Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year’s Resolution: Save Energy (and Money!)

The new year is a great time for starting fresh and creating healthy new habits. But while temperatures  are dropping and rich, hearty meals are calling, maybe it is best to delay that jogging and salad regimen for warmer days, and focus instead on a positive change for both the earth and your wallet - saving energy.

Here are a few ways you can save energy and create a healthier future for yourself, your family, and the environment.

1.     Make an investment in alternative energy. 2015 is the time to invest in alternative energy: the price of solar energy has been steadily and steeply dropping over the last forty years (the cost in dollars per watt is now 100 times less expensive than it was 20 years ago). If you have been considering investing in solar for years, but have been afraid of the up front cost, consider a small, portable system like the SUNRNR portable solar generator. Much less expensive than a full set of solar panels, this versatile system can expand over time as you slowly reduce dependence on the grid. (As a bonus, you will be the envy of the neighborhood when the winter storms hit and you are able to run your appliances using the SUNRNR solar generator).

2.     Drive less. Fuel costs will not drop forever - the best way to reduce dependence on gas and oil is to drive less and focus on increasing healthy transportation alternatives like biking and walking. Another great way to reduce your driving time is to batch all trips that require a car into one outing. It requires a bit of planning, but it sure beats spending a beautiful Saturday criss-crossing all over town in a car. Do you live in a city and need your car to commute? Look for car-sharing options.

3.     Waste less at home. Over time, little reductions in energy use can translate into BIG savings. Zero Waste Home is an excellent resource for ideas on how to save energy throughout the home. Especially helpful is the “store” page with links to gadgets like this $7 faucet attachment that reduces water flow by 77% and this electricity usage monitor  that lets you know how much power appliances are drawing even when they are idle.

Cheers to a great new year! 

Blog contributor Jenna Clarke

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