8 Energy-Efficient Moves for Summer

Scientists suggest replacing your fridge but not your clothes dryer. 

Composite 8 energy-efficient summer moves

With some simple tweaks, you can save a substantial chunk of change this summer.

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6. Don’t be fooled by “hybrid” labels. Even large SUVs, such as the GMC Yukon and Toyota Highlander, come with hybrid options, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re fuel efficient, particularly compared to smaller, non-hybrid cars. The Highlander Hybrid, for example, gets about 28 miles per gallon on highways, compared to the Honda Accord’s 34 miles per gallon on highways.

7. Use your e-reader. It might sound strange that using an electronic device to read could use less energy than buying a traditional paperback, but for heavy readers, that appears to be the case. Since the emissions caused by producing 20 to 40 books roughly equals those caused by producing one electronic reader, someone who reads 100 books on his e-reader causes less emissions by avoiding all those paperbacks.

The scientists point out that the far bigger issue is how books get to the bookstore and how we purchase them. The drive to the bookstore can cause more emissions than the creation of a single book. So if your e-reader allows you to stay home and order books instead of driving to the store or library to get them, you’re probably coming out ahead.

8. Take the bus (or a train). You might think staying off the roads is the best way to avoid gas-guzzling energy consumption, but there are some methods of road travel that are quite efficient. Trains, buses and full cars (a typical car with four passengers) are among the most fuel-efficient ways to travel. In contrast, one of the most energy-consuming ways to get from point A to point B is to fly or to drive in an SUV with no passengers. (The most efficient methods of travel also rank among the most affordable.)

[See: 10 Unexpected Costs of Driving.]

The scientists suggest planning your travel schedule accordingly: In addition to traveling by bus or train, also think about staying in one place for longer, or visiting family and friends for less frequent but lengthier times.

The bottom line: To reduce your energy consumption, invest in upgrades where necessary, and bring your e-reader on road trips.