Turn Things Off When You Go On Vacation

Finally – summer’s here, and for many of us that means vacation.  You can save money and energy while you’re away by turning off or unplugging as many things as possible.  Here are a few suggestions:

Hot water heater: why pay to keep water hot when you won’t be using it?  Most hot water heaters can will heat a full tank in a few hours at most, so just turn it on when you get back and you’ll likely not even notice a difference
Electronics: many electronics still use a bit of power when they are not on but are still plugged in, and collectively they add up.  So pull the plug on as many of them as you can before you go.  (IE entertainment electronics, cordless phones, even garage door openers)
Water main valves: not so much an energy saver as peace of mind, because a leak or burst can make quite a mess when no one is around

Enjoy your summer break, whatever it is – and turn things off before you go to get a break on your power bill too!

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Avoid dry cleaning if possible

Dry cleaning isn’t really ‘dry’; it’s just that chemical solvents are used instead of water to remove stains. The solvents work well, but they aren’t very environmentally friendly – particularly to groundwater if they are spilled.

So here are three ideas for using less dry cleaning:

  • If possible, buy clothes you can wash in regular laundry
  • If possible, seek out a company that uses a newer process called ‘wetcleaning’ which has less environmental impact
  • Consider wearing clothes more than once between cleanings

You’ll save money and do a good thing for the environment! (For more information, read this excellent factsheet from the US EPA.)