3 Cost Cutting, Energy Saving Habits

Did you know January 10th is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day? Honestly, neither did we! But who is going to knock one of those seemingly arbitrary celebration days when it can actually bring about some good? Not us! So let’s use this opportunity to take a closer look at how you can cut your energy cost and your carbon emission at the same time! By practicing these minor changes to your daily routine, you can easily decrease your energy usage with minimal effort!

Kids decorate light switch covers with energy saving reminders!

Flip the Switch:

Let’s be real, this one is simple and easy! Just switching off the lights in a room as you leave it can save lots of energy for your household. Who are you leaving the lights on for anyway? If the room is empty, it can be dark. We had children decorate light switch covers at our Zero Waste 101 Workshops that serve as a helpful reminder to turn off the light. Try this activity at home if you’d like or leave yourself a simple reminder note. It can be easy to build habits by relearning our behavior. The more you practice, the easier these habits will become!

Helpful hints:
  • Having trouble remembering to turn off the lights? Consider installing sensor or timer controlled lights in your home!
  • Switch to energy-efficient LED light bulbs to help decrease your usage.

    Save more energy by using LED light bulbs in your home!

Power Down and Unplug:

Lights aren’t the only thing you can turn off to save energy. Think about all those appliances or chargers you have plugged in around your home and how much energy they are sucking up. That’s exactly why this type of usage is referred to as “vampire energy.” Conserve energy by unplugging “vampire energy” appliances when not in use. While you might think these plugged in items might not be making a giant difference, when you consider your phone chargers, laptop chargers, TV, coffee maker, and microwave, the average household wastes about $165 a year! Make sure to unplug those items whenever they are not in use, and you can start to watch your energy savings add up in the long run!

Helpful hints:
  • Always unplug chargers when they are not in use or connected to your device!
  • Use a power strip for multiple appliances in the same area. Switch the power strip off to control multiple appliances that would normally suck up energy.

    Why waste water or energy? Wait until you have a full load to run the washer!

Wash Wisely:

Still running your washing machine and dishwasher when it’s only half full? That not only wastes water but energy too! Make a habit of waiting until you have a full load to wash before you run your washing machine or dishwasher. It doesn’t stop there with the clothes. Using a clothes dryer eats up a ton of energy! Living in sunny San Diego gives us much more opportunity to line dry our clothes year round. If you have the options and space, consider switching to line drying your clothes (this also helps extend the life of your clothes and keep them out of landfills).

Helpful hints:
  • Consider investing in energy efficient washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers.
  • Make sure you give yourself enough time after washing your clothes and line dry them!
  • Always wait until you have a full load before you run a washing machine or dishwasher!

    Embrace another perk of living in sunny San Diego and consider letting your clothes air dry on the line!

If these ideas seem commonplace to you, great! You’ve probably instilled these habits into your normal behavior. But help spread the knowledge so your friends and family can save some energy and even some money! I mean, how else were you going to celebrate Cut Your Energy Cost Day?

Keep Cool With These Hot Tips for Your Home and Your Furry Friends

Today’s blog post comes from our Development + Marketing Coordinator, Anna Fadem. Anna has a cat,  no air conditioning, and had a lot of fun looking up photos for this blog.servlet

 San Diego is known for its great, warm weather, but August is our hottest month and it can get a bit, well, too great.  ILACSD has always been a big believer in saving energy, and we’ve been working with SDGE to get the word out! I can’t help you if you chose to tromp around outside for a hike or a surf (or a cleanup!), but here are some tips for staying cool at home while keeping your energy costs low.

Be a fan of fans! Use a ceiling or portable fan instead of A/C.

Beware of vampire energy drain! Power down equipment. Unplug TV, Cable, DVD or gaming devices when idle or use a smart power strip.

Change filters regularly. Make sure the filter in your central A/C is clean to help it run more efficiently.

Install weather stripping. Keep cool air in with weather stripping on doors/windows.

Lucky owner of a pool or spa? Use a cover.  Covers can reduce heat loss by up to 90%.

Switch off and replace. Turn lights off when you leave a room and replace regular bulbs with CFLs. (The new CFLs have way better lighting quality and won’t make you look like you’re in a dentist’s office).

Filter pools and spas in the early morning or after the sun goes down.  Hey, it’s cooler then anyway- win win!

Install window coverings. Install shade trees, awnings or blinds over brightest windows.  This is a great excuse to buy those flamingo print curtains you’ve always wanted.

Set your A/C to 78°F between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., and turn it off if you’re not home and don’t have pets.


Got pets?  All that fur (well, maybe not for you reptile and fish owners out there) can really overheat those guys.  Keep them safe and happy with these tips.

Never ever leave a pet in the car. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.

Limit exercise on hot days. Try and stick with the morning and evenings.  Watch out for hot asphalt that can burn paws. Also, sunblock isn’t just for your nose- pets with pink noses can get sunburned, so rub a little on them, too!

Provide ample shade and water. Any time your pet is outside, make sure he or she has protection from heat and sun and plenty of fresh, cold water. In heat waves, add ice to water when possible.  Tree shade and tarps are ideal because they don’t obstruct air flow.  A doghouse does not provide relief from heat- in fact, it makes it worse.

Don’t rely on a fan. Pets respond differently to heat than humans do. (Dogs, for instance, sweat primarily through their feet, who knew?) And fans don’t cool off pets as effectively as they do people.

Cool your pet inside and out. Whip up a batch of quick and easy DIY peanut butter popsicles for dogs. (You can use peanut butter or another favorite food.)

Cat owner? When it gets really hot, here’s my personal tip: sometimes it can help to get a damp washcloth and rub the cat down- this will help the heat evaporate and help your cat be “feline” fine in no time!

Also an option for keeping pets cool...
Also an option for keeping pets cool…