Monday, July 21, 2008

How To Be Green (in five minutes or less) By Gary Unger

How To Be Green
(in five minutes or less)
Author: Gary Unger

One of the biggest failings of the green movement is their focus on spending more money on things in order to be green or greener. I think what they should do is show people how to do green things that will save them money first. And then after the money is saved, they can then transfer the saved money into more environmentally sound purchases.

Here’s what I propose are things you can do to be creative and save money:

• Unplug unused electronics. If it’s plugged in, it is creating a circuit. If it creates a circuit, power is flowing through. The power company charges you for everything that creates a circuit. Go to each electronic device in your house and unplug the items you don’t need to be making a circuit all the time. Does your stereo, guest bedroom lamp, cell phone charger need to be plugged in while you are gone?

• Turn down your water heater setting. It’s summer here in the States right now- even lukewarm water feels too hot sometimes.

• Adjust the setting on the coolness of your refrigerator. Same concept as the water heater, food doesn’t have to be almost frozen to be contained properly.

• Use heavy curtains on the sunny side of the house. Closing the curtains on the sunny side of the house will hold back a lot of sun heat coming through the window so you’ll use less air conditioning power.

• Stop turning on the light in a room that is well lit naturally.

• Turn off the light when you leave the room. Even if you are going to be back in “just a moment.” Moments have a way of being longer than intended.

• Shut down your computer at night or while at work. Turning off your monitor when you put it to “sleep” for a meeting saves twice as much energy than just putting it to “sleep.”

• Don’t print out that web page or pdf in order to read it. Every computer in recent years has a text enlarging option. Enlarge it on screen if you can’t read it very well.

• Unplug printers and other devices that you only use occasionally, like your printer, speakers or other external devices. Most people know when they’ll be printing or playing music or loading a device before they start their computer for the day.

• Take some mastic duct tape under the house and tape over any exposed ducting. Sealing off air leaks keeps your power usage down.

• If your attic doesn’t have quite enough insulation and you can’t afford more, go to the grocery store and get their free used boxes. Break them down flat and place them all over your attic. Who can pass up free insulation?

• Drive slower. A state driving corrections officer once told me that the difference between speeding to your destination and driving the speed limit is an average three minute difference. But can cost up to twenty five percent more in gas.

• Starting off slower at lights will increase your gas mileage.

• Change the oil in your vehicle. A well maintained vehicle gets better gas mileage.

• Take the first parking spot you see instead of driving around for the closer one.

• If you are driving less, let your insurance agent know. Carpooling, telecommuting, working from home, etc. Depending on your policy, it should save you a couple bucks there as well.

In five minutes today you can cut your electric bill down immediately!
Taking little steps each day can decrease the money going out the door to the energy and oil companies.

Gary Unger is the author of How To Be A Creative Genius (in five minutes or less). If you’d like to be more creative and have fun learning how to turn your creative gene into genius visit

Check out Gary's book interview here:

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