Day 4 Tips and Tricks: Save Energy

by Andrea Cooley

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I was inspired to do be more eco-friendly at an unexpected place this summer: The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Adam and I were waiting for the dolphin show to start and a little video was on repeat about how to take care of the planet. It made us think about what we could do and what we were already doing to save energy.

So, here are 5 things we're doing in the Cooley house to do our part conserving energy:

1. Reusable water bottles
There are tons of different reusable bottles to choose from, the important thing is that you use them! I try to always keep one in the car that I can refill on the go and it seems like there's usually one sitting on the counter. Sometimes I still find myself on-the-go without a water bottle and break down and buy a bottle of water, but I try not to! Not only is it expensive to buy water but even if all those plastic bottles are recycled it's still a lot of waste!

2. Water bottle in toilet tank
I know this sounds weird, but it really works! We live in an old house and don't have low-flo toilets, but by putting a full plastic water bottle in the tank, we save up to 10 gallons a day!

3. Reusable grocery bags
I'm not always the best at remembering to bring my bags to the store, but when I do have them I'm always amazed at how much more fits in those bags than the plastic ones. That makes it easier to bring the groceries inside and it frees up space under my sink (where plastic bags seem to multiply!)

4. Programmable thermostat
We installed one of these in our condo, but fortunately there was already one in the house when we moved in. If you don't have one I think they are around $70 and studies show that you recoup the value in savings in a year or two.

The thing I like best about it is that we can set it to a schedule and pretty much forget about it! We set it for when we wake up, go to work, come home, and go to bed. You can also set a different schedule for the weekends. And when we're out of town it's easy to turn up or down until you come home.

5. Compost/recycle
This is really Adam's favorite way to save the planet. He would recycle everything if he could! The city actually gave us a second recycling bin, we had so much paper and cardboard!

How do you save energy at your house?

If you missed the start of our 31 Days of Tips and Tricks you can find all the posts here.

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