Try using solar, wind or water as your energy source.  This can work on small scales with pathway lights and camping lanterns that are fueled by the sun.  Wind farms are becoming more popular on the open plains of the mid-west of Iowa and Kansas (these are where I have seen them and I think they are creepy).  

Turn off the lights when they are not needed.  I admit that I just now leaned over and turned out the bedside lamp since I have the overhead light on. 

Low-energy bulbs may cost more upfront but will save energy and money in the long run.

This one may not be as familiar to you but it’s called phantom or vampire power.  It’s the energy that is drained by leaving appliances plugged in when not in use.  I know that many people unplug appliances before going on long vacations to prevent electrical fires.  If you don’t use that lamp very often you might think of unplugging it until you do use it.  It’s the same thing as not leaving your equipment (i.e. laptop) on standby.

Use motion sensing night lights.

As you buy new or replacement appliances try to purchase energy efficient models.  Again, they may be more expensive upfront but cost less in the long run.

Use rechargeable batteries.

Buy locally.  It takes less energy to transport from the nearby farm or garden than it does from New York (unless that’s where you live).  Long live the farmer’s market, right Dawn!?

Compost.  There are many ways to do this.  You can buy a fancy composter or build your own in the backyard.  It will help your garden (or your neighbors or you could donate it to the local garden club or be creative!) and reduce the amount of garbage going into the landfill.  Starbucks offers at no charge used coffee grinds to gardeners for composting.

Recycle paper, cans, plastic and glass.  Most cities will also recycle batteries.

Plant a tree.  Do it for no reason or do it in honor of someone special or a special event, like a wedding.  A tree provides a way to stop soil erosion, adds oxygen for us to breathe and provides shade to help cool the earth.

Buy recycled products when possible.  These items are becoming competitively priced and the quality is often as good as or better than non-recycled products.

Make sure that your tires are at the best pressure per the manufacturer.  If they are lower than they should be there is more friction and your car needs more fuel to move.

Don’t carry excess weight in your car.  Ummm, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  Shoot, I had everything anyone might ever need in my trunk; just ask anyone whoever saw it.  However, the extra weight causes more fuel to be used.  And anyway, how often did I really need that silverware or side table or hammock or child-sized crutches or vacuum cleaner parts or . . . .

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