- Use power strips
As the weather slowly starts to become cooler, both electrical consumption and city electrical rates are going to increase gradually. Power strips are a great way to cut costs and reduce your electrical output consumed by "energy vampires" (e.g., cell phone chargers and DVR's) that are hiding around your residence hall or house. Basic 6-outlet power strips can be bought online and in stores in a price range of $5 to $10.
- Efficiently using water
Three easy solutions in water efficiency are:
1. Shortening showers and using less hot water will help you see decreases in both your water and heating (or electrical) payments. For example, wash your clothes using cold water or if necessary a hot/cold combination for more soiled items.
2. When running a dishwasher or washing machine, always make sure that you're running a full load in order to avoid wasting water. Make use of the available water saver feature on your appliances instead of setting loads on high.
3. Remembering to turn off the water in between brushing your teeth and washing the dishes is always a good habit!
- Biking or busing around
Don't let the rainy season bring you down! Try motivating yourself this fall to use sustainable modes of transportation such as riding the bus or biking around town. If you have your bike on campus or at your home, don't be afraid to bring it out a couple times a week and feel the fresh crisp autumn air. In addition, bus passes are provided to students on-campus for check out in exchange for their campus ID. Students can pay a $2 fee for a 24-hour bus pass or have the option of a free 5-hour bus pass.
- Reusable water bottles
Seattle has been reported to have some of the highest quality tap water available in the country. Having a reusable water bottle will help you utilize this excellent resource that's provided in your very own faucet! Not only will you save costs on buying bottles at the local store but you will also enjoy the satisfying feeling of using less plastic bottles and decreasing your environmental footprint.
- Learning to turn down the thermostat
Instead of cranking up the thermostat this year, try the power of bundling up! Extra blankets at night and wearing another layer around the house are great alternatives to raising the temperature on your thermostat. If you use a fireplace, turning down your thermostat while it's in use is yet another sustainable solution to cutting costs.
- Sealing your home
Air leaks can become a tremendous nuisance around your house when trying to save money. Adding new caulking to the bottom of your windows and applying door sweeps are easy ways to increase insulation in your home. Door sweeps can be found online and at your local hardware store in a price range of $3 to $14.
Newly constructed buildings are less likely to be prone to air leaks. However, there are still a couple ways to increase insulation in your room. Keeping your blinds closed, especially when sleeping at night, will help maintain heat. You can also hang an extra blanket over your windows, providing extra insulation in order to reduce heat from escaping your room.