The following ideas on how to save energy will evolve over time. Our goal is to share select ideas that have a "wow factor" in their simplicity or in the magnitude of their impact. We will continue our research as well as pull ideas from our on-line discussion forums. If you have an energy saving idea, please put this in the Alternative Energy discussion forum. I hope you find these informative and useful.
1) Check your gas cap!
Gas evaporates rapidly in warm weather. Industry experts estimate that as much as 147,000,000 gallons of gas are lost each year from evaporation. Be sure your gas cap is on, tightened and the seal is in good condition. Regular auto maintenance will maintain your car's optimal gas mileage.
2) Lower demand and save $$
While the world's population doubled between 1950 and 1996, the number of cars increased tenfold. Automobile congestion in the United States alone accounts for $100 billion in wasted fuel, lost productivity, and rising health costs. Still, analysts project that the world's fleet of cars will double in a mere 25 years. (Worldwatch Institute). Once you upgrade to a fuel-efficient vehicle hang on to it for a while. Proper maintenance will keep your car looking and running great for years.
3) Maintain a healthy diet and exercise
Through the 1990's, the average weight of Americans increased by 10 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The extra weight caused airlines to spend $275 million to burn 350 million more gallons of fuel in 2000 just to carry the additional weight of Americans, the federal agency estimated in a recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
4) Even tires can make a difference
Requiring fuel efficient, low friction tires on autos would save 5.4 billion barrels of oil over the next 50 years, 70 percent more than the total amount of economically recoverable oil that is likely available from the Arctic Refuge over the same time period.
5) Consider public transportation
Public transportation ridership has surged in recent years, reaching levels not seen since the 1960s. According to the Federal Transit Administration, starting in the early 1990s public transit saved the country 1.5 billion gallons of fuel annually -- nearly 36 million barrels of oil.
6) Energy Star Compliance
Adopting the household appliance efficiency standards agreed to by both the Clinton and Bush administrations would eliminate the need for 127 power plants by the year 2020. Replace old inefficient appliances with Energy Star Compliant appliances. A decrease of only 1% in industrial energy use would save the equivalent of about 55 million barrels of oil per year, worth about $1 billion.
7) Insulate your windows and doors
The amount of energy wasted just through poorly insulated windows and doors is about as much energy as we get from the Alaskan Pipeline each year. Properly insulate your windows, doors and exposed hot water pipes.
8) Think before you drive!
By eliminating 1 in 14 trips a day we could reduce gasoline use by 7%. This equates to 550,000 barrels of oil per day. Some rides can be shared with friends, neighbors, or other family members. Some trips to school or soccer practice can be walked or biked (or skated or scootered) rather than taken in the minivan. Consolidate trips to the grocery store with trips to and from work. Make oil conservation a priority.
9) Get showered with sunlight
The energy used each year by an average family (four people) with an electric water heater is roughly equal to the energy used by a medium-sized automobile driven 12,000 miles a year (about 11 barrels of oil). A residential solar water heating system can drop that consumption (and your hot water bill) by 50 to 80%, reduce pollution, and give you a sound investment for the future!
10) Have a bright idea!
By replacing one incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb you would offset: the burning of about 528 pounds of coal, the release of 1 ton of CO2, 20 pounds of sulfur dioxide and, the equivalent of a barrel of oil!! If all US households replaced 1 incandescent bulb with one compact fluorescent bulb, one nuclear power plant could be shut down or not needed. There are roughly 500 million incandescent bubs that could be replaced.