10 easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money, too

April 15, 2021 by PEMCO Insurance

Show the Northwest some extra love this Earth Day (April 22, 2021) and your wallet will love you right back!

GettyImages-1221266224.jpgThese 10 simple changeups for your auto and home will leave you, your bank account and the planet feeling richer:

1) Embrace green remodeling.

Think "reuse" before you think "rip out." Is repainting rather than replacing a solution for your tired cabinets? Could you give new life to preowned flooring or countertops (check out a Habitat for Humanity ReStore)? Sometimes the greenest choice may be doing nothing at all – just love what you have, HGTV trends be darned!

2) Install a programmable thermostat. 

Save 10% on energy costs when your thermostat automatically adjusts when you're sleeping or away. You may even get a rebate from your utility company. Learn more about programmable thermostats.

3) No A/C, no problem. 

You can stay cool without the energy-hungry expense of installing an air conditioner (especially west of the Cascades, where it's needed only a few weeks a year). Set a 9"x13" pan of ice cubes in front of a box fan and … voila! Instant arctic blast. Better yet, put your ice fan in front of an open window on the cool side of the house, blowing in. Open a window on the warm side of the house with another fan blowing hot air out.

In your car, you can reduce the amount of time you need to run the A/C with a simple trick: Open the back windows as you blast the A/C. It will push hot air out of the car fast, and you can quickly dial back the volume.

4) Change your old showerheads.

Federal regulations limit showerhead flow to 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) or less. Many showerheads made before 1992 had flow rates of 5.5 gpm, so if that's yours, switching showerheads could cut your water use in half!

5) Garden smart. 

Despite wet winters, drought conditions often impact Washington and Oregon. These six waterwise tips can help you make the most of every drop once watering season begins.

6) Reconsider what's "recyclable." 

The landfill isn't the only choice for once impossible-to-recycle items like old TVs and paint. Your county's website can point the way. For example, here's where obsolete electronics can find a home in Washington and Oregon.

7) Roll smart.

Maximize fuel economy by inflating tires to manufacturers' specifications, maintaining consistent speeds and removing unneeded items from the trunk to reduce weight.

8) Skip the warmup. 

At least if you drive a modern fuel-injected car. Their sensors adjust the gasoline and air mix to account for outside temperatures, unlike their carbureted predecessors that did need a warm-up on cold mornings.

9) Clean your car without dirtying the environment. 

Wash on grass not pavement, since soil helps filter runoff. Empty your bucket of dirty wash water into the sink or toilet so the contaminants it contains will go to a wastewater plant for treatment.

10) Go paperless. 

Switch to paperless options for your bills and bank statements. At PEMCO, you can visit "Your policy, online" to create your account or update your preferences to receive bills, policies and documents electronically. 

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