Energy Conservation Ideas? Staff

As the California energy crisis continues to draw more concern around the country we think this is a good time to start a discussion about energy conservation. For the most part we will publish one new brainstorm a week, but we are publishing a second one regarding energy conservation this week.


We will revisit some information we have published in the past, tomorrow and would like hear your thoughts on what you do to help conserve energy.

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December 27, 20000 found this helpful

THINK before you flip the light switch! I can read the morning paper in my cozy but practically window-less living room if I turn on a lamp .... or I can sit in my sunny kitchen and read the paper with no lights turned on. In nice weather, I can sit in my courtyard and read at the lawn table.

Always put lids on pots when bringing water to a boil.

I hardly ever use my clothes dryer. You will be amazed how much energy you can save by hanging clothes to dry -- on a clothesline in nice weather, on a rack or indoor clothesline in bad weather.


Turn heavy pants like jeans inside-out so the pockets can flap in the breeze -- less double layers of cloth means they dry faster. Sweatshirts also dry faster inside out. Air-dried clothes too stiff for you? Toss the dry clothes in the dryer for 5 minutes to "fluff" them .... you've still saved a lot of energy!

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December 28, 20000 found this helpful

I was always running around turning thermostats back down after family members would crank them up to warm a room, stay 15 minutes, and leave without re-adjusting the temp. I bought them throw blankets, and sweaters, but they were never handy. So, when the cold weather comes, I scatter throw blankets on all of the chairs, and sofas. They are soft, and warm, and handier than getting up to crank up the heat. No more blazing rooms with no occupants.



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January 2, 20010 found this helpful

Dishwashers use less hot water than hand washing. To make them an even better energy saver, open up the door when the machine gets to the dry cycle and let the dishes air dry.

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January 17, 20010 found this helpful

I live in California, and here is my idea for energy conservation. One night
a week should be a "candlelight night." Try not to cook that evening. Of
course, you could reheat if hot food is necessary to you and your family.
Build a fire in your fireplace. Serve dinner by candlelight. I don't turn on any lights at all that night. I have found safe holders for candles that I can carry from room to room. I even put a mirror under the candles to increase the light. Try not turning on the television or computer for a while. See what kinds of games you can play by candle light. It is fun for kids to see how our ancestors lived!

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January 22, 20010 found this helpful

Throw in a couple of dry towels when put a load of wet laundry in the
dryer. They absorb moisture and cut down on the amount of time and


energy needed to dry the laundry. Also, hang as much as possible to air
dry will not only cut down on energy for drying, but will also help add
moisture to the air which will help it feel warmer in your room. - MeloDee French

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February 1, 20010 found this helpful

Shut off your iron when you're NEARLY done ironing the last piece of clothing. It will retain heat for a few minutes.

The same goes for a pot of something cooking on an electric burner or in the oven. If it is very near done, shut it off and use the last of the waning heat to save a little money and energy. - Nett of NH

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February 26, 20010 found this helpful

Use lower wattage lights,we live in a forested area so an outside night light is needed but we've cut down from a 60 watt to a 15.I wish we had stayed at a 40.Those 15 watt bulbs are expensive!


Don't run your water heater all the time.
Also our flourescent kitchen light over the sink shines over a large section of our yard.
The Best Energy,Money & Environment Saving hint I Ever got was from Heloise a Long time ago.
Most people use batteries for something.Clean the contacts with an emery board or even a rock or tree if your flashlight goes dim while walking the dog.
I got through a 46 hour Hurricane Kate outtage on one set of Batteries by scubbing them against the terrycloth tank top I was wearing.
We don't use our dryer much either but we do use it to fluff up seemingly dead pillows
it only takes a couple of minutes.
Laundry smells better when it hangs out & towels are more absorbent.

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June 6, 20040 found this helpful

I buy Zeolite in bulk quanties and use it for almost everything. It is an amazing mineral. To cut down on utility bills, I keep a bag of Zeolite ( 1 lb poured into old pantyhose) and place in refrigerator. The Zeolite will absorb all of the odors and moisture leaving the refrigerator fresh and dry.


Will cut down on electrical use. Also, Zeolite is a great replacement for sand in swimming pools as it reduces backwashing, chemical use and filters a lot finer. Zeolite absorbs and traps water, so you can use it in the garden to keep the soil moist and reduce the amount of water that you need.

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October 6, 20040 found this helpful

underneath drapes that you would normally keep closed in winter anyway - stich or clip clear sheet plastic or hang it from a 2nd rod - then, if you want to open the drapes for the light or to lift the depression - the plastic is still there to help keep the drafts out

when it's cold in the kitchen is a PERFECT time to do some baking ! Even if it's just a potatoe or an apple !

Make a draft guard to place in front of the door
measure the door width & from an old bedspread or whatever - sew the cloth into a tube shape & put in rolled up layers of newspapers - make it about as big around as a softball - you'll be surprised how much warmer it is

I got 2 electric blankets 1/2 price - they originally were over $50 for the queen size & 29 or so for the twin size for my son ! Dress the bed in winter with flannel sheets ! f you don't have those- before you get in - use the blow dryer to warm it up - or turn the bed covers down an hr or so before bedtime to let them get warm & turn the stat down to 68 or so - with the flannel sheets & flannel jamas (I call mine :"mamajammas" -- the old lady type with ruffles ! ) & the electric blankie you'll be as warm as toast ! If it's REALLY cold & I'm chilling I wear some excersise pants under the mamajammas - Not too "fashionable" but do you want FASHION or do you want WARM ???
If you have a woodstove or fireplace - you might heat a brick & wrap it in a towel & secure it & put @ the foot of the bed under the covers - or to be conservative with the cooking heat - wrap your potatoe(s) in foil & place on the hearth or in the coals - Voila !
If you work & want to have a canned good when you get home for supper- use a juice can opener & make a hole in the can & sit it on the pilot light to warm all day
or in a clean clay flower pot wrap some bread slices in paper towel & sit it on the pilot light to warm - yum !

I wish I had a wood stove - after the last ice storm we had here there was free wood everywhere !
Plus, there are several woodwork shops around here who hea scrap up & we have gone & got it for my parents stove ! Some of it is craft ready !

Sweaters can be layered too ! Or borrow your husbands or sons thermals & wear under a sweater ! My mom sometimes wears a flannel shirt over whatever else she has on -- not too pretty but helps her keep warm !
We have a free store here & I have gotton lots of sweaters - nice ones- just launder them first "to be sure"
Wear a stocking sort of cap to preserve body heat in winter

We once helped a friend who lived in a VERY cold apt by lifting his matress which was on springs - not a box & layered newspapers & an old blanket to help insulate the bed

Keep your bathroom door closed before you bathe or shower so it warms up
Invest in an inexpensive kerosene heater to use when bathing - makes a HUGE difference in how you enjoy your bath ! Or even light a candle or 2 to help take the chill off !
My office is so cold in the winter I got an electric heater for $10 to help keep me warm so I don't end up sick in the winter & beside my kitchen sink is the back porch with no door- so I hung a heavy drape to help me not catch my death ! & If it's too cold to have my hands in the water to risk pnuemonia I just don't Do them until I feel I can do so without risking my health - which sometimes has been 3 or 4 days - but HEY ! Hose them down so they don't get hard

Keep a pr or 2 of dry socks in the car in case you get your feet wet in the rain or snow !
Doesn't so much conserve ENERGY but sure helps keep from "taking chill"

Rooms your not using - close off & shut the vents - even the bedrooms during the day don't need all that much warmth unless your using them !

2 times this summer my toilet has stopped flushing - so I have been recycling my bath water to force flush it ! I saved a big plastic cat food jug to do this & in the past we had the kids carry used bathwater out to the gardens ! In the summer if you water at night with used warm bathwater - it causes a GREAT scent --we did this to our merigolds

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By Melissa frm NY (Guest Post)
January 27, 20050 found this helpful

Im not sure if this is available in all areas, but with my local Gas and electric co. you can have, what they call an off peak meter, put on instead of the every day ones they normally use. We have one installed and we also have our hot water tank, dish washer, washer and dryer put on timers. The cost per ohm cuts in half if used at night. They have discounted rates between the hours of 11:30 pm and 6:30 am. My utility bill has been cut in half.

I am usually up after 11 so i load the dishwasher then, the washer and dryer. My girls get up at 6 and 7 in the morning to take showers and the hot water stays quite warm throughout the day right up until about 5 pm. may not be scalding hot but warm enough to wash hands. I truly cant believe the price cut my bill has been since we started using this system. Call local Gas and Electric company and ask. Also most co. offer a winterization program for qualified people. Even if you dont qualify they will tell you things to do to save on your utility bills.

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July 8, 20060 found this helpful

We bought 5 year flourescent bulbs and replaced all our old style bulbs. Though the bulbs cost more initially, we have seen a reduction in the cost of our overall electric bill.

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By jim (Guest Post)
March 28, 20070 found this helpful

Why not close down all fast food drive thrus? Too many people spend too much time in these lines while their cars idle away fuel and emit pollutants. Besides, the walk inside might just be healthier for them.

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