As discussed in our past blog posts, one of the main players in Cleveland's sustainability mission is the local organization, Sustainable Cleveland. They have put together 9 areas of sustainability with each of the individual topics featuring checklists of ways residents can make a difference at home. In this week's blog post, we will take a closer look at Sustainable Cleveland's detailed breakdown of encouraging an energy efficient lifestyle at home.
So what does Energy Efficiency mean?
Sustainable Cleveland describes Energy efficiency as using less energy to provide the same level of energy service. Our homes represent a huge opportunity for us to take small steps to reduce our impacts on the environment. The following tips will help you become more energy efficient and also save you money.
- Schedule an Energy Audit with Cleveland Housing Network's Home Weatherization Program and make recommended improvements.
- Use a Power Strip and turn off electronics when not in use. Reducing phantom energy can save you up to 10% on your electric bill.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLSs or LEDs.
- Buy Energy Efficient Appliances. Purchasing Energy Star Appliances helps you save money without sacrificing performance.
But why stop there? Here are some additional ways we found to incorporate energy efficiency practices in your home and day-to-day life:
- Wrap your hot water tank. Reduce heat loss by wrapping your hot water tank with an insulation blanket. Click here for an example of what to buy.
- Seal your ductwork. Hot air can escape through joint ductwork which can lead to inadvertently heating places you don't want to such as your basement or cellar. Click here for an example of what to buy.
- Test windows and doors. Make sure all windows and doors are properly sealed to avoid wasting energy when you are heating or cooling your home. Use caulking to seal any cracks or gaps around the opening. This will help conserve energy when you are heating or cooling your home. Click here for an example of what to buy.
- Start composting! As discussed in our previous blog post, Rust Belt Riders is a local composting company that started community programs allowing for residents to sign up for compost pick-up at home or drop-off at designated collection sites. Rust Belt Riders was started in 2014 right here in Cleveland and has been working with people and organizations across Northeast Ohio to provide them with a clean and timely alternative to landfills for their food waste. Click here to learn more or join the program.
Pro-tip: create space in your freezer and place a medium size bowl or container for collecting food waste. Line the container with small compostable bags for easy collection. Once the container is full, remove the bag, tie off and either take it to your nearest drop-off location or place it in Rust Belt Riders' designated collection container for pickup. This will prevent any unpleasant smells that can sometimes result from saving your food waste.