A recent report revealing that Australia's households waste 300 million in Australian dollars (about $288 million U.S.) simply on neglectful habits is a good reminder for us—after all, the United States is the biggest energy consumer in the world, so the money we send down the drain with every power strip and light left on would far surpass that of the land down under. Some energy-saving tips from U.S. News and the rest of the blogosphere:
- Unplug the appliances you use only for a few minutes each day, and you'll save pounds of carbon emissions over the course of the year.
- Computers consume more energy than you think—so make sure your next purchase is Energy Star rated. And when you go to sleep, don't let your computer do the same: Turn it off, instead.
- For other gadgets, look beyond Energy Star ratings—like a rechargeable lawn mower or an LCD TV rather than a plasma screen.
- Your dryer is the second biggest energy hog in your house. During the summer, dry clothes on a clothesline, instead.
- Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The Home Depot recycles these now, so drop them off when they've burned out.
- You'll save nearly $100 a year by merely shaving two minutes off your showers, according to the Australian study.
- Turning down your water heater can save you from 6 to 10 percent on your bill, according to the Daily Green.
- Curious about your home's carbon footprint? Calculate it here.