The smart Inside

Twenty years from now will we have enough resources to supply the energy we need? And if so, will we have enough money to pay for it?

We are faced with dwindling resources and rising energy costs. Not so long ago, when our parents were growing up, nobody worried about energy consumption. Gasoline cost less than $1 a gallon. It didn’t cost much to light and heat our homes. It seemed our supply of natural resources was endless.

We know now that is not the case. The results of dwindling supplies are reflected in the prices of gasoline, heating oil and electricity and in the concerns of world leaders about the availability of those resources.

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Hot to save energy

Heating oil is a high-cost — but very necessary — item for homeowners. Save fuel and money by turning the thermostat down. Change the settings to 78 degrees during warmer months and 68 degrees during cooler months.

You can save energy in other areas of your home as well. Wear garments more than once before tossing them into the laundry basket. Only wash a full load of laundry, which Energy Star says can save more than 3,400 gallons of water each year. Be careful not to overload or underload the washing machine. Use cold water and take full advantage of energy settings. Clean the dryer’s lint filter before every load.

Lighting uses a lot of energy. By turning out the lights when a room is unoccupied, you can save money and electricity.

Use area lighting whenever possible. Instead of lighting up an entire room when working at your desk, for example, use a lamp to put focused light where you need it. Use natural light from outdoors when possible. Buy fixtures that use a dimmer since lights on a low setting generally use less electricity. Invest in LED lamps. They use 10 time less  less energy and last 10 times longer than traditional, incandescent light bulbs.

Use a microwave oven to save energy. Microwaves are 66 percent more efficient energy-wise than conventional ovens.

Leaving doors wide open to a room or building may make it more inviting to come in, but it wastes energy. Don’t prop doors open but allow them to close after people walk through the doorway.

Reuse and recycle. If you have not joined our recycling effort, do it now. Reusing paper and recycling paper saves money and energy. Recycle alumnium cans, glass items and plastic bottles.

We can conserve energy in our homes, in our offices and in our vehicles. And in doing so, we can make the earth a better place for today and for the future. So take a few extra minutes — slow down, turn off the lights, lower the thermostat.

We know it is our responsibility to use the resources we have wisely; to retrain ourselves about the use of water, electricity and other resources.

Energy waste is a big problem in our country. Be a part of the solution, and do your part to conserve.