Save green by going green

These tips have dual benefits – helping the Earth and your pocketbook at the same time.  Here are some things you can do right now and how much they can save you:

Carpooling:  The average commute to work in the U.S. is 25 minutes, and up to 20 miles each way.  Combined with the savings on the costs of maintaining your vehicle when you’re driving to work every day, you can cut your current gas costs in half if you share the ride.  Check sites like or to help you plan a carpool (see the Rideshare forum under Community.)

Energy Audit:  Most households spend around $1,300 annually on energy bills.  You can save up to 30% on these costs by making your home more efficient, and many of those upgrades are inexpensive and easy to do – replacing your thermostat with a programmable one, sealing cracks with caulk, and sealing around windows can make a big difference.  Conduct a home energy audit yourself or hire a contractor to do it for you (search for “Home Energy Audit.”)  You may even be eligible for a tax credit (check

Water Heaters: The Department of Energy says the average annual water heating bill is $400 to $600.  Turning down the water heater and washing clothes in cold water can save you 6%.  A tankless water heater can save up to 30% annually.

Re-use (everything):  Check before you buy supplies for that one-time project.  It’s free to join, and people give away everything from tools and building supplies to appliances they no longer need.  You might also want to rent power tools if you won’t use them regularly (search or for “Tool Rental.”)

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