$700 in Household Bill Savings from Gardening

Have you ever looked at someone’s yard and thought, “Where do they find the money to do all that landscaping?” Well, the truth is, they might be getting it from the money they save by landscaping the yard to begin with. You may not realize it, but landscaping can actually save you $100 to $250 per year in energy costs. If you just put in $150 into your landscaping budget, you could come out with a cool hundred bucks in bill savings, and that’s just for the first year!

Planting Native Plants

You can start by planting some native plants in your yard. Native plants will use less water than transplants and they also reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizer. Mulch can also reduce watering needs by keeping the soil an even temperature and erosion resistant. Mulch also helps prevent weed growth and some mulch discourages

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Rethinking How We Use Electricity for Energy Savings

How we use our energy has just as much of an effect on efficiency as the type of objects we use. We can have the most fuel efficient car in the world, but if we’re sitting in gridlocked traffic, unable to move, running our engine, we are still wasting energy. We need to rethink how we use energy so we can better conserve it.

The changes don’t even need to be major overhauls to reap incredible savings. For example, we could reduce the nation’s energy use by about 1% if everyone in the country used warm wash, cold rinse on their washing machines, rather than hot wash, warm rinse. Almost 3% could be saved by setting our wintertime thermostat settings to 68°F during the day and 65°F at night. Driving 60 mph on the highway rather than 70 mph could save another 2%.

We, as a nation,

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Earth Day 2015

On April 22, 1970, about 20 million Americans participated in a national teaching event on environmental issues. These people, many of them college students, became exposed to what has become the modern environmental movement. Protesting was a common occurrence by this time, but environmental issues were not on the list of priorities. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson got the idea for this day dedicated to spreading knowledge of preserving the Earth after witnessing the devastation from a huge oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. He sought to capture the energy of anti-war protests and use it in a pro-environment protest.

Pro-Environment Protests

Auditoriums, parks, and even streets became packed with people voicing their opinion that the Earth was a valuable resource unto itself and needed to be protected and preserved. At the time, the United States was pouring out fumes from V8 leaded gasoline cars, smoke and sludge

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Tips on Preserving Precious Resources in Your Own Home

California has been suffering from drought for about 3 years now, and they’re doing everything they can to conserve water. With Earth Day coming next week, it might be a good idea to figure out ways to conserve water in your own home. This can help prepare you for natural disasters such as drought, hurricanes, and tornadoes, but for most of the time, it will help you save energy, money, and most importantly, water.

1. Sinks — Washing your hands or brushing your teeth? Leave the tap off while you scrub and brush and turn it on when it’s time to rinse. The average faucet uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute, which is a 35-70 gallon savings per week for brushing your teeth alone!

2. Showers — Cut back on water use by installing low-flow shower heads. Increase your water savings with a shower bucket. While

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When Electricity Freebies Really Cost Texans, Pt. 3: Free Gift Cards

Part 1 – Free Nights and Weekends

Part 2 – Free Thermostats

Special Texas electricity promotions may seem like a great way to score a free gift of some sort, but often times, the end result is you pay the cost of the “free” gift and then some. The last freebie offer in our series is free gift cards. Some energy companies may offer a free gift card for a dinner or to go see a movie, but more than likely, the cost of the gift card you are getting is built into the price of the plan that’s associated with it.

Promotions can be tricky sometimes. Introductory rates may eventually go away and won’t continue past your initial contract, but getting enticed with a free gift card or similar promotion can possibly cost you more right

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How to Increase the Battery Life of Your iOS Device

Are you finding that your iPhone is constantly low on battery or draining too quickly? Perhaps you’ve tried to leave it alone longer, disable the 4G, lower the brightness of the screen, or install a “battery saving” app. The truth is, it could be due to apps on your phone running in the background. So how do you fix this issue and get more out of your trusty device?

The first step is to find out which apps are eating all your precious power. In iOS 8, you can go to Settings, and under the General tab, select Usage, followed by Battery Usage. This section will tell you what apps are draining the most battery. Next, you can double click the home button to bring up a list of running applications. Scroll through and find the ones taking up the most battery and swipe them upward to

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When Electricity Freebies Really Cost Texans, Pt. 2 – Free Thermostats

Some people like to look for promotional offers when signing up for various services, such as cable television, internet, and electricity. This is a perfectly reasonable idea because people like to save money or get a sweet deal with a free gadget, free electricity use, or something else. Unfortunately, “free” doesn’t always mean “free.” Many times, you end up paying for that “free” item somewhere in your service.

Some Texas energy promotions offer free thermostats to people who sign up. You might think it’s a gimmick right off the bat, especially since you already have a thermostat. They’ll up the ante by explaining that it’s a high tech thermostat, like the Nest, and that you’ll save money on your electricity. Well, the Nest can certainly do that for you! The Nest learns your daily energy usage habits and controls your heating and AC accordingly to reduce the

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Exploring the Perks of Electric Cars

Cities always tend to be hotter in the summer as opposed to more rural areas. They contain a lot more heat absorbing and radiating asphalt as well as numerous buildings, cars, trucks, and sometimes planes generating a lot of heat. This effect of cities being hotter is called the urban heat island effect. But with the rise of all electric cars, we could see these heat islands become cooler in the years to come.

Gasoline and diesel powered engines burn fossil fuels, containing small explosions to drive pistons which power the vehicle. Most of the energy expelled from these small explosions are lost as heat rather than the force pushing the pistons. That heat, as well as the air pollution, is expelled from the engine block. All electric vehicle engines run considerably cooler than a conventional gas engine.

Researchers have concluded that if the entire city of

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New PSEG Settlement Could Decrease the Cost of Electricity

Good news could be coming soon to consumers who utilize PSEG electricity suppliers. Thanks to a tentative settlement between PSEG and the state of New Jersey, Public Service Electric and Gas will be making efforts to increase energy efficiency and reduce air pollution. The good news extends to customers in the manner of lower electricity rates. The settlement allows PSEG to research and implement new energy efficiency programs that would reduce the costs of electricity and gas for consumers.

The utility originally sought to invest over $100 million, but ultimately will be investing $95 million. This is still in keeping with PSEG’s reputation as being big spenders in the name of energy efficiency and reducing pollution. The program they are investing money into seeks to reduce the electricity being consumed by hospitals, multi-family homes, and government buildings. By cutting some of the costs in these areas, where

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Holy Smokes! 5 Electrical Safety Tips to Avoid Home Fires

Imagine one morning, you wake up, slide some bread into the toaster, and start making your morning coffee. Minutes later, you smell something pungent. You look over at the toaster and see some wisps of black smoke streaming out of the opening. This is the start of an electrical fire. An electrical fire may not be so easy to spot when it happens, especially if it occurs while no one is home. Follow these electrical safety tips to make sure you’re prepared for any electrical problems that could occur in your home.

1. Smoking Appliances — As soon as an appliance starts smoking for any reason, unplug it or shut off the circuit breaker to that appliance. Wait for the appliance to cool down, then dispose of it properly. Other items can smoke due to electrical problems. Some external batteries can become incredibly hot and catch fire

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