Going Green for Less

April 11, 2009 9:31:30 PM PDT
Some of the easiest, fastest things you can do to help Mother Earth and save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars a year. Eco-Expert Charlie Szoradi makes house calls.

RELATED: Family Fun Guide to Going Green

Action News was there as he improved the energy efficiency of Steve Sheronas' home.

"Especially in this economy, everyone is looking for ways to either spend less or to spend more efficiently," Sheronas said.

RELATED: Choices to make to live eco-friendly

Use your programmable thermostat and you can save $180 a year

Save money on cleaning products by mixing tap water with a couple drops of concentrated eco-friendly detergent

Save $200 a year in your bathroom by spending $30 on a new showerhead.

"It will reduce water flow from 2.6 gallons down to 1.6 is not just saving you money and water, it's saving you the cost of heating that water," Szoradi said.

A special $30 power strip will pay for itself in just a few months.

"You can plug your main control like your computer in and if you have a printer or monitor, when the computer goes to sleep, it will automatically shut off those other units and reduce phantom load," Szoradi said.

Also, forego your second refrigerator! It could save you $180 a year.

RELATED: 'Green' choices aren't always simple

Speaking of refrigerators:

"Get a milk carton, fill it up with water and put it in the freezer; the thermal mass that holds all that cold air is going to reduce the demand for your refrigerator to stay cold," Szoradi said.

Here's something that will cost about $400, but pay off in a big way. One device connects into your breaker box and reduces wasted electricity by optimizing the motor loads in your appliances.

"It's actually guaranteed to reduce your electricity bill by 8-percent; it can save up to 25 even 30 percent," Szoradi said.

Also, buy compact fluorescent light bulbs, seal air leaks, and insulate windows. Curtains should touch the floor and have headers instead of rods.

Forbes magazine does project the green industry could soon become the nation's fastest growing job sector.



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