We're governed by our habits, and while some of them are simply irksome, others serve a purpose. After coaxing the last spurt of shampoo from the bottle, do you add water and swish out whatever is left? Do you pour the leftover ounces of water from a glass into a plant or down the drain? These are behaviors born from an innate desire to save money. But how many of them really save, and how many are just myths?
An average refrigerator is opened 42 times a day according to the Home Energy Magazine. This average open and close pattern uses $7 for every $100 of the refrigerator's energy use each year. Careless door use, whether it's frequent opening or leaving the door ajar, can add $3 to $17 to that bill each year. If I can save $3 by grabbing two items instead of one at a time consider it done.
Absolutely! The compressor, the part that uses energy, works to cool the air in the freezer. Open space means more air to cool. Likewise, frozen foods act as chunks of ice in a cooler; they help to regulate the cool temperature in the freezer. Without overfilling the freezer, you're helping it by keeping it stocked. If you're low on food, consider filling soda bottles with water to create temporary space fillers. When you find an impressive sale, store the bottles in the basement until they're needed again. Be sure to leave a path of circulation for the air from top to bottom in order to keep the freezer working properly. Just as an empty freezer is inefficient, so is an overly stuffed one.
The average American disposes of eight batteries per year. Multiply that by the number of Americans, and the disposal of these hazardous items account for 88% of the mercury and 50% of the cadmium that appears in the solid waste dumps. Batteries are filled with the heavy metals mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel. Proper disposal and recycling is key.
Batteries are expensive, but their cost to the environment is greater. Consider electrically powered items in light of battery powered. If your appliance comes with an electrical adapter, use it. If batteries are essential, consider rechargeable batteries and save in every way.