Water footprints on leafIf you’re looking for ways to leave a lighter footprint, you’ve probably heard the old refrains about changing out your light bulbs and putting on an extra sweater instead of cranking up the heat.

While those are important ideas, there are plenty of other tips on this subject, some of them you might have never heard before. Here are five to take notice of, some old stand-bys and others a little less commonly touted.

1. Equip your home with Energy Star. An average homeowner dedicates 20 percent of his or her utility expenses to cooling, which makes staying comfortable in summer a pricey proposition. Upgrade your AC to an Energy Star model. And then up your thermostat by a couple degrees and blast your fans to stay cool.

iStock_000013373531XSmall2. Travel with Energy Star-certified hotels. Each room in the U.S.’s 47,000 hotels racks up $2,000 in energy bills per year. Hotels that use Energy Star equipment and appliances use an average of 35 percent less energy than standard hotels.

iStock_000016124609XSmall-300x1863. Get better gas mileage. Eek more efficiency out of your car by always going the speed limit, taking advantage of cruise control, removing unnecessary weight, and reducing your time idling whenever you can.

Extra Space Storage4. Save on water. A lot of home water use takes place outdoors, and much of that water is lost to evaporation when watering lawns in the heat of the day. Water before 9 a.m. and on calm days to prevent drift and evaporation. You can go a step further and get a WaterSense weather-based irrigation controller that activates your sprinkler system based on local weather data.

Extra Space Storage Water Conservation5. Clean with green. When cleaning your vehicles, use products with a “Design for the Environment” (DfE) label to ensure you’re making things safe for your family and helping protect the environment from harsh chemicals.


What are some other easy ways to stay green this summer?