Simple Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-friendly

Creating an eco-friendly home doesn't have to be expensive or time consuming, according to MXenergy, one of the nation's leading independent energy providers and a strong proponent of the sustainability movement.

"I think it is important for people to realize that small changes really do have an impact," said Marjorie Kass, MXenergy's managing director.  "Sometimes people have the perception that 'going green' is going to cost them a lot of money.  The truth is there are simple, inexpensive choices we all can make that really do make a difference."

MXenergy's Tips for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint at Home

  1. Convert incandescent bulbs to more energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.  The Department of Energy estimates converting only a quarter of your bulbs can reduce your lighting bill by 50%.
  2. Turn lights off.  If you are leaving a room for more than five minutes, turn off all lights when you leave.
  3. Natural light is the most efficient light.  Open blinds during the day and close them at night to conserve energy.
  4. Only run your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer when full to avoid wasting energy.
  5. Wash clothes in cold water and cut your energy usage by 50%.
  6. Scrape your plates.  Scraping rather than rinsing dishes will help conserve water.
  7. Install an energy efficient showerhead.  Showers account for the largest amount of home hot water usage.
  8. Lower your thermostat.  You will save 3-5% for every 10 degrees you lower the temperature.
  9. Unplug.  Your computer, cell phone charger, video game console, and DVD player all drain electricity when not in use.  A great way to identify "phantom" drains is to walk through your home with the lights off and look for those red and green lights still shining.  If you don't need it, turn it off.
  10. Opt out.  Printed phone books waste a tremendous amount of paper and ink.  Visit for an easy way to opt out of multiple directories at once.

"The wonderful thing about these tips is that they cost the homeowner virtually nothing.  Yet each of these choices reduces energy use and pays big environmental dividends," Kass said.