I am down in the desert of San Diego county visiting family for a while and thought I would expound on my top 10 ways to save energy down here (in no particular order):
1. Swamp cooler: Never heard of it? Then you've probably never lived in the desert. A swamp cooler is a wonderful invention that re-circulates moist air through cooler pads into your house. It costs a lot less per hour than air conditioning and takes less energy. Good for when it's hot but not humid.
2. Turn off unnecessary lights: Currently I am sitting in the unlit kitchen quite comfortably thanks to natural light from the windows. Not only does it make energy sense it also keeps the house cooler.
3. Hang your clothes out to dry on a clothesline. It only takes a millisecond to dry (ok so I exaggerate a little...)
4. Water plants in the early morning or late afternoon: Watering at high noon is fruitless, as most of the water evaporates. Also, remember most of our neighborhoods are on a water-restriction schedule. Make sure to follow yours. Here's a link to a website on the SD County water restrictions. It also gives some good tips to reduce your water use. Water Restrictions
5. Solar panels: if you can afford them, use what resource you've got the most of: sun.
6. Grow native plants in your garden that are hardy and water-tolerant. Less maintenance required, less water. A win-win! Contact your local Native Plant Society if you have questions. They will be able to provide guidance and maybe even someone to come look at your current garden for natives and invaders.
7. Hang out in cool spots in town, like the library. You get air conditioning for free and there is lots of entertainment there!
8. Believe it or not, that Google search takes a little bit of energy each time you hit that button. Don't search or surf aimlessly when bored. In fact, when bored turn the computer off and go do something active and fun instead! (Swimming is popular this time of year.)
9. Make sure your house is insulated so that hot air stays in during the winter months and cool air during the summer.
10. When refueling with a big container of water, make it a cup or reusable water bottle, not a plastic disposable water bottle. You pay for the bottle when you buy it and it adds to the waste that is forever on this planet.Check out this link to learn more about the evils of bottled water. www.greenyour.com
Resist the urge to sit in your fridge. Believe me-you won't fit. It wastes a lot of energy leaving the door open. Not like anyone would try to do that or anything...(Read-I've tried.) Feel free to add your energy-saving tips and comments. That's all for now.