As AARP's Sustainability Manager, Pam Evans has led the effort to incorporate environmentally responsible practices into AARP's internal business operations. She's passionate about educating members on the importance of responsible use of resources, and the direct connection between the declining health of the environment and the health of our, and future, generations.
There's the obvious ways we've all heard about to reduce our home energy bills, like turning off the lights when we leave a room, using a programmable thermostat, and making sure the dish and clothes washers are full before running them. But hidden 'energy vampires' add an extra 5 - 10% to the average energy bill! Televisions, DVR's, cable boxes, and video-game consoles are among the worst 'vampires', but even little things like cell phone (and other) chargers and anything with a digital display are drawing power that adds to your energy bill each month. Check out this great Energy Savers Booklet from the Department of Energy.
Do you have an old refrigerator in your basement or garage? You could be paying as much as $100 a year or more just to keep a few sodas and beers cold! (Check how much your extra fridge is costing.)
So how is reducing our energy consumption better for our health? Increased energy efficiency equals reduced reliance on coal and other fossil-fuel power plants, leading to cleaner air, water and soil. (Power plants are among America's biggest polluters, sending mercury and scores of other toxics into our air. Mercury poisons the brain and can cause learning disorders and other developmental problems in infants and children, and it's not so good for seniors either!)
Do you have a success story about reducing your energy bill? Please share it with us.
Photo thanks to danoconnorspeaker via Flickr.