Smart Actions for Home, Vehicle and Air

Home

Lap it up!
Shut down your desktop computer and use a laptop whenever possible.  Laptops are able to use up to 80% less energy than a desktop computer!

Unplug items
When not in use, cords and adapters that are plugged into sockets are still using energy.  Save energy and money by unplugging them.

Adjust Washer Settings
Set your washer temperature to warm or cold water, not hot.  Using warm water over hot for only 2 loads a week can save nearly 500 pounds of CO2 per year.

Replace Shower Heads
Use less water by installing low-flow shower heads. They are cost efficient, produce strong water flow, and can save up to 300 pounds of CO2 per year.

Wash Dishes by Hand
On average, most dishwashers cost about $5-$7 a month to use, and use over three gallons of water per cycle. Wash those dishes, as well as your hands, in warm water and let them air dry. 

Put a lid on it
By using lids for pots on the stove or items in the microwave, you help them to cook items faster and reduce the amount of energy used.

Borrowed Time
Instead of buying power tools or large equipment that you seldom use around the house, ask a neighbor, friend, or family member if you can borrow these items instead.

Paint Your Home 
The color of your home will dictate if it retains or reflects heat.  If you live in a cooler climate, paint your home a dark color to retain heat and vice versa if you live in a warmer area. 

Plant Trees around Your Home
Shade around your home will significantly reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer. Each tree you plant also directly absorbs almost 25 pounds of CO2 from the air annually.

Grow your own garden
The benefits here are endless and you get to enjoy the “fruits” of your labor when you’re done!

Vehicle

Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
Under-inflated tires can cause fuel consumption to increase by as much as 6%. Check tire pressure at least once a month as, on average, tires lose about 1 psi per month and 1 psi for every 10-degree drop in temperature.  

Select the right gear.
Change up through the gears and into top gear as soon as possible without accelerating harder than necessary. Driving in a gear lower than you need wastes fuel.  Automatic transmissions will shift up more quickly and smoothly if you ease back slightly on the accelerator once the car gathers momentum.

Use the cruise control.
On long stretches of highway driving, cruise control can save fuel by helping your car maintain a consistent speed.

Choose the octane fuel that is right for your car. 
Every vehicle is designed to run most efficiently off of fuel with a particular octane level.  Check your owner's manual to see what your car requires.

Service your vehicle regularly.
A poorly tuned engine can use up to 50% more fuel and produces up to 50% more emissions than one that is running properly.

Air filters:Regular visual checks of the air filter will tell you if it needs replacing and your owner's manual will also recommend appropriate replacement intervals. Clogged filters can cause up to a 10% increase in fuel consumption.

Oil: Using the correct viscosity oil for the season is important because higher viscosity oils have greater resistance to the moving parts of the engine, and therefore use more gas. Clean oil also contributes to better gas mileage.

Make your commute more productive.  Integrate nearby errands and shopping into your daily commute to reduce the amount of time and miles you spend behind the wheel.

Carpool, use public transportation, or work from home.  Find out which employees or public transport are near where you are trying to go.  Also see if your employer will allow you to work from home, thus saving you from the commute and your car from being used.

Air

Take a shuttle or bus to the airport
As long as you're not the only passenger, you'll be using a less-polluting means to get to the airport.  This saves you from paying airport parking fees or taxi fare and preserves favors from friends and family for other times, like when you move.

Choose an airline that uses new aircraft
According to the International Air Travel Association, aircraft made today are almost 20% more efficient than ones built a decade ago. Check the airline's website to get an idea of how old their fleet is.  

Step it up
Use the walkways and stairs, instead of moving platforms, escalators and elevators.  These mechanisms, although constantly moving, require more energy to operate when any amount of weight is added to them.  Besides, the benefits of walking are numerous, and you won’t find yourself plugging in the power cord anywhere while you wait!

Fly Direct
Close to 80% of a plane’s fuel consumption happens during takeoff and landing.  Flying 1 stop eliminates travel miles which can also reduce the amount of tax and airport fees charged per flight.

Bring It!
Your own comfort, that is.  Bring along your own blanket, pillow, cup, music player, snacks etc. on a flight.  This keeps you self-sufficient and also reduces the waste/laundry burden associated with every flight.

Relax
Try not to use the smaller conveniences, like the personal lighting, fans, and LCD monitors located at your seat.  Despite being minor, these items put an increased work load on the jet turbines, causing them to work harder and thus, burn more fuel.  Sleep, read, or chat with those around you instead!

© 2011 Colorado Carbon Fund