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The Monthly Tips blog is provided to help you in your move toward sustainability at work, at home, and in the community.

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Sustainability at Oak Ridge National Laboratory > Your Sustainability > Monthly Tips
Want Tips to Save Energy Today?
Visit DOE's Energy Savers web site,, for energy-saving ideas and to join the conversation on the Energy Savers' Blog..
Burn Wise for Safer, Healthier Winter

EPA’s Burn Wise campaign seeks to reduce wood smoke pollution

You can help reduce wood smoke pollution. Burn only dry, seasoned wood; maintain your wood stove or fireplace; and change to an EPA-certified wood stove or fireplace insert. Find out more at EPA's burn wise web site.
Celebrate Energy Awareness Month in October
This year's Energy Awareness Month theme, A Sustainable Energy Future; Putting All the Pieces Together, encourages everyone to see how they fit into the big picture. Be part of the solution to climate change and help build a clean energy economy.

Here are some things that you can do:
* Change to compact fluorescent bulbs
* Purchase ENERGY STAR® equipment
* Turn off lights when not in use
* Combine trips and share rides
* Use mass transit
* Drive a hybrid or fuel-efficient car
* Use this Home Energy Checklist

Find out more at:
Landscaping Water Conservation
You can design a landscape that not only conserves energy but also water. DOE provides a brief overview of some water-conserving landscaping strategies.
Operate Your Thermostat Efficiently
Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.

Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
Watt meters can help cut your home utility bill
Many people do not realize how much energy some devices use when they are "off" or on standby. Watt meters can help you determine how much energy different parts of your house are using. There are two basic types of watt meters. The first type is a plug meter designed to measure energy use of individual appliances. The second type is a whole house meter that will show you how much energy your house is using at any specific time, as well as cumulatively for the day and for the billing cycle. More information can be found at the fact sheet, Are your appliances wasting energy?
Take the solar plunge
If you've got a pool, why not heat it with the sun's free energy? A solar pool
heater is a great investment, paying for itself within two to seven years.
Read a Sierra Club article on solar hot water to learn more.
Keep electronic gadgets out of landfills
Most household electronics can be recycled because they have metal and other materials that are of value to recyclers.
You can find information about where to take your old electronic devices at the Web site of the National Center for Electronics Recycling, Other sites that provide such information include, sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association and allows searches by ZIP code, and, a public-private partnership that lets you search by type of electronic and address.
Several big chain stores, including Best Buy and Staples, allow you to drop off most small electronics for recycling.
You can also try to repair these devices or resist the urge to constantly upgrade. After all, reusing a device is the highest form of recycling.

Recycling Your Christmas Lights
Don't throw your old incandescent holiday lights in the trash. Send them to, and they will recycle them for you and send you a coupon for 15% off new LED ones. All of their products are UL listed and Energy Star qualified.

Find out where to send your old lights and how they are recycled at:
Resolve to Save Energy in the New Year

What are your New Year's Resolutions? If saving money is one of your resolutions, consider working energy into your plans. A few simple strategies can help you stay on track to save energy all year long. One great way to set goals that stick is to make them SMART:


Here's how you might set SMART goals to save energy.

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