Going green all at once is too much for almost anyone to accomplish. Instead, try making just one new change or adding one new habit or resolve each week. You'll be surprised at how it adds up after just a year.
- A laptop uses just a quarter of the power required by a desktop computer
- Contaminants are tracked into homes on the soles of shoes. Consider becoming a shoe-free household. Clever designs for shoe storage near the front door can keep entries clutter-free and indoor air cleaner at the same time.
- Generating enough electricity to cook for an hour in a standard electric oven creates 2.7 pounds of carbon dioxide. Here's a list of what can do it for less: toaster oven, 1.3 pounds over 50 minutes; slow cooker, 0.9 pounds over seven hours; and microwave, 0.5 pounds over 15 minutes.
- If a vehicle's tires have less than recommended air pressure, gas mileage will suffer. Determine the correct pressure level from the small plaque likely found just inside the driver's-side door, but possibly on a rear doorpost, in the trunk/latch area, the glove box, or even on the sun visor.
- Wrapping a water heater with insulation can keep as many as 1,000 pounds of global-warming CO2 a year out of the upper atmosphere.
- Using cold water can save up to 80 percent of the energy required to wash clothes.
- Refrigerators and freezer units account for one-sixth of a home's energy use, so select energy-efficient models when buying a replacement.
- Fine-tune a refrigerator for optimum energy use by checking to see that the temperature in its main refrigeration box hovers at 37 degrees while the freezer stays at a relatively steady 3 degrees. A weather thermometer will do the trick.