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Simple ways to save water and energy

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Here are some techniques that require little or no setting up and cause little or no inconvenience, but they will generally save you money, and reduce your water, carbon and air pollution impact:[1]

  • Towel cooking - it's extremely easy. Wrapping a pot in a towel while it's hot is enough; putting in inside a cardboard box is better. An insulated box is better again (but needs a little bit of work to set up). Benefits: Save energy (electricity, gas or wood, depending on cooking method); reduce sticking and burning in the pots; reduce your need to watch the stove.
  • "Air wash" your clothes - hang them up in an airy place when you take them off, and give them plenty of time to lose any odor. A drying rack on the balcony is ideal. A hook on the back of the door works, but not as well (unless there's a breeze hitting it). You could extend the time between washes by 2 or more times. See Clothing. Benefits: Save water and detergent; save effort.
  • Rinse clothes: If you've "air washed" as described and worn a couple of times already, put the clothing in water and soak overnight or all day. Wring out and hang to dry. (Fast drying, using breeze and/or sun, gives a more fresh smell to the clothes. Drying in humid weather without sun or breeze can lead to a less-than-fresh smell.) Benefits: Save detergent, probably save some water as well; save effort.
  • Hibernate or suspend your computer when you're not using it, if you don't want to turn it off. Most modern operating systems allow you to suspend or hibernate and wake up again very quickly - everything is the same as it was, as if you'd never turned it off. Benefits: Save electricity.

If you want minimal effort, but don't mind paying a little bit to be responsible:

  • Call up your electricity provider and switch to 100% green power.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. Carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons) is a form of air pollution, but reducing energy use also reduces the other air pollutants that are produced when burning fossil fuels