13. CLEAN THE LINT OUT OF YOUR DRYER AFTER EACH LOAD OF LAUNDRY. (You’ll improve your dryer’s energy efficiency by 30 percent and save $40 a year on your utility bill.)
14. WASH YOUR CLOTHES IN COLD WATER. (You’ll reduce your machine’s energy usage by 90 percent and cut your carbon emissions by 144 pounds per year.)
15. SEND E-MAILS (OR TEXT MESSAGES) FROM YOUR CELL PHONE OR HANDHELD DEVICE INSTEAD OF FROM A COMPUTER. (You’ll use 30 percent less electricity.)
16. SWITCH TO VOICE MAIL. Answering machines, which are used by 65 million American households, guzzle standby electricity. (For more on standby electricity, see the Green Glossary at right.) Research from the U.S. Energy Information Administration suggests that converting these to voice mail would save more than two billion kilowatt-hours (see the Green Glossary at right for an explanation of this term) of energy. That’s comparable to taking 250,000 cars off the road for one year. If you do have an answering machine, unplug it when you’re home.
EVEN GREENER: Choose a long-distance provider like Earth Tones (earthtones.com), which offers paper-free billing and donates 100 percent of profits to environmental causes.