The Tucson region celebrates Green October this year to raise awareness about recycling and other ways your family can “go green.”
Here in Sahuarita, we are providing free fluorescent light bulbs to the community and we have a list of green home owner tips below. Finally, the Habistore in Tucson is hosting a Green Living Fair on October 16.
Town of Sahuarita Kicks Off Its Light Bulb Replacement Program
The Town of Sahuarita launched the Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulb Program on September 25, 2010, at the Fiesta Sahuarita Event. This program is sponsored by an Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant through the Arizona Department of Commerce. Approximately 200 people received a 13 watt bulb (comparable to a 60 watt incandescent). Residents can continue taking advantage of this program during the next several months as follows:
- On Saturday, October 23, 2010, Town residents may bring up to 12 incandescent light bulbs to Walmart from 1-5 p.m. and receive an equal number of CFL Bulbs, as long as they last.
One CFL bulb can save a family approximately $40 in electricity costs over its lifetime. In addition to saving money, the bulbs use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and have a lifespan of 6,000-15,000 hours, which is about ten times longer than an incandescent bulb. They also use 75% less heat, making them safer to operate and cutting energy costs associated with home cooling.
The emission savings for CO2 emissions for each bulb are substantial. For example, a 100 watt incandescent bulb will generate 1,340 lbs. of CO2 emissions as compared to 302.2 lbs of CO2 emissions for an equivalent CFL bulb. Our goal is to provide at least one CFL bulb per Sahuarita resident or 25,000 bulbs. For incandescent bulbs, CO2 emissions would be 33,500,000 compared to 7,555,000 for CFL bulbs or a difference of 25,945,000 less CO2 emissions. Studies show that if every American home replaced just one light with a CFL, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, about $700 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to the emissions of about 800,000 cars.
Make a small change in your choice of light bulbs and light up your life with savings and a cleaner environment!
--By Debbi Al-Houssni
Tips for Going Green at Home
This list has 30 tips for reducing energy costs at home. Start with just a few tips and help the environment while saving money for your family.
Appliances and Electronics
1. TVs, VCRs, cable boxes and PCs are “vampire” appliances because they continue to devour energy even when they are switched off. Unplug them when not in use or use a power strip to turn them off.
2. Compact fluorescent bulbs can save 75% over incandescent types and last 10 times longer.
3. Upgrading to an Energy Star Certified refrigerator can save $50 a year.
4. Turn off your computer monitor when you’re not using it for twenty minutes. Turn off the CPU if you don’t plan to use it for two hours.
5. Wash only full loads and, consider using cold water to save up to $63 a year.
6. Keeping tires properly inflated can improve gas mileage by as much as 3%. Properly tuning your car can increase gas mileage by about 4%.
7. Locate the garage on the west side of your home and save 6% annually.
8. Orient the building to the south and save 4 -7% a year.
9. Save 12% yearly with a porch or ramada on the south side of your home.
Heating and Cooling
10. Save 4% with light colored roof coatings.
11. Save 20-40% with passive solar designed windows and clerestories.
12. Save 8% with cross ventilation on summer nights.
13. Save 23-28% by replacing a 10 SEER heat pump with a 12 SEER model.
14. Save 43% of your annual energy bill by using a swamp cooler during the dry months.
15. Ceiling fans make you feel 5 degrees cooler and use much less energy than an air conditioner or cooler.
16. Solar water heaters can save you 3-5% annually. Pay off the cost in 3-5 years and have free hot water after that.
17. Solar photovoltaic panels provide a clean, renewable energy source. Check with your local electric utility and tax advisor to find out about rebates and incentives.
18. Installing a water heater blanket can save you 4-9% in water heating costs.
19. When buying a wood stove or fireplace insert, make sure it has a U.S. E.P.A. certificate showing its efficiency rating and how many grams of particulates it emits.
20. Save 3-4% with R38 insulation instead of R30.
21. Save 6% with R7 night window drapes and shades.
22. Save 7% with R9 insulation at the slab-edge, even in our climate!
23. Weather-stripping and caulking gaps in doors, window and walls reduces energy costs and makes your home more comfortable.
24. Save 10% on your annual energy bill with evergreen trees planted on the north, east and west sides of your home.
25. Save 14% on your annual energy bill with deciduous trees planted on the south side of your home.
26. Native plants require less water, are drought tolerant, and provide food, shelter and nesting sites for native wildlife.
27. Rainwater harvesting cuts your water bill and can produce healthier plants because it’s salt-free and nitrogen-rich. It reduces off-site flooding and erosion.
28. Recycling aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy required to make new cans. For every four feet of stacked paper recycled, you save one tree.
29. Installing a low-flow showerhead can cut your water use by half.
30. Fixing a leaky toilet can save 200 gallons of water every day.
Sources: Insulation and design information is from Dr. Nader Chalfoun, University of Arizona School of Architecture.
Note: Percentages are not necessarily additive. Other data is from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy,the California Energy Commission, the non-profit Alliance to Save Energy and the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Tucson’s HabiStore Hosts Green Living Fair on October 16
Celebrate the Green Living Fair for free on Saturday, October 16, at the HabiStore at 3840 S. Palo Verde at Ajo from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
During the Fair, held in partnership with the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey, visit 25 gurus of green exhibitors who will share information, tips, and success stories on the many ways to go green and save greenbacks. Housing and transportation choices have significant environmental and economic impacts. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes account for 22% of the total energy used nationally; transporting goods and people accounts for 28% of energy consumed; and both uses are large sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Experts at the Fair will show you how to conserve energy and money.
Local experts in green building/remodeling, home energy savings, resource conservation, gardening, landscaping, alternative fuels and vehicles, bicycling, waste reduction, rainwater harvesting, solar power, and more will be at the Green Living Fair to help you live more sustainably and save money. Check out vehicles fueled by biodiesel, ethanol, compressed natural gas, electricity, and propane, to name a few, that reduce our need for foreign oil.
HabiStore raises money by selling used household items (furniture, appliances, etc.) and new construction materials to support Tucson’s Habitat for Humanity.
Town Receives 20 Free Bike Racks
Finally, the Town of Sahuarita will make it easier for you to find a place to park your bike when you ride to the park, Town Hall, or the library.
Riding your bike reduces air pollution and is a great way to get a little bit of exercise during your daily errands. Sahuarita received 20 free bike racks from the Pima Association Governments. Regional Overall Work Program funds for alternate modes of transportation purchased racks to be installed throughout Pima County. The goal of the project is to address one of the main critiques by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) in the regional effort toward Platinum status. In their 2008 critique, the LAB stated that the region needed to expand the availability of bike parking throughout the region.
The racks are made in Tucson by Function First. The design is the standard "inverted U-rack."
The Town of Sahuarita has identified locations for the new racks including public facilities like parks, SunTran Park & Ride lots, and libraries. The racks will be installed over the next few months.