vampire loads

photo by clint patterson

Even when they’re off, energy vampires like computers, DVRs, cable boxes, chargers and even coffee makers slowly drain electricity. Vampire loads use about 5% of the energy consumed in the US, costing electric customers more than $3 billion each year. Tonight turn off your lights and look for standby lights. They’re a sign that something is draining power, even though it isn’t being used. Unplug them when they’re not in use, or use power strip to make powering on and off easier.

paper or plastic?

photo by david veksler

Take your pick, or preferably, bring your own bag. But some studies show that what you put in your shopping bag and how you travel is much more important. To make a bigger  difference, eat less meat, walk/combine trips, fly less and buy locally-made products. Bottom line: reuse whatever bags you have at home- until they fall apart. 

Colgate’s new recyclable toothpaste tube is nearly ready. It took 5 years to develop — WGNO

Toothpaste tubes currently on the market are impossible to recycle because the mix of plastics and aluminum contained in them. Soon, you may be able to toss your used-up toothpaste tube in the blue bin. Colgate said it has finalized a design for a “first-of-its kind recyclable toothpaste tube.” The change is part of the company’s efforts to have all of its products use recyclable packaging by 2025.

Colgate’s new recyclable toothpaste tube is nearly ready. It took 5 years to develop — WGNO

water + bottle

photo by jonathan chang

Disposable water bottles are so. Darn. Convenient. Do you ever grab a water bottle- and then not finish it? Do you bring plastic water bottles to share at kids’ sporting events…when most of them already have their own? Every day in the US, over 60 million bottles stack up in landfills and incinerators. Every day. Use your reusable water bottles when you can.

national energy efficiency day

photo by thomas kelley

October 2nd is National Energy Efficiency day, which is supported by local governments, corporations & utilities, universities and other organizations. Join the crowd- change a light bulb, turn down your hot water heater and check for leaky windows and drafty doors (among other things). Make every day an energy efficiency day!