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Conservation Tips

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Those plastic bags are NOT free

It is estimated that stores give out over a billion plastic bags a day. We recycle some, but most end up in landfills. It takes between 20 and 1,000 years for a plastic bag to decompose.

We tend to overuse plastic bags because they appear to be "Free". In reality, the bags cost consumers about $4 billion each year.

How often does the checkout clerk automatically place your purchase in a plastic bag -- even if you bought only one or two items? Learn the power of:"I don't need a bag, thanks." By saying those words as you put your carryable quantity of items on the counter, you will save a bag and send a message.

Be sure to keep reusable bags in your car. If you tend to forget them in your car, consider buying some foldup cloth bags, that will fit in small purses and pockets.

Hurry to take advantage of tax credits:

Several tax credits for making your home more energy efficient, expire at the end of 2011. Get out and buy those insulation batts and other things before year-end. For more information, go to this US Department of Energy web site .

Kill A Watt

Did you ever wonder what that beer refrigerator in the garage is costing you? Do you want to drive home to your spouse how much money he/she is wasting by leaving the computer on all the time? Kill A Watt can help. This easy-to-use device works something like your light timer. You plug it into an outlet, then plug your appliance into the outlet on the Killer Watt. The Kill A Watt measures the wattage that your appliance uses. If you enter in your cost per kilowatt hour, it will even calculate the cost of operating the appliance. The device sells for about $20 - $25 at big box stores, but members of the East Greenbush Library can borrow one for two weeks for free.

Attic Stair Insulator

You may have lots of insulation in your attic, but are your fold-up stairs exposed? The attic stair insulator is simply a tent, made of insulating material, that fits over your stair opening, and prevents heat loss. They are available from your local building supply place for about $40 - $50.

Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Assessments

There is a US Department of Energy web site that gives tons of information on how to conduct a Home Energy Audit. Itís worth a browse.

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