6 Things you are probably doing wrong (but so was I)

There are things that we all do every day that are using resources and energy and increasing our impact on the environment. Not exactly what we want now is it! Some of these things I have been doing forever without even realizing the impact. It is like I am just on auto pilot doing it because that is what I know and not questioning it because I didn't see the harm in it. No more I say! I have spent the last year or so really paying attention to the simple day to day things so we could easily target area's to cut back on. Here are some common things that we are probably all doing wrong.

1. Using the heat setting to dry your dishes in your dishwasher
           * Using this setting means you are using 15-20% more energy with each load
           * Try using the 'air-dry' setting if you have it or opening the door to dry the dishes

2. Keeping your cable box plugged in when not in use
           * Cable boxes can use as much energy as a fridge regardless if they are off
           * Stay tuned for our own results of unplugging the box every night for the last 2 months

3. Leaving the bathroom fan on all day
           * The fan only needs to stay on for 20 minutes after a shower
           * Install a timer if you normally leave within 20 minutes of turning the fan on
           * Clean the dust off the fan to ensure it operates efficiently

4. Keeping curtains/blinds closed when it is sunny (in the winter)
           * You want to keep them open to let the heat from the sun in
           * Close them at night to keep the heat in
           * Position your TV and furniture so you don't get glare from sunlight

5. Not thoroughly separating waste streams
           * It is easier and requires less energy for you to separate at home
           * It prevents waste stream contamination which could result in recycling in the landfill
           * Remove cereal bags from inside the cereal box and recycle separately
           * Remove stickers from fruit before composting
           * Check floor sweepings for non compostables before composting
6. Leaving a desktop computer on when not in use
           * Computers use roughly 250 kwh/year which is more than a TV
           * Check your settings to ensure your computer goes into sleep mode when not in use
           * When not in use for long periods turn it right off
           * Turn off all your computer accessories when not in use

7. Cranking the faucet to the 'hot' position even when getting a small amount of water
           * It will still draw hot water even if you stop using the water before it becomes hot

8. Air ducts are supposed to be cleaned????
           * Clean ducts will allow air to move freely, reducing your heating/cooling costs
           * Clean dusts will improve the air quality of your home
           * Follow the schedule on your furnace for regular cleanings (ours is every 4 years)
           * Clean out under your dryer lint trap once a month using your vacuum attachment

9. Keeping chargers plugged in even after they are done charging
           * Chargers will continue to draw power even after they are done charging
           * Have a handy spot to store chargers so it is easy to put them away right after use

10. What can you think of that would be a good #10?

How many of these do you do? How many have you caught yourself doing and stopped?

Here is how we stack up
#1 - Just stopped doing 3 days ago
#2 - Stopped in early November
#3 - Still do
#4 - Stopped when we installed our new curtains
#5 - Just stopped doing the sticker thing...the rest we were good at
#6 - Turned off this summer after months of not using it
#7 - Still do
#8 - Cleaning package bought, on Joe's to do list to get them here
#9 - Still do

Related Posts - Check them Out
Drafts - Not the beer kind
A watched pot never boils
No Impact Experiment


  1. My pet peeve is when things like a charger or toaster are still plugged in when notin use!

    #10 letting the water run while brushing your teeth Or letting the water run to get old drinking water, just put a jug of water in the fridge and voila instant cold water Or having the TV on just because. I hate that. If you are not watching it off please.

    All great ideas, Jenn! Love your fb page! I was number 18! )

  2. Water running when not in use bugs me so much!! (I am looking at your Joe).

    Sometimes when I don't want to be watching TV but want that background noise I switch it to the radio station channel.

  3. if you have a gas dryer, you should also rinse it in water. i would link to thesnopes page if I knew how to copy and paste on a playbook browser

  4. Are you talking about this Mel? http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/household/dryer.asp

    Solution - don't use dryer sheets.

  5. Really nice blog! I stopped by for about 15 minutes and i already feel like ive learned a lot!

  6. Very interesting about the hot water! I had not considered that the hot water would be wasted even if none came out of the faucet. I've stumbled this post! Thanks for linking up at the Super Sunday Stumble! We'd love to see you again this week at http://whywelovegreen.com