Cut down your energy bill

Tips for cutting down your energy bill:

  1. Don't be a blow hard (it's a waste of energy!) Running your AC all night or when you're out wastes energy. Set your thermostat to cool just when you really need it, and to a reasonable temperature -- 72-75° F is sufficient for most people.

  2. Okay - be a blow hard! Install an EnergyStar ceiling fan. Air movement makes people feel cooler.

  3. Mind your 'fridge. Clean coils help a refrigerator run more efficiently. The smoother it runs, the less heat it will release into your home.

  4. Nuke it. Use your microwave to cook. Turning on the stove for small meals wastes energy and heats up your home.

  5. Decorate! Hang light colored window coverings. They reflect heat and light.

  6. Cover up. Keep window coverings closed on south and west-facing windows during the day to keep temperatures from rising inside.

  7. Turn over a new leaf and grow house plants. According to NASA, they clean the air by converting pollutants into plant food. Clean air will make your home feel fresher.

  8. Don't be a dim bulb! Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) where appropriate. Regular lamps release about 90% of their energy as heat. CFLs use more of their energy to create light, not to heat your home.

  9. Give your house new clothes (so you shed less.) Insulate your walls and attic to keep hot air outside where it belongs.
>> Additional energy-savings ideas

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The largest user-generated Web guide to healthy, sustainable living, SustainLane.com invites visitors to share their success stories, special insights and tested tips to drive debate and inform fellow consumers on the best ways to lead environmentally conscious lives. Published by SustainLane Media, SustainLane.com has a dedicated and growing following of like-minded users who turn to the Web site for community, advice, news, product reviews and the nation's largest local green living directory, with 20K small business listings. SustainLane.com was founded in 2004 and is home to the Sustainable City Ranking, the most comprehensive and credible benchmarking of the state of sustainability in America, as well as the newly formed Green Collar Jobs Board.

About Jordana Gustafson, content manager for Sustainlane.com
As content manager for leading green living guide SustainLane.com, Jordana Gustafson actively shapes the consumer green experience-providing useful, relevant material that cuts through the clutter and gets to the heart of green matters. She writes and edits SustainLane editorial and reviews all user- and partner-generated content posted to the site. Jordana also serves as a SustainLane.com consumer content spokesperson, bringing her unique candor and perspective to outlets in San Francisco and beyond.

Previously, Jordana reported for NPR and Marketplace as a foreign correspondent based in Mexico. At WUNC-Chapel Hill, she was part of the duPont-Columbia award-winning team that produced the series North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty. She has reported for and contributed to numerous outlets, including the Boston Globe, the BBC, and This American Life. She also apprenticed in radio at WBUR-Boston.

Jordana is fluent in Spanish, has traveled on four continents, and has lived in Sweden, Vietnam, and Mexico. Currently residing in San Francisco, where SustainLane Media is headquartered, Jordana is a California native who received a B.A. at Connecticut College.

Since moving to San Francisco, where there is curbside, single-stream recycling and food scrap composting, Jordana estimates that her personal solid waste diversion rate is about 95 percent.

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