If you are willing to give them a try, these thrifty habits will reduce day-to-day water and energy consumption and lower your utility bills:
- Turn off the water in the sink or shower while you brush your teeth, scrub or shave, then turn it on again to rinse.
- Lower the temperature setting on your water heater to 120 degrees and wash only full loads of dishes or clothes.
- Make a sweep through each room before bed and turn off all electrical devices including computers and printers. Unplugging appliances or using power strips will avoid "phantom" energy drain, as most electronics draw a small amount of power even when they are turned off.
- Set your thermostat at 70 degrees or below in the winter months; your heating costs could rise 4 to 6% for every degree above 70.
- Forego the fresh towel--a family that hangs up and reuses their own bath towels several times will save 3,400 gallons of water, 50 therms of natural gas, 410 kilowatt-hours of electricity and $105 each year.