With this month being green month here at Apartment Therapy, we thought we'd share some tips on how to make all your home's gizmos and appliances run a bit more on the eco-friendly side...
1. Recycle your obsolete gadgets. You can donate old computers to your local school or charity. Make sure to check Craigslist's "wanted" section since charities are always posting their wishlists on there. You can also drop off potential e-waste to some of the big boxes.
2. Swap out your incandescents for energy-saving CFL bulbs which use 80 percent less energy to light up your life. To keep it green after the lights go out, recycle dark CFLs for free at your local Ikea.
3. Save water when you flush. Many of us live in old buildings with old toilets, that waste tons of precious H20 when flushed -- loos made before 1991 waste three liters of water, while those made between '92 and 2001 waste 2.5 liters. To save water with an old toilet simply put a 3 or 2.5 liter (depending on the age of your porcelain) water bottle filled with water into your cistern. Voila, your ancient loo is now compliant to modern day limits.
4. Use the Wattson to track your energy consumption. A sensor, attached to the cable going from your meter to your fuse box, measures the amount of electricity coming into your home through its connection. It sends the data to a wireless, handheld display that then shows you in realtime your homes energy cost. There are also two modes that show you instantaneous power consumption and overall cost per year. Through the Wattson you can become more aware of how and when your electricity meter is running and make adjustments in order to see the numbers on the display go down.
5. Save energy when you launder. Rather than washing your clothes in hot or even warm water, set your load for a temperature below what you'd normally set it to. It'll still get your clothes nice and clean, plus it's more delicate to your clothes so you'll be able to wear your fave shirt for longer.
6. Stop vampire electricity. Even if your TV is powered down, simply having it plugged into an outlet sucks unnecessary juice. To stop wasting electricity you can either unplug electronics when not in use or you can buy a "smart" power strip that knows when items it has plugged in aren't powered on and cuts off the extra juice.
7. Switch to rechargeable batteries. Throwing out those AAs in your remote every few months is wasteful and harmful. Invest in some rechargeable AAs that can be juiced up overnight.
Do you have any great green tech tips? Share 'em in the comments below.