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Energy Conservation for your Home: Summer Edition

The weather may be hot and humid, but summer is still a good time to be mindful of the importance of protecting God’s creation, the Earth, by reducing energy waste in your home. Below are a few simple suggestions to get you started.  These tips will both help reduce waste and reduce costs.

Green Lighting Tips:

  • Do not place lamps near a thermostat.  The thermostat senses the heat produced by the lamp which can change how often the air conditioner will run.
  •  Use dimmers, motion detectors, and timers on indoor and outdoor lighting
  • Use CFL lightbulbs wherever possible, as they reduce energy use by up to 75 per cent

Green Tips for Cooling Your Home:

  • Change or clean your air conditioner filter regularly to keep the system running most efficiently
  • Have your air conditioning system checked annually to make sure it is running smoothly
  • Install a programmable thermostat to regulate your cooling when you are not at home
  • Plant deciduous trees outside windows on the south side of your house to provide shade in summer

Clothes washing and drying:

  • Hang clothes to dry on a clothes tree or clothesline, at least some of the time. This also will make your clothes last longer due to less wear and tear from drying them a dryer at high heat
  • Empty the lint trap after each use of the dryer when you do use it
  • Do full loads when using the washing machine for less water waste
  • Use cold or warm cycles instead of hot cycles for wash, because heating the water for laundry consumes 90 per cent of the energy of the laundry process

Cooking Tips:

  • Use a microwave rather than an oven, range or toaster where possible
  • Cover pans when cooking to keep heat in
  • Use the appropriate size burner on the range-small for small pots, large for large pots
  • Choose small appliances over big ones for cooking (e.g. rice cooker, electric tea kettle or toaster oven over using a large pan for rice, a large kettle for tea or the full size oven for cooking)

Keep cool and eco-friendly this summer!

Gail Wechsler is the Director of Domestic Issues/Social Justice at the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis. She is the staff person for the Jewish Environmental Initiative (JEI), a committee of the JCRC and a part of the JCRC's Bohm Social Justice Initiative.
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