Energize!

6 resolutions for a greener New Year

Are you looking to save energy and live more sustainably? The New Year is the perfect time for a fresh start. These simple lifestyle changes will have a positive impact on your energy bill and the environment in 2022 and beyond.

1. Use less energy. Start simple: turn off lights and electronics when you’re not using them. Next, adjust the thermostat when you’re not at home to save energy, or upgrade to a smart thermostat that will optimize savings and enhance comfort. A little light maintenance helps as well, like changing your furnace filter regularly to improve heating and cooling system efficiency.

2. Make your home more energy efficient. Start by upgrading to LED lighting, which use up to 80% less energy and last far longer than conventional incandescent bulbs. Check for air leaks in exterior doors and windows and seal with weather stripping or caulk. Contact a qualified professional to conduct an energy audit of your home. You’ll receive customized recommendations that will optimize efficiency and comfort.

3. Buy green. Think about what you’re purchasing. Do you really need it? If you do buy, choose products and packaging made from recycled and recyclable materials.

4. Reuse and recycle. Don’t just throw things away. Find ways to reuse them. For example, use cardboard boxes for storage and old clothing as rags. Separate waste — such as cans, bottles and plastic — and recycle them.

5. Eat local and organic. Organic foods are produced using sustainable practices and local foods reduce transportation and storage. Look for organic food at the grocery store, and visit your local farmer’s market.

6. Use water wisely. Clean water isn’t an infinite resource. Use less by taking shorter showers and only running your dishwasher and clothes washer when you have a full load. And don’t forget to install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.

Most New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep. But stick with these and lower energy bills, combined with knowing your actions are making a difference, should be enough to keep you going all year long.

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