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Bankrate's 2007 Living Green, Saving Green Guide
Green today
Learn 153 ways to be eco-friendly while saving green.
Green today
153 ways to go green
Technology: Quick fix
Tips » Quick fix $ Factor
Tip 61:
Unplug cell phone chargers.
Only 5 percent of the power a cell phone charger uses actually works to perform the charge. So it's best to unplug it when not in use rather than add to the world's pollution created with that wasted energy.
$ Factor:
If may seem insignificant, but every little bit of saved energy adds up to electric bill savings.
Tip 62:
Think before you print.
Read through a document before simply printing the whole thing out to handle later. Could you electronically file the information or copy-and-paste only the portions you need and then print out a single page rather than a dozen? With online media, look for the printer-friendly button so that the article uses as few pages as possible. And for documents that must look a certain way, always use the "print preview" button first.
$ Factor:
Depending on the project, you could save reams of paper as well as expensive printer ink.
Tip 63:
Read online media.
Many publications have online versions that include much or all of the content found in print, as well as extra online features, so tree-saving advocates don't have to miss out on their news. A University of California, Berkeley, study found that reading a newspaper on a personal digital assistant as compared to a print version resulted in less release of CO2.
$ Factor:
Because online versions of print newspapers and other publications are often free, making the switch can mean subscription price savings.
Tip 64:
Use Blu-ray discs.
Blu-ray discs are half made of paper, so they can be shredded, making them easier to dispose of and recycle than CDs.
$ Factor:
The discs cost more, but also hold more than five times the storage capacity of traditional CDs or DVDs.
Tip 65:
Power down your computer.
The "sleep mode" reduces energy use by 60 percent to 70 percent, the EPA estimates. As for turning computers on and off, despite a popular misconception, this won't harm the equipment. It will, however, save energy as long as the computer will be inactive for 16 minutes or more. If your job doesn't require constant computer use, break the habit of turning it on first thing and keeping it on all day.
$ Factor:
When "Mr. Electricity" Michael Bluejay calculated two extreme examples of what it would cost to run a computer -- one high-end computer that's left on 24/7, and one that uses less energy to begin with and runs just two hours a day -- he found that the first would cost $405 a year to run. The other? Just $5.50.
Tip 66:
Unplug electronic appliances.
When not in use, DVD players, televisions, stereos, printers, scanners and other appliances continue using a small amount of power.
$ Factor:
In the average home, three-quarters of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are off. So unplugging can mean electric bill savings.
-- Posted: Oct. 4, 2007

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