

Eco Tip provided by: https://www.progress-energy.com/carolinas/home/save-energy-money/energy-saving-tips-calculators/100-tips.page


Energy Conservation: Air Conditioning

Conserving energy not only helps to conserve resources but also translates into financial savings. Energy Conservation continues to be one of UTSA’s goals. Saved energy means there is more money for other university budgets. This, along with the rising cost of fuel demonstrates how important it is to save energy whenever possible.

Cut down on your energy consumption with cooling methods by utilizing the following tips:

  • DC (Direct Current) fans are substantially more energy efficient than standard AC fans, among other advantages
  • Switch your ceiling fan to turn in a counter-clockwise direction in the summer; in the winter, run it at low speed, but clockwise.
  • Make sure all windows and doors are closed tightly and properly sealed.
  • Change or clean your AC's air filters at least once a month to keep your system running at peak performance.
  • Set your thermostat fan switch to "auto" to save energy. Leaving it in the "on" position keeps air running constantly.
  • Block the sun from overheating your home! Inside, use shades, blinds and drapes. Outside, use awnings, trees and shrubs.
  • Energy Star® air conditions are the most energy efficient in 2016

Eco Tip provided by: https://www.progress-energy.com/carolinas/home/save-energy-money/energy-saving-tips-calculators/100-tips.page


Water Conservation: Office/Company Building

Office buildings use an average of 14,695 gallons per day of water. Remember, water savings often bring energy savings, too.

Cut down on your water consumption in the workplace by utilizing the following tips:

  • Post a hotline in bathrooms and kitchens to report leaks or water waste to facility managers or maintenance personnel.
  • Report faulty sprinklers to facilities.
  • Use leftover water from drinks to water office plants.
  • Encourage co-workers to adopt water conservation habits.
  • Try to find low flush toilets in your office/ company building and use those.
  • Encourage the office/company to invest in grey water systems; it will save money in the long run.
  • Encourage office/company to use rainwater collection barrel.

Eco Tip provided by: https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/waterwork/checklist-office.html


Water Conservation: Outdoor Habits

In some areas, 50% or more of the water we use daily goes on lawns and outdoor landscaping. There are lots of ways to save water at home, but reducing the water you use outdoors can make the biggest difference of all.

Cut down on your water consumption outdoors by utilizing the following tips:

  • Use a commercial car wash that recycles water. Or, wash your car on the lawn, and you’ll water your grass at the same time.
  • Wash your pets outdoors, in an area of your lawn that needs water.
  • Use a pool cover to help keep your pool clean, reduce chemical use and prevent water loss through evaporation.
  • Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk or street.
  • Plant species native to your region.
  • Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants helps them retain moisture, saving water, time and money.
  • Call your local conservation office for more information about xeriscaping with water-thrifty trees, plants, and ground covers.

Eco Tip provided by: http://www.ddcwsa.com/customer-services/water-conservation/100-water-saving-tips/


Water Conservation: Bathroom Habits

Conserving water can also extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation, and reducing any pollution due to leaks. Overloading municipal sewer systems can also cause untreated sewage to flow to lakes and rivers. The smaller the amount of water flowing through these systems, the lower the likelihood of pollution. In some communities, costly sewage system expansion has been avoided by communitywide household water conservation.

Cut down on your water consumption in the bathroom by utilizing the following tips:

  • Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
  • Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes. You’ll save up to 1,000 gallons per month.
  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
  • Plug the sink instead of running the water to rinse your razor and save up to 300 gallons a month.
  • Look for WaterSense® labeled toilets, sink faucets, urinals and showerheads.
  • Turn off the water while washing your hair and save up to 150 gallons a month.
  • When washing your hands, turn the water off while you lather.

Eco Tip provided by: http://www.wellbornsud.com/conservation-tips


Water Conservation: Kitchen Habits

750 Million People lack access to clean drinking water. The watercrisis is the #1 global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation), and the #8 global risk based on likelihood (likelihood of occurring within 10 years) as announced by the World Economic Forum, January 2015 (water.org).

Cut down on your water consumption in the kitchen by utilizing the following tips:

  • When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • Dishwashers typically use less water than washing dishes by hand. Now, Energy Star dishwashers save even more water and energy.
  • If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.
  • Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
  • Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables. Use it to water house plants.
  • Don’t use running water to thaw food. For water efficiency and food safety, defrost food in the refrigerator.
  • Select the proper pan size for cooking. Large pans may require more cooking water than necessary.

Eco Tip provided by: http://sfist.com/2014/01/17/water_conservation_drought.php


Dry Green Only

Hang drying your clothes for 6 months can reduce your emissions by 723 pounds. In addition to saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions air drying your garments makes them last longer and if you air dry year-round, you can save a cool $50.

Tip: If you don’t like the stiffness, tumble your clothes in the dryer with no heat for 5 minutes to soften them up.

Source: http://earthleaders.org/~earthlea/programs/green-lifestyle/lifestyle-eco-tips/


Baby Steps: Reducing your Carbon Footprint

Use EPA's Household Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator to estimate your household greenhouse gas emissions resulting from energy use, transportation and waste disposal. This tool helps you understand where your emissions come from and identify ways to reduce them.

Tip: While the tool is used to calculate your footprint, this tool can also be used to track progress.


Green Power

Green power is environmentally friendly electricity that is generated from renewable energy sources such as wind and the sun. Green power can be purchased through a utilities company or produced onsite.

Tip: Producing hot water is an energy intensive process. Hot water is something most people use every day, whether for showers, cooking, or cleaning. Installing a solar hot water heater is a sustainable way to reduce your energy consumption.

Source: http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/index.htm


Green Yards

There are many ways to "green" your yard. Responsible irrigation practices, using native plants, organic fertilizers, and at-home composting are just a few of the ways you can reduce your energy consumption and lower your greenhouse emissions while maintaining a beautiful yard.

Tip: Your yard isn't limited to lawns and flower beds; more and more people are adding small gardens in their yards to provide fresh and healthy foods for themselves and their families.

Source: http://greenyardsmiami.blogspot.com/


Blue Gold

Water is a quickly dwindling natural resource that many first world nations take for granted. In addition to water supply issues, pumping, treating and heating water is incredibly energy intensive. Being conscientious is the best way to begin reducing the amount of water and energy you consume. Simple steps you can take: turn off the faucet while shaving or brushing your teeth, take shorter showers, make sure your dishwasher and washing machine have full loads before running them.

Tip: Having potable water at your fingertips is a privilege and a luxury. If you are really serious about conserving water, consider installing a grey water system or a rain barrel.



Responsible Irrigation

The EPA estimates that almost 30% of residential water consumption is used for irrigation. This accounts for almost 9 BILLION gallons a DAY. They also estimate that up to 50% of the water used outdoors is wasted due to inefficient watering methods and systems.

Tip: Do NOT water your lawn between 10am and 4pm. Calibrate your irrigation system so that you only water as much and as often as needed. Don’t cut your grass too short; the longer the leaf, the more drought resistant the lawn and the less water it needs. Use the rain! For guidance on sustainably maintaining your Florida lawn, please visit http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_lawn_watering



Necessary Climate Change

Interior climate control (heating and cooling), accounts for almost ½ of the average energy bill… roughly $1000 dollars a year. In Miami, the City of Eternal A/C, making your air conditioner more efficient and turning that thermostat up a degree or 2 can greatly reduce your energy consumption and save a lot of money.

Tip: Many thermostats are programmable; setting your thermostat so that the A/C kicks in only when you are home is a good way to start slashing your energy consumption.

Source: http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/publications/pubdocs/HeatingCoolingGuide%20FINAL_9-4-09.pdf?2857-f9bd


Energy Star

Look for EPA's ENERGY STAR label to help you make the most energy-efficient purchasing decisions. The little blue star is on more than 60 kinds of products, including appliances, lighting, heating and cooling equipment, electronics, and office equipment. Over their lifetime, Energy Star products can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 130,000 pounds and save you $11,000 on energy bills.

Tip: Even if the sticker price for Energy Star products is higher, the actual price usually turns out to be lower when factoring in energy savings.

Source: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm


Bright Ideas

Lighting accounts for 12% of ALL energy consumption in the United States. By replacing 5 of your most frequently used lights with Energy Star qualified products you can reduce energy consumption, helping both the environment and your pocketbook.

Tip: Turn off the lights when leaving the room and use natural light whenever possible.

Source: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_improvement.hm_improvement_index


Go Paperless

Paper makes up close to 15% of America's total waste, weighing in at roughly 44 million tons. While recycling rates are getting increasingly higher, it is important to eliminate the use of paper whenever possible.

Tip: Sign up for e-mailing lists as opposed to mailing lists. Switch over to online billing whenever possible. Do things electronically; correspondence, school-related work and office related work can oftentimes be done online.

Source: http://www.epa.gov/waste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/2012_msw_fs.pdf


Don't Be Trashy

Almost all goods come packaged. In fact, packaging for consumer goods accounts for almost 30% of America’s waste, which is roughly 72 million tons. Many companies are looking at ways to make packaging more sustainable.

Tip: Avoid buying individually packaged items whenever possible; buying in bulk not only saves money, but reduces both resource consumption and waste production.



Practicing the 3 Rs to Make a Difference

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Reducing your consumption, reusing what you already have and recycling what you throw out are the best ways to reduce energy consumption and conserve valuable natural resources. Make throwing an item away the last resort when it cannot be reused or recycled. Recycling or donating makes a difference! It’s an act of good will for the environment and the community.

Source: http://www.epa.gov/osw/wycd/downloads/consumer.pdf

Barry University students, faculty and staff are encouraged to donate no longer used cell phones, books and other items to not only reduce the amount of waste, but to also help social justice initiatives such as

Better World Books collections bins are located in the Library, Powers and Garner. Dade Recycling bin, used to collect cell phones and other items, is located in the lobby of Thompson Hall. These are year round locations.


Are you breaking Florida’s law by trashing rechargeable batteries?

Under Florida law, it is illegal to discard nickel-cadmium or small sealed lead acid rechargeable batteries or products containing such rechargeable batteries in the trash. The batteries must be recycled or sent to a facility permitted to dispose of those batteries. Rechargeable batteries include those used on laptops, small electronics, hearing aids, watches, calculators, smaller equipment and backup power supplies, portable electronics and toys, consumer electronics, portable power tools, phones, old style cell phones and small equipment.


Barry University provides students, faculty and staff with a place to drop-off rechargeable batteries, ink cartridges, cell phones and other small electronics for proper recycling year round. The main collection bin, labeled Dade Recycling, is located in the Thompson Hall Lobby. Additional locations will be announced.


Look for Leaks

Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so each year we hunt down the drips during Fix a Leak Week in March. Remember that fixing the leaks can save valuable water and money all year long!

In the bathroom -- where over half of all water use takes place:

  • Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth.
  • Showers use less water than baths, as long as you keep an eye on how long you've been lathering up!
  • Learn tips on how to Shower Better here!

Source: http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/our_water/fix_a_leak.html


Get rid of the "disposable" lifestyle.

Americans throw away 113 billion disposable cups, 39 billion disposable eating utensils and 29 billion disposable plates each year. The strain on landfills is obvious, but these products also consume more energy and materials than durable ones, even when washing is considered. Plastic disposables do not biodegrade and may end up as part of the floating flotsam in the ocean that kills wildlife.

What you can do:

  • Carry your own containers and utensils for take-out meals.
  • If you are serving a large crowd:
    • Ask guests to bring their own tableware.
    • Borrow extra from a neighbor or guest.
    • Rent supplies from a rental shop.
  • Have lightweight, washable tableware set aside for picnics and potlucks.
  • Be proactive in your work place, school, church or other organization.

Eco-tip provided by: http://earthleaders.org/~earthlea/programs/green-lifestyle/lifestyle-eco-tips/


Home Repair Recycling

Anyone familiar with home repair can tell you that there is usually some kind of debris left over. No matter what the project, anytime something new goes in, something old is discarded. That said, there are some unexpected recyclables hidden among your home repair rubble, and with a little extra effort, you can help ensure that they serve a second life rather than waste away. Check out five common items that often end up wasted: http://earth911.com/news/2013/03/11/home-repair-recycling/

Eco-tip provided by: http://earth911.com/news/2013/03/11/home-repair-recycling/


Eliminate bottled water

Kick the bottled water habit by installing a water filter on your faucet and purchasing a reusable water bottle. Aim for a water bottle that does not leach chemicals, by looking for ‘BPA Free’ labels, or by choosing stainless steel.

Eco-tip provided by GreenFaith: http://greenfaith.org/files/eco-tips-for-how-pdf


Car washing tips to conserve water

Wash your car on the lawn, and you'll water your lawn at the same time. As an alternative, use a commercial car wash that recycles water.

Eco-tip provided by Water Use It Wisely: http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/


Did you know that producing a hamburger takes this much water?

Eat a bit less meat, especially beef. A typical hamburger can take 630 gallons to produce. (Learn more about the water embedded in your food with National Geographic's "The Hidden Water We Use" interactive.)

Eco-tip provided by National Geographic Freshwater Conservation Tips: http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/top-ten/


Save up to 175 gallons of water a month!

Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month. Turn off the water while you wash your hair to save up to 150 gallons a month.

Eco-tip provided by Water Use It Wisely: http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/

At-Home Guide to Water Conservation: http://www.homeintelligence.ca/resources/at-home-water-conservation-guide/


Let the rain water your lawn!

Watering lawns with sprinklers consumes more water than any other home use. Stop watering -- your grass will turn green again when it rains, and as we know from living in Florida, it rains almost every afternoon in the summertime. If you must, water lightly early in the morning when temperatures are cooler. Also, check your sprinklers to make sure they are only watering plants and not paved areas, fences, or buildings.

Eco-tip provided by the Center for Earth Leadership: http://earthleaders.org/~earthlea/files/6313/4099/9770/Conserving_Water.pdf


Which one is more water efficient…dishwashing or hand washing?

Dishwashing is a relatively small part of your water footprint – less than 2% of indoor use – but there are always ways to conserve. Using a machine is actually more water efficient than hand washing, especially if you run full loads and select the appropriate settings. Energy Star dishwashers use about 4 gallons of water per load, and even standard machines use only about 6 gallons. Hand washing generally uses about 20 gallons of water each time.

Eco-tip provided by National Geographic Water Conservation Tips:http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/water-conservation-tips


Use your clothes washer for only full loads

Students in apartments who have to use communal laundry rooms or commercial laundromats probably know this already, but automatic clothes washers should be fully loaded for optimum water conservation. With clothes washers, avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses an added 20 liters (5 gallons) for the extra rinse. For partial loads, adjust water levels to match the size of the load. Replace old clothes washers. New Energy Star rated washers use 35 - 50% less water and 50% less energy per load. If you're in the market for a new clothes washer, consider buying a water-saving frontload washer.

Eco-tip provided by eartheasy: Solutions for Sustainable Living: http://eartheasy.com/live_water_saving.htm


Toilets are the biggest water consumers inside your house.

Toilets are the biggest water consumers inside the house, and a medium leak can waste 150-200 gallons of water per day. Check your toilets for leaks by putting food coloring in the tank and waiting ten minutes. You have a leak if color appears in the bowl.

Eco-tip provided by the Center for Earth Leadership: http://earthleaders.org/~earthlea/files/6313/4099/9770/Conserving_Water.pdf


Avoid Plastic Bags!

With the average household using 900 plastic bags every year, the cumulative environmental impact is enormous. For starters, plastic bags require petroleum as a raw material, and the manufacturing process emits toxic waste into the air and water. Once discarded, plastic bags either sit in a landfill for or create a litter problem because they are so lightweight and hard to contain. Finally, they don't biodegrade in the environment but rather break into smaller and smaller pieces. In the North Pacific, oceanographers have located a 3.5-million-ton floating mass of plastic debris. Tens of thousands of turtles, whales, dolphins, seals and birds die every year due to plastic bags because they often mistake the plastic debris for food, such as jellyfish. When eaten, the plastic gets trapped in the gut, preventing food from being digested.

What you can do:

  1. Purchase the type of durable, reusable bags you prefer:
    • Woven plastic bags – large grocery stores
    • Canvas or nylon bags— http://www.reuseit.com/
    • Net bags – your local natural food store
  2. Develop a routine. Place the empty bags where you will always have them—in the car, on a hook by the door, in a purse, briefcase, or backpack.
  3. Rinse and dry produce and bread bags for reuse.
  4. Keep reusable bags in your shopping bag for purchasing produce and dry goods in bulk.

Eco-tip provided by: http://earthleaders.org/~earthlea/programs/green-lifestyle/lifestyle-eco-tips/


Consider composting!

  • The average American creates 4.4 lbs. of garbage each day (1,600 pounds per year).

Starting an indoor or outdoor compost bin is easy, smell-free, and turns food waste into nutrient-rich soil. Learn how easy it is at: http://www.howtocompost.org or http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/compost/composting_nyc.shtml

Contact your township—often townships provide compost bins for free or at a discount. In a small space or urban area, consider an indoor composter such as those described at http://www.naturemill.com/

Eco-tip provided by GreenFaith: http://greenfaith.org/files/eco-tips-for-how-pdf


Use Reusable or Earth-friendly Dinnerware!

When planning parties and events, keep the environment in mind by using reusable or earth-friendly dinnerware.

Your waste will outlive you—plastic can take up to 600 years to break down in a landfill, and Styrofoam never breaks down. Start small with reusable utensils, since they can be easily collected and washed. Supplement as needed with recycled-content paper and/or biocompostable dinnerware: http://www.worldcentric.org.

Eco-tip provided by GreenFaith: http://greenfaith.org/files/eco-tips-for-how-pdf


Get Rid of your Junk Mail!

  • Over 100 million trees are killed each year for junk mail.
  • Most junk mail is unwanted and ends up being recycled or goes in the trash.
  • Creating/shipping junk mail produces more greenhouse gas than 9 million cars. (http://www.41pounds.org/impact/)

Catalogs are a major offender. A catalog request can result in contact information being put into a database, ensuring you receive more catalogs. Companies also may rent or sell their mailing lists. You may diligently recycle all this junk mail, but reducing it would save a lot more trees.

What you can do:

  • Call the sender and ask to be removed from its list. When ordering from a catalog, note how many catalogs you are willing to receive per year.
  • Keep a stack of postcards handy with the message: "Please take me off your mailing list." Tape the label with your address onto the postcard and send it.
  • To reduce unwanted credit card solicitations, contact major credit bureaus at 1-888-567-8688 or go to http://www.optoutprescreen.com.
  • Cancel all publications you don't have time to read.
  • Guard your name and address. Information on warranties or contest entry forms may go directly to a marketing firm. When filling out applications, subscriptions, or memberships, state that you do not want your name released to other businesses. Stay away from store "buyer's club" cards.
  • Consider subscribing (for a small fee) to an organization that will remove you from junk mailing lists; a couple of choices are:

Eco-tip provided by Center for Earth Leadership: http://earthleaders.org/~earthlea/files/1013/4099/9781/Junk_Mail.pdf


If you’re not doing so already, recycle!

Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours. Save energy and resources by recycling your glass, aluminum, plastic and paper. Check your city's recycling guide to find out what materials are recyclable in your area and whether or not your recyclables should be separated or commingled. If your city doesn't have a recycling guide, check directly with your waste management company.

Eco-tip provided by GreenFaith: http://greenfaith.org/files/eco-tips-for-how-pdf


Bring your own reusable bottle or mug everywhere you go.

Make an Earth Day commitment to carry a reusable mug. If 50 customers a day in every U.S. Starbucks did this, the equivalent of almost 300,000 trees a year would be saved. If you forget your mug, ask for a ceramic mug for in-store orders and forgo the plastic lid for to-go use.

Eco-tip provided by: Center for Earth Leadership


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