Is green recession-proof?
Don't let your financial stress distract you from your green efforts. Considering the environment in personal choices will actually save you money.
Sat, Mar 14, 2009 at 03:30 PM
Today, oil prices softened slightly, to just over $110 a barrel, from a record high of $111. Whew! It's not exactly the pause that refreshes, but while the pundits endlessly debate whether we’re approaching or have entered a recession, we're busy looking for ways to save money—and give the planet a breather—by consuming fewer fossil fuels at home.
Turning our clocks ahead for daylight savings has already provided a perfect launching pad. In the continental U.S., it now stays bright until nearly 7 p.m., making it possible to do tasks at home by window rather than electric light for that extra hour. Better still, you can be out exercising in the warmer weather while your unlit home saves like a piggy bank.
With spring just around the corner, here are some more quick money and energy savings.
Profit from each balmy spring day: Turn off the heat when you don't need it. When it still feels wintry, don't freeze yourself, but remember that restraint pays off: For each degree you lower your thermostat, you can save three percent of your annual heating/cooling bill. For every degree you lower your thermostat below 70 degrees, you’ll save 320 lbs. of carbon emissions annually with gas heat, and 236 lbs. with electric.
And, a 10 percent setback each eight hours that you're "out" (outdoors, unconscious or just snuggling) can save you 10 percent a year on your electric bill.
When the weather's hot, you'll reduce your household's carbon footprint by 121 lbs. for every degree you raise your thermostat. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a warm-weather setting of 78 degrees.
Click here to calculate how much you can save by turning off lights and adjusting temperatures.
"Many Have Claimed To Be Recession-Proof, Few Have Managed It," The Wall Street Journal declared in a look at economic sectors—from food to hairpieces— that claim to have fared better in lean times.
We say, give Green a chance!
This article originally appeared in Plenty in March 2008. The story was added to MNN.com.