Before you leave the house, you probably go through a mental checklist of remembering to lock the door and unplug the iron, but there’s one thing you need to add to the list: remembering to save energy while you’re away. Before you leave to go to work, hang out with friends or run errands, make sure you follow these tips:
Do a walk through to unplug devices.
As you do a final walk through of your home to make sure you didn’t forget anything, take a look around and unplug any devices or appliances that won’t need power while you are out. Some devices, known as vampires, consume energy even when they turned off as long as they remain plugged into an electrical outlet. Although you might not want to unplug every device in the home, you can unplug devices such as computers, coffee makers, and other appliances that have no use while you’re out.
Adjust the thermostat temperature.
You don’t need to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home when you’re not there, so don’t leave the air conditioner running when you leave. If you have a programmable thermostat in your home, don’t forget to change the settings before you exit the house. Turn the furnace temperature down and your air conditioner up so neither turns on while you’re out.
And the refrigerator temperature.
But, that’s not the only temperature you should adjust before you leave. If you want to keep your refrigerator running while you’re gone, there is still a way for you to save energy on this appliance without completely powering it down. Adjust the refrigerator temperature to 42 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer temperature to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not enough of a change to impact any of the food inside, but it is enough of a difference to help you save energy.
Use automatic lights.
Are you one of the many people who likes to leave lights on in your house so other people in your neighborhood don’t know you’re not home? If so, consider using automatic lights, which will automatically turn on at a certain time everyday, instead of leaving standard lights on at all hours. Automatic lights will serve the same purpose as standard lights—scaring off prowlers—but they won’t use as much energy while they do this, so it’s a win-win situation for homeowners and the environment.
Turn off the water heater.
As you head out the door, make a pit stop at your hot water heater and turn it off before you go. This appliance usually accounts for between 15-20% of your bill every month, so turning it off every time you will be gone for a few hours will make a huge difference on how much you have to pay during the next bill cycle. If your tank is electric, turn it off right at the breaker, but if it’s gas, just switch it to the pilot setting.
Print out these tips and keep them handy so you can use them as a last minute checklist before you leave the house!
The Sacramento City Council is likely to approve the downtown railyards development plan this Thursday, November 10. Most of the buzz about the project has been around the proposed stadium for the Sacramento Republic soccer team.
The media has paid less attention to the amount and type of housing that will (or won’t) be built there, even though this is probably the most important part of the whole enterprise.
In Cosmo Garvin’s latest podcast, he interviewed Earl Withycombe and Alexandra Reagan of the Environmental Council of Sacramento, who say that “the current plan for the Railyards doesn’t include enough affordable housing, or enough of any kind of housing. They say the project isn’t dense enough, isn’t ambitious enough, about building a transit friendly, environmentally sound, inclusive urban core.”
Parker’s Top 50 Favorite Things about Northwest Rivers
This fun film celebrates the best things about Northwest rivers, from a kid’s perspective. From sun, to rain, to waterfalls, to wild salmon, to time with mom, it’s the rivers that make the Northwest such a special place.
Explore the life of Walt Shubin, San Joaquin-area grape farmer who has been striving to bring back this amazing river for over six decades. How do we value a river? How does a river form your life? Walt reminds us of the importance of a place like the San Joaquin.
Kew Gardens: Beyond the Gardens- The Forgotten Home of Coffee
This is a story of guardianship over one of the world’s most economically valuable crops, revealing the surprisingly fragile foundations that lie beneath the multi-billion pound industry, showing just how important Kew’s scientific research is to securing the fate of our cup of coffee.
The Fire Next Time
When the Rim Fire burned 256,000 acres of the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park in 2013, it exposed the impacts that high intensity wildfires are having on watersheds, wildlife, and carbon storage. It also forged a coalition of environmentalists, loggers, scientists, officials, and land managers who are responding to this megafire and recognize the need to forestall the next one.
Five of the most respected names in the fly fishing world converge on a single creek in Montana to talk about their passion and to discuss the single biggest threat to their timeless pursuit, climate change. Can four million fly anglers make difference? Legendary fishermen, including Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, believe it is possible.
A Dam Problem
Building successful relationships takes time but those relationships are the key to completing a successful dam removal and floodplain restoration project near Sisters, OR, that benefited farmers, fish and the surrounding ecosystem.
Join three intrepid women, from ages 65 to 80, as they hike more than 50 miles following a pronghorn migration path across the high desert. The Greater Hart-Sheldon Region on the Oregon-Nevada border is a wildlife stronghold in the sagebrush sea, and these women hope to keep it that way.
Avaatara: The First Route Out
David Lama achieves first ascent of the Baatara gorge in Lebanon. “If you travel roads that have already been discovered, you are basically always just following. But if you go somewhere where no one’s ever been and do something no one’s ever done, you’re on the lead and that’s one thing that I really like.” David Lama’s guiding philosophy has already taken him to the most impressive mountain ranges of the world and, more recently, to the Baartara gorge in Lebanon. A surreal ‘Avatar’-like landscape, unexploited and untouched.
Plant for the Planet
Eleven-year-old Felix Finkbeiner from Germany learned about climate change and how trees take up CO2. Inspired by Wangari Maathai, he founded Plant for the Planet which has now planted millions of trees. This and the other Young Voices for the Planet films document young people playing a vital role in catalyzing change in their homes, schools, communities… and the world.
Soil Carbon Cowboys
Many people talk about the cattle business as a big environmental problem. Cattle, when properly grazed, offer solutions to soil health, animal health, human health, water supply and food nutrition. It’s a brave new world, and it’s below our feet.
Diversity and Inclusion In Our Wild Spaces
A campfire discussion on improving the diversity of both the visitation and the employment within our parks and wild spaces happened last May in Yosemite National Park. A gathering of extraordinary people from non-profit agencies, land management bureaus and those involved in the movement to encourage more people of color to visit and seek careers in the outdoors brings light to important issues facing today’s conservation movement and outdoor recreation.
Defined by the Line
Josh Ewing began visiting the Bears Ears region of southeastern Utah to climb at Indian Creek and explore the local archaeology. But when he moved to the town of Bluff, he saw degradation from oil drilling, looting, and careless visitors. Ewing knew simply loving a place was no longer enough.
Dredging Up A Solution
Howard Wood, an amateur diver, restored the marine ecosystem in Lamlash Bay by establishing the first community-developed Marine Protected Area in Scotland. Narrated by Robert Redford, Dredging Up A Solution illustrates how an ordinary person can effect extraordinary change. Howard Wood is a true environmental hero who placed himself squarely in harm’s way to battle intimidating adversaries while building strong grassroots support.
One Woman Roadblock
A former tribal chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, Marilyn Baptiste led her native community in defeating proposed gold and copper mines that would have destroyed Fish Lake—a source of spiritual identity and livelihood for her people. Narrated by Robert Redford, One Woman Roadblock illustrates how an ordinary person can effect extraordinary change. Marilyn Baptiste is a true environmental hero who placed herself squarely in harm’s way to battle intimidating adversaries while building strong grassroots support.
A Line in the Sand
Edward Abbey’s words have always been deliberately provocative–especially when said in defense of the desert landscape he loved so much. The words in this film are a mash-up of quotes from speeches to articles, to interviews and books. Abbey was willing to say things that no one else would, and his sentiment is relevant now more than ever. What will we stand up for? What will be lost if we chose not to stand at all?
The last time Ken Brower traveled down the Yampa River in Northwest Colorado was with his father, David Brower, in 1952. This was the year his father became the first executive director of the Sierra Club and joined the fight against a pair of proposed dams on the Green River in Northwest Colorado. The dams would have flooded the canyons of the Green and its tributary, Yampa, inundating the heart of Dinosaur National Monument. With a conservation campaign that included a book, magazine articles, a film, a traveling slideshow, grassroots organizing, river trips and lobbying, David Brower and the Sierra Club ultimately won the fight—ushering in a period many consider the dawn of modern environmentalism. 62 years later, Ken revisited the Yampa & Green Rivers to reflect on his father’s work, their 1952 river trip, and how we will confront the looming water crisis in the American West.