A typical American family spends nearly $2,000 per year on their home energy bills. Much of that money, however, is wasted through leaky windows or ducts, old appliances, or inefficient heating and cooling systems. The Energy Saver Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Savings Projects offer easy, step-by-step instructions to home energy efficiency improvements that will save you energy and money.
Excerpt from www.Energy.gov
Before designing or remodeling a home, consider energy efficient design strategies; landscaping; and windows, doors, and skylights. You’ll save energy and money in the long run. Also check out our recommendations for saving energy in specific types of homes, such as rentals, manufactured homes, log homes, and earth-sheltered homes.
- Energy efficient design strategies
- Landscaping for energy efficient homes
- Windows, doors, and skylights
- Types of homes
If you’d like to design an energy-efficient home, no matter what type of design, you should use what’s called the whole-house systems approach.
If you’re remodeling a home, conduct an energy audit to help you determine what energy efficiency improvements should and can be made to your home.
Excerpt from www.Energy.gov
In our homes, we rely on electricity to power our lights, appliances, and electronics. Many of us also use electricity to provide our homes with hot water, heat, and air conditioning. As we use more electricity in our homes, our electric bills rise.
Explore the following topics to reduce your electricity use, purchase efficient products, save money on your electric bills, and buy or make clean electricity:
The vehicle you choose and the fuels used to run it affect your own transportation costs, as well as your environmental impact. Learn about the following topics:
Excerpt from www.Energy.gov
Most households use the vast majority of their water indoors. This drives utility costs up and is detrimental to our environment. Many countries and cities now enact water-usage restrictions during specific seasons or drier months, as well as during emergencies. Why wait for drought or crisis to conserve? Water = energy, so save money by conserving this precious resource.
Earth is composed of 75% water, but only 3% of it is potable (can be safely consumed by humans). As water shortages increase worldwide, it is important that we all use water as efficiently as possible. Use the following tips every day and you’ll not only notice a difference in your utility bills, but you’ll be doing your “Green Deeds” and helping the planet.
- Learn to listen for signs of leakage (for instance, a toilet that sounds like it is running all the time, is most likely leaking), and always fix leaky faucets and other fixtures as soon as you become aware of the problem.
- Use water-efficient fixtures throughout your home.
- Routinely check any water-using devices to ensure they are working properly and efficiently.
- Take showers instead of baths and save up to 40 gallons of water per shower.
- Take shorter showers when you can – the water you save this way will add up tremendously in the long-run.
- Drop all bathroom waste in the trash instead of flushing it – this will save gallons.
- Don’t let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or shaving.
- Make sure all your faucets have aerators.
- Cooking food in as little water as possible not only saves water, but keeps most of the nutrients in the food.
- Consider buying mugs you keep in the freezer rather than using ice to cool soft drinks, lemonade, or other beverages. This will save water and keep your drink’s flavor intact.
- Use insulated coolers rather than ice buckets to keep bottles and food cool while traveling.
- Don’t run your washing machine when you don’t have a full load to wash.
- Don’t pre-rinse dishes unless it’s necessary – most newer dishwashers will thoroughly clean your dishes without needing pre-rinsing under normal circumstances.
- Use “gray” water from activities like washing dishes (unless you use harsh detergents) and showering to water plants.
- Fill clean bottles or containers with water and refrigerate them rather than letting the faucet run until the water is cool enough to drink.
- Thaw food out in advance or use the microwave if needed on short-notice – don’t thaw out food by running water over it!
- If you notice a leaking fixture at work, a hotel, or a restaurant, inform someone so they can have it fixed.
- Wash your car by hand with a bucket or at a carwash that uses recycled water.
- When buying plants, consult with your suppliers. Native plants grow more easily and require less water and maintenance.
- Water your lawn during the early morning hours only – this is when less evaporation occurs.
- Talk with your co-workers and family about ways to save water – education is the first step!
Recycling & Composting
Recycling can keep trash out of landfills, but it also has larger-ranging benefits. Consider the resources that go into making that product and transporting it, —from harvesting the raw materials to creating, transporting, consuming, and disposing of it. Substituting scrap for virgin materials not only conserves natural resources and reduces the amount of waste that must be burned or buried, it also reduces pollution and the demand for energy. Adapted from Recycling: The Big Picture.
Composting and compost use have numerous benefits in addition to green job creation and reducing the amount of waste destined for landfills and incinerators. At the same time we throw away tons of food scraps and yard trimmings, our soils are eroding and losing nutrients, while damaging receiving waters. Excess fertilizers from farms and suburban lawns, and sediment from construction projects wash off the land and into our water ways every time it rains.
Location: Transfer Station on Trujillo Road (CR 500)
Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.
Refrigerators & Freezer Recycling
1150 County Rd 600
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
- Accepts: brown glass, aluminum and tin cans, corrugated cardboard, and any kind of paper
- Location: Off of HWY 160B on Community Lane, one block east of Clover Dr. (where the Town Public Works building is located).
- Hours: Saturdays only, from 7 am to 5 pm.
- More Information
Durango Area Centers
Residents from surrounding communities may recycle mixed paper, corrugated cardboard, mixed cans, and mixed glass (seperated).
- Durango Recycling Center, 710 Tech Center Dr
- Behind the North Main City Market, 3100 block of East 2nd Ave
- Fort Lewis College Physical Plant, 1000 Rim Dr
- More info about Durango Recycling Program
- Accepts: mixed papers, corrugated cardboard, mixed cans, plastic bottles and separated glass
- Location: On Becker Street across from the high school.
- Call 970-563-9494 for more information
Marvel Convenience Center
- Accepts: aluminum cans, mixed glass, newspaper
- Location: 1765 CR 134
- More Information
San Juan Citizens Alliance:
- Accepts: cell phones, laptops, printer cartridges, DVDs, video games, GPS systems, iPods, Cameras
- Location: Items can be dropped off in the front entry at First National Bank of Durango, 259 West 9th Street, or at 1022-1/2 Main Ave., Durango (above Carvers).
- Call Mary Beth for more information at (970) 259-3583.
Additional La Plata County Recycling Opportunities:
ECOrtez accepts glass, mixed paper, cardboard, and aluminum beverage cans.
The ECOrtez program consists of weekly curbside collection service and drop-off at 110 West Progress Circle, in the Industrial Park next to the City Service Center.
Four Corners Recycling Initiative accepts mixed paper (newspaper and newspaper supplements, white paper, all colored paper, junk mail, phone books, magazines, and catalogs), corrugated cardboard, and mixed steel (tin) cans and aluminum cans.
Drop off locations:
Mancos Public School System
355 Grand Ave, Mancos, CO.
Dolores Public Lands Office
29211 Highway 184, Dolores, CO
Montezuma County Landfill
26100 County Road F
Next to Dolores High School
North 14th St., Dolores, CO 81323
Refrigerators & Freezer Recycling
Belt Salvage Company
6702 U.S. 491
Cortez, CO 81321
(Need to have the Freon removed by a certified tech, who will issue an EPA tag)
Look for these Labels for Resourceful Consumerism
When you buy and eat locally-grown, you are contributing to your own health, as well as the local economy, air quality, and more. Reducing food miles decreases energy use and pollution. Choosing local food means we have access to the freshest, highest quality, most nutritious foods at the peak of ripeness and seasonality. By supporting local agriculture, we are also protecting open space and natural landscapes. Adapted from Food Systems Tool: How and Why to Buy Local
Get connected to your local food system by visiting, learning from and volunteering with these organizations:
The Garden Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that has been growing a healthier community in Southwest Colorado since 1998. We provide resources and services to schools and organizations interested in starting or enhancing a garden program. Services include program facilitation, on-site consultation, sharing tools and educational materials, and general support services. Garden programs include building raised beds and compost bins, transplanting seedlings, mending the soil, companion planting, and integrating the garden with school curriculum.
The Montezuma School to Farm Project unites our local agricultural heritage with our growing future by engaging students at the crossroads of sustainable agriculture, resource conservation, health, and economics through educational experiences in outdoor garden classes, on field trips, and in summer farm camps.
Learn more here.
Save money while reducing your impact on the planet and help improve our local air quality by going multi-modal!
- Uber Durango – eco-friendly 5-Star UBER taxi service around the Durango Colorado area including Hermosa, Purgatory and fully authorized, contracted and insured for trips to and from the Durango La Plata County Airport (KDRO).
- Zimride.com – Zimride takes advantage of Facebook, enabling members to create personal profiles and select ride mates who share similar music tastes, favorite sports teams, or who just seem “normal.”
- RideAmigos.com – Connect with people going your way to share a taxicab or a car anywhere on Earth. Companies can use the service to help fellow employees coordinate trips together.
- Shearling.com – Connect with fellow travelers looking to share a road trip using Shareling’s interactive maps that show available rides around the globe. It’s budget and planet-friendly.
There is now a Bicycle Commuter Tax Provision that allows for employers to reimburse up to $20 every month for bicycle commuters. A qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement, means any employer, if they chose to do so, may provide a reimbursement of up to $20 per month for reasonable expenses incurred by the employee in conjunction with their commute to work by bike.
The Local Breakdown
- For every $100 spent in a locally owned independent business, $73 returns to the community through avenues such as taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.
- Spend $100 with a national chain and only $43 of your purchase stays in our local community.
- When you buy online, $0 stay in our local community.
By making your purchases at a locally owned independent business, you and our community benefit. More services provided by our local government can help lighten your personal load and improve your quality of life. Excerpt taken from Local First
Check out the Local First Member Business Directory
Pick up the Be First Local Coupon Book to save money while shopping locally!