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  • Smart Choices

6 Resolutions for a Greener New Year

Illustration of the words, "Happy New Year" on a green background.

Are you looking to save energy and live more sustainably? The New Year is the perfect time to start fresh. With these resolutions, you can make some simple changes to your lifestyle that will have a positive impact on your energy bill and the environment.

  1. Use less energy. Start simple: turn off lights and electronics when you're not using them. Next, adjust the thermostat when you're not at home to save energy. A Wi-Fi programmable thermostat is a low-cost upgrade that can optimize savings and add convenience. Light maintenance helps as well, like changing your furnace filter regularly to improve heating and cooling system efficiency.

  2. Make your home more energy efficient. Start with lighting. Upgrade to LEDs, which use up to 80% less energy and last far longer than conventional incandescent bulbs. Check for air leaks in exterior doors and windows and seal with weatherstripping or caulk. Contact a qualified professional to conduct an energy audit of your home. You'll receive a customized set of recommendations that will optimize efficiency and comfort.

  3. Buy green. Think about what you’re purchasing. Do you really need it? If you do buy, select products and packaging made from recycled and recyclable materials.

  4. Reuse and recycle. Don’t just throw things away; find ways to reuse them. Examples include boxes for storage and old clothing as rags. Separate waste — such as cans, bottles and plastic — and recycle them.

  5. Eat local and organic. Organic foods are produced using sustainable practices and local foods reduce transportation and storage. Look for organic food at the grocery store and visit your local farmer's market.

  6. Use water wisely. Clean water isn't an infinite resource. Use less by taking shorter showers and only running your dishwasher and clothes washer when you have a full load. Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.

New Year's resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep but stick with it. The lower energy bills, combined with the knowledge your actions are making a difference, should be enough to keep you going all year long.


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