Sharon Jannusch

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Use Your Green to Go Green in 2013

By John Voket


Many of us are interested in making eco friendly changes. But with all of the information available, deciding what energy efficient features to invest in can be confusing. When it comes to purchasing eco friendly amenities, electronics and the like, you want to be sure you’re investing in the best choice. Some great ideas about using your green to stay green came to me from Miriam Berg, who manages digital content for the Alliance to Save Energy.

Berg recently blogged on a number of cool things you can buy that will keep returning you some green in the form of energy savings. They include:

  • Designer CFL bulbs which are available in a variety of flower and butterfly shapes. Berg says the shapely Plumen line saves up to 80 percent on energy and lasts 8 times longer than a standard incandescent.
  • Berg also likes motion-sensing digital picture frames that display different photos every time you enter a room, and automatically turn off when you leave to save electricity.
  • Personal care products like electric shavers, hair clippers and trimmers with ENERGY STAR-certified battery chargers can save up to 70 percent compared to those with conventional charging systems.
  • Cordless power tools like screwdrivers, drills, and saws – as well as cordless yard care tools like lawn mowers, string trimmers, and shears are also on Berg's list. All use about 30 percent less energy with ENERGY STAR-certified battery chargers.
  • Berg is also steering DIYers to air-powered caulk guns -- so you don’t have to squeeze so hard every time you need a line of caulk. They also cut down on mess because it’s easier to stop the flow of caulk with an air compressor than with a manual gun.
  • Finally, Berg says the Nintendo Wii ($129) is the game for gamers who care about energy efficiency. Although no video game console is lauded for saving energy (in fact, Energy Star doesn’t label them), the the total annual cost for a heavy Wii gamer is $4.16, while the original Xbox or PlayStation 3 could cost upwards of $35 a year to power up. But that’s just pocket change compared to the amount of energy Berg says you save by turning off your console when it’s not in use – that single practice can save up to $100 a year.

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