Choose green every day. From lowering your utility bills, preserving natural resources and enjoying cleaner air—these simple tips will make your life more sustainable.

  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones, which use 66% less energy
  • Install dimmer switches
  • Match bulb wattage to the lighting task
  • Install low voltage lamps for task or mood lighting
  • Select an air conditioning unit with a minimum Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 13
  • Install a programmable thermostat with time and temperature settings
  • Set your thermostat at 68° in the daytime and 55° at night; in the summer, keep it at 78°
  • Change or clean air filters monthly to improve airflow
  • Keep air conditioner coils clean and straight
  • Schedule a tune-up annually to check refrigerant level and to lubricate fans and motors
  • Protect home furnishings from harmful UV rays with spectrally selective glass windows, which are included in every Pardee home
  • Use blinds and outside shade screens on south and southwest facing windows
  • Line curtains and drapes with a white backing to help reflect the sun's rays
  • Drain a quart of water from your hot water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that prevents heat transfer and lowers the unit's efficiency
  • Take showers instead of baths, which use 5 to 10 gallons more hot water
  • Consider replacing your water heater with a tankless water heater that heats water only as needed
  • Replace your older, conventional refrigerator with a new Energy Star® model that uses 15 to 40% less energy
  • Check the seal around the door by closing it on a dollar bill and gauging how easily the dollar pulls out
  • Avoid crowding food items, which could obstruct air circulation
  • Cover liquids and wrap foods before storing them in the refrigerator
  • Replace paper wrappings with aluminum foil or plastic wrap
  • Regularly vacuum the refrigerator coils on the back or bottom of the unit
  • Preheat ovens only when necessary as when baking breads or pastries
  • Stagger pans along the upper and lower racks to improve air flow
  • Don't lay foil across the racks
  • Make sure the oven door is tight; adjust or replace gaskets as required
  • Reduce the oven temperature by 25°F when using glass or ceramic pans
  • Avoid opening the oven door to preview the food; watch the clock or use a timer instead
  • Use a toaster oven or microwave oven to cook small meals
  • Use the self-cleaning feature of your oven immediately after regular baking while the oven is still hot
  • Keep stove-top burners and reflectors clean to better reflect the heat
  • Use only flat-bottomed pans that make full contact with the element
  • When cooking with a gas burner, make sure the pilot light is burning efficiently, with a blue flame not a yellowish flame; use a moderate setting
  • Check the outside dryer exhaust vent periodically to make sure it closes tightly, preventing the exchange of indoor and outdoor air
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation
  • Dry only full loads, but do not overload the dryer
  • Dry similar types of clothes together since lightweight synthetics dry more quickly than fabrics made from natural fibers
  • Dry two or more loads in a row, taking advantage of retained heat
  • Use the cool-down cycle to allow clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer
  • Take 5-minute showers instead of baths
  • Rinse vegetables in a filled sink rather than under running water
  • Run only full loads in the dishwasher and clothes washer
  • Use flow restricted plumbing fixtures and toilets, standard in Pardee homes
  • Use your garbage disposal less and a compost pile or garbage can more
  • Turn off the water when you wash dishes by hand
  • Use the proper water level for a smaller load of clothes
  • Use native vegetation that will thrive in your climate
  • Adjust your irrigation timers in the fall as days begin to shorten
  • Turn your sprinklers off on rainy days
  • Set your lawn mower blades one notch higher because longer grass means less evaporation
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean paved areas
  • Use drip emitters and a multi-programmable irrigation clock to limit water consumption
  • Water during the cool times of the day, preferably in the morning and on less windy days
  • Irrigate in short increments, allowing water to soak into the soil to reduce run-off
  • Use an insulated cover over your pool to reduce evaporation
  • Take your car to a commercial car wash that recycles its wash water
  • Make recycling convenient with under-cabinet bins in the kitchen and office
  • Check with your local service department to see if curbside recycling is offered or where the nearest recycling center is located
  • Compress tins and plastic bottles to fit more recycled materials in the bin
  • Start a compost pile for yard or food waste
  • Mulch your garden with lawn and hedge clippings or shredded newspapers
  • Pack your lunch or snack in reusable containers
  • Re-use washed sandwich bags rather than plastic wrap
  • Donate old magazines to your doctor or dentist's office
  • Choose products that are biodegradable or made from recycled materials
  • Re-use scrap paper for writing notes
  • Carry your own shopping bags to the grocery store
  • Buy concentrated products which use less packaging
  • Buy rechargeable items instead of disposable ones
  • Contact a local charity to pick-up clothing and household items you no longer need