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Conserving Around the House

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Conservation is easier than you think: small actions can make a big difference. Learn more from Energy Star or check out our tips!

Go Zero Waste!

Do you think you have what it takes to create no garbage at all? The Zero Waste lifestyle is being pioneered by people committed to making as little an environmental impact as possible, and they have an amazing number of tips to help you out. You don’t need to follow every single one to make an impact on your environment (and your budget!), but try giving zero waste a shot, or going on a carbon-neutral vacation. Hey, even Walmart’s doing it!

Not everyone can reduce their waste to zero, but we can still all try out some more great tips for inside and outside the home.

Inside the house

Any way you use power, there’s a way to save it. Even better, most of them are good for your appliances and your bottom line. For instance, if you unplug your laptop when it’s off or sleeping, you’ll save energy and keep the battery lasting longer. PC World has more tips to save energy with your laptop.
 
Compact fluorescent light bulbs use half as much energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. Another way to save costs you nothing: just close your drapes when it’s sunny and hot, and keep windows shut after dark in cooler weather, so you can use less heating and A/C.
 
Got a leaky house? Stop air leaks around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping. Consider adding radiant barriers as attic insulation; in hotter climates, they’ll bring you savings. Time to clean up? Try buying or making non-toxic household cleaners. It’s easier than it sounds, and homemade cleaners can save you cash.
 
Consider investing in a tankless water heater, which reduces your energy use by about 20%. Tankless heaters can work for decades without being replaced, which is good, because according to Consumer Reports the money savings only show up after a few years. Even if you stick with your conventional heater, Good Housekeeping advises maintaining the temperature at 120° F.
TXU Power and the US Department of Energy both offer great lists of even more ways to save on your power bill and help conserve our resources.

Use water wisely

You probably already turn off the water while you brush your teeth and start the dishwasher only when it’s full, but there are tons of other ways to conserve. For starters, using aerators in your faucets and installing low-flow showerheads can cut your water usage by 50%.
 
A few conservation tips are actually fun. For example: don’t mow the lawn so often! Longer blades of grass retain more water. We bet this was just the excuse you were looking for. Water the grass only when needed, and if your sprinklers run automatically, turn them off when it rains or install a rain sensor.
 
If you crave more ideas, this page lists 100 Ways to Conserve Water. It’s a creative list that finds savings everywhere from the driveway to a can of tuna (oh, and there are actually 112 tips).
 
If your home was built before 1992 and its toilet has never been replaced, you might qualify for a free toilet! This program is for customers of City of Dallas Water Utilities.

In the garden

North Lake is proud to have a composting program, and you should consider it too. Composting, which is using your organic waste to help nurture plants, makes it easy to return much of your waste to the earth in a healthy, safe way. Learn more.

Pesticides and insecticides often have harmful environmental effects. Not the case if you follow the instructions in this YouTube video for making your own pesticide—out of garlic!
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