conservation tips

EE Tip from Fig: Do NOT do this

Fig says, “While I can’t resist the lure of the cool air and an empty shelf, you most definitely should NOT linger with the refrigerator door open.” 

According to The Daily Green, the less time that fridge door stays open the better. In fact, you could save 7 percent on operating costs.

{Fig also says, "You need to go grocery shopping, mom!"}

Wax on, wax off

Photo source: Thomas Hawk, flickr

The current layer of dust enveloping my cute white Jetta had me thinking that I’m in serious need of a car wash. I used to live on the coast and recognize the importance of regular washings to protect the paint and keep that windshield clean. Living back in Fresno is a similar story but instead of salt water I battle pollen. Growing up I used to love washing the car with my dad in our front yard, but equally fun was going to Red Carpet Car Wash and trying to spot our station wagon through all the soap suds as the cars passed through the tunnel. It’s the little things, right?

Photo source:
While I love most things DIY, zipping over to the car wash is much easier these days since there are drive through options at most gas stations. I was also happy to discover that this method is much greener than doing it yourself at home. Hosing down your car at home can use up to 140 gallons of water whereas commercial car washes use an average of 45 gallons per car. In addition, commercial car washes are required by law to drain their wastewater into sewers ensuring that the water plus soap (read: chemicals) gets treated properly. We all (should) know by now that water use means energy use, so leave it to the pros (unless you’re a big spender and want to install one of these babies), save water, save energy, and save an afternoon for a different DIY project. 

Flex Alert in Effect for July 2, 2013

Remember, we're on day two of a Northern California only Flex alert.  What does that mean?  Well, it means that the projected need for energy may exceed the amount available, so please do what you can to conserve at your home and business, especially between the hours of 12:00-7:00 p.m.

So, you're at the office and you're wondering what can you do to make any kind of difference? Let's start with the easy stuff:

  1. Turn off any unnecessary lights.  Does you office or common area have more than one light switch?  Try using only one.  If you're really hardcore about your conservation turn them all off and use a small desk lamp with a CFL or LED bulb like I do. Do you think that the bathroom or break room lights really need to be on when no one is in there?  Of course not!  Do everyone a favor and turn them off.  
  2. Give your computer a break!  I hope to God you don't spend your lunch sitting in front of your computer screen and if you do, STOP IT!  Now that that's out of the way--when you leave for lunch turn your monitor off.  Simple, right? You can also enable power saving modes on your computer to turn off the screen or go to sleep when not in use.  Like when your boss unexpectedly calls you into his office for a quick hour long chat.  
  3. Unplug and let go!  How many non-critical machines are currently plugged in at your office?  That letter folder in the corner that gets used once a month but always plugged in?  Unplug it. The toaster over that one lady from HR uses every other month? Unplug it.  The cell phone, tablet, blue tooth chargers that aren't actually charging anything?  Unplug them. Unplug them all!  Even machines at rest and inactive chargers steal electricity (for the most intellectual explanation of this effect please check out my friends, Carl and Eddy).  
The three tips listed above are all things you can easily do that will help lighten the load for California, and it means that this guy won't have to worry about losing power and melting into a puddle on the kitchen floor...

Dutch the St Bernard keeping cool in his summer cut!